Alonso would set a special record when returning to Renault

20-05-2020 17:30 | Updated: 20-05-2020 17:59
by Editorial Team
F1 News
Alonso would set a special record when returning to Renault

Due to the shifts announced last week for 2021, there is a real chance that Fernando Alonso will return to the Renault team in Formula 1. It would be a special development for many reasons, not least because of his special relationship with the French factory team.

De terugkeer van Alonso bij Renault zal om verschillende redenen de recordboeken ingaan. Dat een 40-jarige nog Formule 1 gaat rijden is bijvoorbeeld bijzonder, maar dankzij mannen als Michael Schumacher en Kimi Raikkonen ook in de moderne tijd niet uniek. Tevens zal hij een gooi doen naar het record van Rubens Barrichello, die op dit moment de meeste Grand Prix starts op zijn naam heeft staan.

The most unique thing about this return, however, is the fact that in this case he returns to Renault for the second time as a regular driver, after having driven for another team for one or more years. This is something that has never happened before in the history of Formula 1.

Nobody returned to a team twice

Alonso already has a special employment history by returning to two different teams (Renault and McLaren). However, several drivers have a similar CV. For example, Riccardo Patrese returned at Brabham and Benetton, Gerhard Berger at Ferrari and Benetton and Jacques Laffite at Williams and Ligier.

There were also drivers who joined a team for a third time, but did so only as an alternate for one or two races and did not drive for another team in Formula 1 in the intervening period. Nigel Mansell at Williams for example, after his period in the IndyCar at the end of 1994.

You could also say that Giancarlo Fisichella drove for the same team three times. When he returned to Jordan for the second time, the team was still largely the same. The Irish owner had actually changed into an Indian though.

2005 and 2006 building blocks for a special relationship

So Alonso for a third stint at Renault in 2021 would really be unique. The team from Enstone also underwent a metamorphosis in the meantime, but after a few years as Lotus, it is now officially the same team as it was in the period 2003-2006 and 2008-2009. The first two times the Spanish champion drove for them.

The world titles that Alonso managed to achieve with Renault in 2005 and 2006 thus seem to have created an unbreakable bond. For both parties they were the only top prizes in Formula 1 and there is a lot to be done to help each other out and revive old times.

In 2008 Renault was a refuge for Alonso after its position at McLaren had become untenable within one year. Now both parties can give each other a helping hand. Renault has suddenly lost their top driver and for Alonso the door at Ferrari is closed for good. Of course it remains to be seen whether it will actually happen. The fact that he has the best papers to fill Ricciardo's seat is already quite special.

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