Alonso was always likely to get behind the wheel before the end of this year to maximise his preparation for 2021. Now he seems to be doing so with more relish.
A lot has changed since Alonso signed on the dotted line. Even the team he’ll race for. Out with Renault, in with Alpine as the manufacturer rebrands its works team in the image of its niche performance sub-brand.
A fresh name, a fresh start, with none of the baggage of Renault’s years of underachievement but buoyed by the momentum of what is proving to be a very good year.
Alonso completed his first day of testing with the 2018 Renault RS.18
Fernando Alonso continued his preparations for his 2021 Formula 1 return by sampling Renault’s R.S.18 in Bahrain on Tuesday.
Renault has been at the Sakhir Circuit across the past week in order for junior trio Christian Lundgaard, Oscar Piastri and Guanyu Zhou to drive its 2018 car.
Under Formula 1 regulations teams are permitted to carry out tests with cars that are two or more years old.
Alonso recently carried out a test day in Renault’s 2020 car, the R.S.20, but this was limited to 100km on Pirelli’s promotional tyres.
Renault wanted to run Alonso at the post-season test in Abu Dhabi but as this is set aside for young drivers rival teams voiced their opposition.
Alonso completed 93 laps at the circuit, where he has claimed three Formula 1 victories, in typically hot and dry weather on Wednesday.
Alonso will remain in the car, which sported an all-black livery, on Thursday.
The Spaniard was present with Renault at last weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola in order to get up to speed with the manufacturer’s protocols at a race event.
The team, which will be rebranded as Alpine for 2021, scored its second podium in three events courtesy of McLaren-bound Daniel Ricciardo to move into third in the Constructors’ Championship.
93 laps for alonso – first day of testing with renault in bahrain 93 laps for alonso – first day of testing with renault in bahrain
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THE NEXT RACE 2021
|02:00 - 03:30||Free practice 1|
|06:00 - 07:30||Free practice 2|
|04:00 - 05:00||Free practice 3|
|07:00 - 07:18||Qualifying|
|06:10 - 08:10||Race|