Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Alonso ‘ready for F1 comeback’

F1

FILE PHOTO: Rallying - Dakar Rally Preview - King Abdullah Sports City, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - January 3, 2020 Toyota Gazoo Racing's Fernando Alonso during a press conference REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed/File Photo

LONDON: Two-times world champion Fernando Alonso is ready for a Formula One comeback, his long-time adviser and former Renault team boss Flavio Briatore has said amid increasing speculation about a return to Renault.

The 38-year-old Spaniard left Formula One at the end of 2018 but is seen as a possible replacement for Australian Daniel Ricciardo, who is moving to McLaren in 2021.

“Fernando is motivated. A year away from Formula One has done him good. He has detoxed himself and I see him calmer and ready to return,” Briatore, who left Renault in 2009 after a race-fixing scandal, told Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport.

Alonso won his titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006 to end seven-times champion Michael Schumacher’s long reign.

He moved to McLaren for a tumultuous 2007 season alongside a rookie Lewis Hamilton but returned to Renault for 2008 and 2009 before moving to Ferrari and then back to McLaren in 2015.

Alonso has made the Indianapolis 500 his main target this year in a bid to become only the second man after the late Graham Hill to complete the ‘Triple Crown of Motorsport’.

McLaren boss Zak Brown told Sky Sports television that he saw Alonso to Renault as a “bit of a no-brainer”.