‘Alonso has lost none of his ambition’

Date published: November 9 2020

Fernando-Alonso-Renault

Renault sporting director Alan Permane is confident Fernando Alonso has lost none of the ambition that carried him to two World titles.

After two years out of Formula 1, Alonso will be back on the grid next season having signed with Renault for a third stint.

The Spaniard raced for the team from 2003 to 2006, taking the Drivers’ Championship in 2005 and again in 2006.

He returned in 2008 for a two-year stint and will be back next season having signed a multi-year contact.

Alonso is re-joining Renault at a time when the team is on the up, having returned to the podium with Daniel Ricciardo at this year’s Eifel Grand Prix before following that up with another P3 at Imola.

Ricciardo is the one Alonso will replace next season.

Already the 39-year-old has been testing with the team, putting in laps in the RS20 during a filming day while also running in a two-year-old RS18.

Permane, who knows Alonso well from his earlier days with the team when he was the engineer for his team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella, reckons Alonso still has the motivation to succeed.

“I was engineering Giancarlo in those two years when we won those championships,” he told GPFans. “Fernando was a little bit the enemy at that time.

“Of course, we couldn’t beat him, we couldn’t get anywhere near him.

“He’s like all of us, another 14, 15 years older and I’m sure he’s matured.

“I still see that driver, I was down in Barcelona a couple of weeks ago when he did that filming day.

“Already he’s questioning every detail and you can see he’s thinking about the future.

“Although we were running on Pirelli’s demonstration tyres which are quite a long way from the race tyres, he’s questioning every aspect of the car from the steering wheel layout to the rear ride height and things like that.

“I’m sure that side of it, that side and ambition hasn’t gone at all.”

Fernando-Alonso-PA

Get your hands on the official Renault 2020 collection via the Formula 1 store

Alonso’s most recent Renault run took place at the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain in an RS18.

The Spaniard completed 93 laps of the Bahrain two days in a row.

Next season Renault will be rebranded Alpine as the French company looks to give its Alpine division Formula 1 exposure.

Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1 and like our Facebook page.