Determined Alonso asks Renault to work on New Year's day
Fernando Alonso is so determined to make his comeback a success he has asked Renault staff to join him at work in their Enstone factory on New Year's Day.
Alonso, who returns to Formula 1 next season following a two-year sabbatical, has already integrated himself fully into the workings of a team that is to be rebranded as Alpine next year.
The two-time F1 champion has made several factory visits, attended the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, while he will undertake a second test of the 2018 car in Abu Dhabi on November 15 and 16 following a recent outing in Bahrain.
Alonso's planning, however, is so far advanced he is already thinking about the car for 2022 when there is a major regulation change and the machinery will alter markedly.
Explaining Alonso's determination, executive director Marcin Budkowski said: “He is so motivated for next year and the years to come.
“He’s been at the factory to do some seat fittings and it was an opportunity to take him around the factory.
“We were in the wind tunnel and he said ‘So, you can’t run the '22 car at the moment?’ and we said we can’t do it because of the regulations. So he said ‘When can you start developing?’ So we said the first of January.
“He asked ‘Are you running on the first of January?’ We said, normally we don’t, but this year we might, but it’s New Year. So he said ‘Okay, we have to run on the first of January. I will come here and help you'.”
Alonso's ongoing preparation extends to his running of the 2018 car for numerous reasons as clarified by Budkowski.
“He hasn’t driven a [F1] car for two years and they are very fast cars and he needs to get back in shape, back in the rhythm of driving the car,” added Budkowski. “So he’s taking every opportunity he can to drive.
“It is useful to work with him on things like the steering wheel, his favourite button position, how he wants to be able to activate the different systems in the car, and practice the procedures.
“It seems simple, but the more we practice these things, the less we have to do in winter testing. And we only have three days of running for our two drivers in winter testing next year.”
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