Alonso clocks up another 93 laps in R.S.18

Jamie Woodhouse
Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso concluded his two-day private test in Bahrain by adding another 93 laps to his Formula 1 comeback preparations.

The Spaniard has been confirmed as one half of the Alpine line-up for 2021 with Renault set to rebrand and give their Alpine division Formula 1 exposure.

For Alonso it will be his third stint with the team, but after two years out of the sport he has been enjoying a private testing session with Renault in a bid to get back up to speed ahead of the 2021 season.

The two-time World Champion, who won both titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006, completed 93 laps in Renault’s 2018 challenger, the R.S.18, to go with the 93 laps which he completed on Tuesday.

In an interview with Sky Sports F1 Alonso spoke of how he needs to pump in the laps in order to be truly prepared for his F1 comeback.

“I need those laps now. The simulator is good until a certain point but then you need the physical effort of the car, the G-forces, the training of the neck,” he said.

“You can do as many elastics at home but it will never replicate the real car so I need as many laps as possible.”

Alonso is expecting though to be fully up to speed come the 2021 season-opener.

“Honestly I expect to be straight up to speed, but I’m aware of the challenge that maybe I face in the first couple of races,” he explained.

“Not only on pure speed but procedures on the steering wheel, commands, things that are new for me and I will need some time.

“I’m aware that maybe I will struggle a little bit but I want to think that they will not happen.”

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Renault had hoped to get Alonso into the young driver test which follows the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit, but Renault’s rivals were quick to block that.

In his time away from Formula 1 Alonso has been on a mission to widen his motorsport experience.

In 2018 he entered the 24 Hours of Daytona for the first time and later raced the full 2018-19 World Endurance Championship with Toyota Gazoo Racing, winning the Drivers’ Championship alongside Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima.

Alonso returned to Daytona in 2019 and was part of the winning Wayne Taylor Racing entered Konica Minolta Cadillac squad alongside Renger van der Zande, Jordan Taylor and Kamui Kobayashi.

Alonso also chased the ‘Triple Crown’ in 2019 and 2020 by entering the Indy500, but failed to qualify for the former and finished 21st in 2020.

The Spaniard also made his Dakar Rally debut in 2020 with Toyota, finishing the event 13th overall.

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