Alonso confirmed as "a very good option" for Renault
Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul has confirmed two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso is in the running for the vacant 2021 race seat.
But the French manufacturer, that recently declared it is to remain in F1 despite the financial impact of the current global pandemic, will not rush into making a decision, unlike rivals Ferrari and McLaren have done with Carlos Sainz and Daniel Ricciardo.
Alonso, though, who retired from F1 at the end of 2018 after 17 seasons and 311 grands prix - including two stints with Renault in the 'noughties' - is on the team's radar according to Abiteboul.
"There are a lot of very good drivers becoming available next season," Abiteboul told Monte Carlo radio station RMC. "He [Alonso] is a very good option.
"But what I want to assure you is that we will take time to reflect on making a very important decision. Quite frankly, we don't want to get into the activism that Ferrari and McLaren have done, deciding on a driver when the season hasn't even started.
"We found that very strange, and we've removed ourselves from that kind of movement, knowing there will be options that we are looking into now with Alain Prost and Nicolas Todt, the direction of Renault."
While Alonso would be a credible option for Renault, at the age of 39 - as the Spaniard will be at the end of July - that may be an issue as Abiteboul has suggested they are seeking a longer-term choice.
"It's a very important decision because this driver will probably be with us for several seasons, at least until 2022 when the rules change," added Abiteboul.
"There are going to be lots of new rules, especially with the capping of the spending. The amount will be much smaller than we had envisaged so we are basically going to have to redistribute the cards again.
"So the choice of the driver is the last element of the puzzle, especially as it has been announced by Clotilde Delbos, CEO of Renault, that despite the strategic plan, the Renault involvement remains intact.
"So the choice of a driver is a very important decision, and it's important we take our time to make the right choice."
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