F1’s 2021 pre-season will be limited to just three days, giving Alonso precious little time to get up to speed with its new car before his race return.
Fernando Alonso has asked Renault to have its 2022 F1 car in the wind tunnel at the earliest possible opportunity.
Budkowski said that Alonso’s “determination and curiosity” were the most striking elements of his personality that had come across so far.
Alonso has previously stressed to Renault how seriously it needs to take its preparation for new technical rules in 2022, which he is targeting as the more relevant season of his comeback.
Renault executive director Marcin Budkowski revealed Alonso’s push to get the team’s 2022 design in the wind tunnel on 1 January – the earliest date allowed by the regulations – as he hailed the Spaniard’s determination and curiosity ahead of his return to F1.
Double world champion Alonso has signed a two-year deal to complete a third stint in F1 with Renault starting in 2021 when it rebrands as Alpine.
“He’s asking about anything,” Budkowski explained. “We were in the windtunnel, and he said, ‘so you can’t run the ’22 car at the moment?’”.
“I said, ‘no, we can’t do it because of the regulations.’ He said, ‘when can you start developing?’ and I said 1 January.
“‘OK, are you running on 1 January?’ Well normally we don’t, but this year we might, as it’s the year. He said, ‘OK, we have to run on 1 January, I can come here and help you’.
“This is the level of motivation of Fernando at the moment.”
Alonso is completing an extensive testing programme ahead of his comeback to F1 following a two-year hiatus.
He began with a short filming day in Renault’s 2020 F1 car in Barcelona last month, before conducting a two-day run in the team’s 2018 car in Bahrain earlier this month.
Alonso completed a further two-day outing in the R.S.18 in Abu Dhabi last weekend.
“He wants more days in a car to get used to the team, to get used to the systems, the procedures, to fine tune his seating position and the steering wheel and everything,” Budkowski explained.
“But he also hasn’t driven the car for two years. They are bloody fast cars. He needs to get back in shape, get back in the rhythm, so he’s taking any opportunity he can to drive.”
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THE NEXT RACE 2021
|Bahrain ||26 Mar|
|14:30 - 15:30||Free practice 1|
|18:00 - 19:00||Free practice 2|
|15:00 - 16:00||Free practice 3|
|18:00 - 19:00||Qualifying|
|18:00 - 20:00||Race|
|Bahrain||57 laps||308.238 km|