Alonso set to test RS20 after Eifel Grand Prix

Mark Scott

Fernando Alonso looks set to step up his preparations for his latest Renault return in the week after the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nurburgring.

Unless you have been under a rock these last few months, you will know that Alonso is returning to the Formula 1 grid in 2021 after being announced as the driver to replace the McLaren-bound Daniel Ricciardo.

Alonso has done plenty of factory visits and simulator work recently but both driver and team have been actively looking for ways to get him back on the race track ahead of his eagerly-anticipated return.

One option for Renault was to ask the FIA for permission as to whether the 39-year-old Spaniard could take part in a young drivers’ test, which brought amusement to many. But, it now appears the team, soon to be rebranded as Alpine, have found an alternative programme.

According to Spanish outlet Movistar and established journalist Albert Fabrega, Alonso is set to get behind the wheel of the current RS20 on a ‘filming day’ at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona on Tuesday, October 13.

Not only that, but it is believed Alonso will then have further opportunity to blow off some of the cobwebs by completing a half-day test in Renault’s 2018 challenger.

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Prior to these developments, this is what Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul had to say about the options that were on the table for Alonso in the build-up to his return.

“We are in a process of building his programme,” Abiteboul told Sky Sports F1.

“We know that it would be in the second part of the season so we didn’t rush anything. He also had his IndyCar programme to do.

“So we are building the programme which is a programme that could be composed of some 2018 cars that we could do.

“He’d like to do between two and four days and we are looking into that. That car will be in the Middle East later this year for our young drivers.

“There could be some filming day that we have not used yet and Renault Corporate is also keen to do a bit of filming as long as we are Renault [ahead of Alpine rebrand].”

Meanwhile, Alonso has recently revealed that Renault first approached him back in June 2019 for “loose” talks about returning to the team for a third time.

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