Fernando Alonso is hopeful the 2022 Formula 1 regulation changes can be a pathway to success for Renault.
Announced on Wednesday morning as the replacement to McLaren-bound Daniel Ricciardo, Alonso says he hopes the drastic regulation changes of 2022 will put Renault in a position to compete at the front.
"My first intention was to go out of F1 [after] 2018, and see how life was outside the bubble of Formula 1, and have a think for the 2021 rules," said Alonso.
"This has been postponed one year because of Covid, but still, I think it’s worth being in the sport in 2021 as preparation for me, after two years of not driving these cars, and a preparation to build up with the team to have a good season."
Questioned on his willingness to wait for success, Alonso will turn 40 during the 2021 season, the Spaniard continued: "I’m aware of things and I’ve not been underground for two years. I’ve been watching television and I know that only one team will win in 2020 and will win in 2021 probably.
"This is the case for the remaining 19-drivers, that we are on the grid, and we try to work with our own team and our own future, and as I said, I think the 2022 rules will bring hopefully some fairness to the sport, and will bring some close action as well, with the teams more level.
"Having that in mind, there is enough time I think, to work on those projects and to build the momentum that we need."
Alonso added: “I’m happy, I’m relaxed. I’m aware of what 2021 will be, and I’m hopeful of 2022. As I said, this is a matter of building something together, and building something together that you trust, that has the capability, the facilities, has the investment, and all those ingredients I found in Renault. I’m relaxed.”
After what will have been two years away from the sport, team principal Cyril Abiteboul was questioned as to whether Alonso would be granted an outing in a free practice session at some point during the season.
"I don’t think he needs an FP1 to get familiar with the procedures in a racing car, in a Formula 1 car. That’s not the plan," said Abiteboul.
"We’ll see if there is any obvious opportunity, we have always the possibility of running him in the 2018 car.
"Again, to confirm, we don’t have any firm plan. He will at some point get into our factory to meet the team. He knows some members of the staff, whereas some people are new.
"It’s a great opportunity that he gets to spend some time in advance of next year to get familiar with the team, the way that we are working, and also, to be clear, it will be a boost for the staff motivation."
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.