Alonso given special dispensation for 'young driver' test
Renault has expressed its gratitude to the FIA for providing double Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso with special dispensation to take part in the end-of-season 'young driver' test.
The test that this year takes place at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina circuit on December 15 and is supposed to only be available to drivers who have made two or fewer grand prix starts.
But following a regulation tweak it now means Alonso will be able to spend at least half-a-day behind the wheel of this year's Renault R.S.20 ahead of his comeback with the rebranded Alpine team next season.
To date, in preparation for his return, Alonso has only been able to drive a two-year-old Renault as per the regulations.
Grateful Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul said: “We would like to thank the FIA and F1 for their acceptance of our test plans, made in recognition of our commitment to young drivers throughout junior motorsport and to Fernando’s own dedication to furthering the careers of young talents.
“For Fernando, this will be the next step in his return. He has worked tirelessly to make sure he is as ready as he possibly can be for 2021.
"He wants to contribute fully, not just to the team, but to the fans and the sport he has missed in the past two years.”
Alonso will share the day's driving duties with Guanyu Zhou, who is currently eighth in the F2 championship in which he has won one race and clinched five other podiums.
The 21-year-old from Shanghai has so far completed five days of F1 testing this year with runs in the R.S.18 in Budapest, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, the latter two of which were alongside Alonso.
Abiteboul added: “Zhou has experienced the benefit of the Renault Sport Academy, having joined its ranks last year.
"He has worked hard and made a genuine contribution to the performance of the team through his work in the simulator and test programme. I am delighted he can drive the R.S.20 to complement his journey so far."
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