Fernando Alonso is set to be announced by Renault as their second driver for the 2021 F1 season, confirming the Spaniard’s return to the sport after leaving in 2018.
The French team had been looking for a partner for Esteban Ocon after Daniel Ricciardo opted not to sign a new deal with them, instead switching teams to McLaren where he will team with Lando Norris.
Throughout his sabbatical from F1, Alonso has been constantly linked with a return to the sport, initially with previous team McLaren and then, in a much more unlikely story, a reunion with Lewis Hamilton, this time at Mercedes.
The Spaniard is a two-time world champion having emerged victorious in consecutive years in 2005 and 2006, but since the turn of the decade he has struggled to find championship-winning form, and was part of an uncompetitive McLaren outfit in his final seasons before retiring.
It was with Renault that Alonso won his only two world championships, having been with the team from 2003-2006 and then in another spell from 2008-2009.
The rumour of the return has been circling for a while now, with BBC Sport reporting that the official announcement could be made as early as Wednesday.
Commenting on the speculation, Ocon previously said he would be happy to receive Alonso, who will turn 40 midway through the 2021 season.
“My personal choice has no relation to what the team is going to do,” said the Frenchman.
“I have a great relationship with Fernando. The helmet I have and the only swap I did in between the drivers was with him.
“He was the one with Michael [Schumacher], his fights back in the day, that gave me the love for the sport. I don’t know if he’s going to join or not with us, but definitely, if he could come back, I would be very happy.”
Although Ocon represents a new team-mate for Alonso, he has worked with engineers and management in the past who are at Renault, including sporting director Alan Permane and technical director Pat Fry.
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