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Alonso to take "first real look" at how Renault goes racing with Imola visit

Alonso to take "first real look" at how Renault goes racing with Imola visit

F1 News

Alonso to take "first real look" at how Renault goes racing with Imola visit

Alonso to take "first real look" at how Renault goes racing with Imola visit
Ian Parkes & Nicolas Quarles van Ufford

Fernando Alonso will take what has been described as his "first real look" at how Renault goes racing this weekend with the two-time Formula 1 champion on-site at Imola.

Since the announcement of his 2021 F1 comeback in July, Alonso has been working hard behind the scenes to involve himself with Renault's operation ahead of his third stint with the French works team.

The 39-year-old has already done extensive work in the simulator in Enstone, and he briefly drove the RS20 on a filming day in Barcelona recently.

For this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Alonso will further integrate himself into the team with a watching brief.

"It’s a real first look at how we go racing," said Renault sporting director Alan Permane explained. "Not just to critique it, but to settle himself in for next year so he gets a jump on what we do next year.

"He’s been listening in over race weekends for the past three or four race weekends, I think. He’s got a laptop he can use for the F1 pitwall software so he’s following the cars.

"He’s listening in to our meetings and our session debriefs and our pre-briefs and strategy meetings and stuff like that and this is just the next step.

"He’s not really here to take any active part in the weekend, he’s here to listen and get himself up to speed."

After logging 100km in the RS20 on the filming day in early October, Alonso is set for his first full test with Renault in Bahrain next week as the team has confirmed he will drive the two-year-old RS18 over a couple of days.

New team-mate Esteban Ocon has revealed he has been in contact with Alonso, confirming the two have exchanged many text messages and phone calls ahead of their upcoming partnership.

"We discussed quite a bit on the phone," said Ocon. "Obviously, we had some technical meetings as well early in the year and Fernando has tested the car with some different tyres.

"He will be testing again an older car, he’s very involved. He’s preparing himself for next year which is totally normal.

"He told me by message if I need anything, if I need any information, an opinion on what he thinks, no need to hesitate."

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