Two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso is all set to return to the world of Formula 1 for the first time after his retirement from F1 in 2018. The then McLaren driver will be making his comeback with Renault Formula 1, now rebranded to Alpine. Despite a promising season for the team in 2020, Alonso refrained from making bold predictions for the 2021 season,
There was some doubt regarding Alonso’s return, considering he was involved in a cycling accident in Switzerland which resulted in a broken jaw for the Spaniard. Despite this, both Alonso and Alpine have been indicating positive hints in relation to the driver’s health improving, considering pre-season testing begins on March 12 up till 14th.
What Did Alonso Have To Say About His Return?
Asked in the latest issue of the Formula 1 Magzine as to what his expectations for the season were, he said that he would wait until testing at Bahrain, before any statements.
“I didn’t start thinking about that yet – I think we are too early into preparations,” stated Alonso. “Maybe after the winter test you can imagine or dream about the first race and where you can be.
Right now, I didn’t have any thoughts about that. “Our job is to be at least fighting for the top 10”
“Realistically, we have to have our feet on the ground,” he added, “knowing that even if there are some changes for this year, they are not dramatic, so performance will not be too different compared to last year.
“I think Mercedes will be in front of everybody, then there will be Red Bull and there will be a close fight between a few teams. Alpine will be within that group of teams and that will be interesting to see who adapts better to the new regulations.
I think it will be very tight, so we could be fighting for sixth or seventh on the grid or it could be 15th very easily. Our job is to be at least fighting for the top 10.”
Recently, Alonso tested both the 2018 racing car and the R.S.20 which helped Daniel Ricciardo and Ocon in taking three podiums in 2020. Having spent the past two years driving in IndyCar to Dakar, he was a bit shocked at how long it took him to get up to speed with a Formula 1 car.
“I said at the time that the  car was faster than me in terms of everything coming quicker than I expected,” “I had to adapt to the braking points, the cornering speeds I had to rethink a little bit as I approached a corner.
“All those things were… not new, as I have a good memory, but my last two races were at Indy and Dakar. So you arrive at a corner with a 4×4 car and then the next time you drive you are arriving at Turn 1 at Barcelona in a Formula 1 car… and it’s day and night!”