Fernando Alonso gets back behind the wheel of an F1 car 

It has been two years since Fernando Alonso officially bid farewell (if albeit temporarily) to Formula 1 at the 2018 Abu Dhabi GP. This past Tuesday, and twenty years after his first test with Renault at the Barcelona Circuit, the Spaniard has sat behind the wheel of another Renault at the very same track.  

The rider from Oviedo has climbed for the first time inside the RS20 at the Catalan circuit with Ferrari; the same place where he conquered his last and 32nd Formual 1 victory. Onboard this season’s French machine, Alonso has completed a 100-kilometre filming day using promotional Pirelli tires. 

The test marked the beginning of a third stage in the partnership of the Spaniard with the team that lifted him to the very top of the discipline. Alonso and Renault achieved both the Driver and Teams’ World Titles in 2005 and 2006. 

Good sensations 

After stepping out of the car, Fernando Alonso admitted that it took him a few laps to get comfortable again with a Formula 1 vehicle after having been competing in other specialities for the last two years. 

It felt good. I think the car is obviously outperforming me right now because I still can’t get the most out of it”. 

Getting back into the speed of F1 is not that easy. I’ve been improving lap after lap and I have been trying to give feedback to the engineers. We also had some filming to do, so there were cameras and drones following us on the track. There was a lot of pressure, it was hard work today”. 

Fernando Alonso, however, is confident that after competing in Formula 1 for almost two decades, he will soon get the feeling and the sensations back, refining the braking points, and perfecting the lines and angles on the track, etc. 

It’s a bit easier with the F1 because it’s what I’ve been driving all my life. After 18 years in F1 and now coming back, it’s true that it’s easy to miss the braking points a bit with how fast it all goes “. 

 “The corners keep on coming and there are lot of things to consider; the braking performance, the cornering speed, things I need to get used to again”. 

Fernando Alonso’s current state of form 

Regarding his state of form after being away from Formula 1 since 2018, the Spaniard has acknowledged that there are some F1-specific aspects which he still needs to improve on, although overall he has felt good on the test: 

There are many things I have to prepare for. First comes my own fitness – you have to get back in shape, you have to train to F1 standards, the neck, especially this whole part of the body, the upper part, must be strengthened over the next few months”. 

My neck is fine after 100km, but ask me again tomorrow! Maybe a little sore. So far it has been fine, but I know I need to keep working.” 

Working with the car and with the team 

Alonso has also spoken about the ergonomics of his car for 2021 and of his relationship with the other team members: 

“There are also preparations to be made regarding comfort, seat adjustment, steering wheel, pedal positions; there are many things we have to go through. Also, with the engineers, we have to cultivate a good relationship, a strong connection, so that we understand each other just with our eyes”. 

“All of these things need a bit of time. We will be working for the remaining of 2020 and also next year’s winter in order to build the team up”. 

Images of Fernando Alonso: Renault F1 Team.

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