Fernando Alonso, F1’s Marty McFly, Goes Back To The Future And Rejoins Renault
The Marty McFly of F1, Fernando Alonso, will unretire and make his return to Formula One in 2021. It’s back to the future for the 38-year-old Spaniard who will replace Renault F1’s departing Daniel Ricciardo. Alonso retired from the sport in 2018 but never said never to a return. The Renault F1 team is a familiar environment for Alonso. Based in rural Enstone, Oxfordshire Alonso won back-to-back world titles with the team in 2005 and 2006. Many are citing age as a factor against Alonso ever returning to his peak. However sports science has improved considerably over the last 40 years, so it is no longer a case of age nor fitness. For Alonso it is simply one question, does he still have the motivation?
That he has returned when others retire from F1, on average, at 33, is evidence that Alonso’s motivation burns as fierce as ever. Alonso wants to secure at least one more title before he finally draws the curtains for good. Can Renault F1 give him the car in which to do so? Alonso is one of the great drivers of his generation. At Ferrari he drove above and beyond the capabilities of the car provided to him, often delivering results which shouldn’t have been possible.
Ultimately Alonso’s time at Ferrari went unrewarded. Alonso decided to leave and rejoin McLaren where he endured a miserable two seasons before calling it quits. And now he has returned. The Spaniard has a reputation for being forthright, he demands the best because he will always give better than he receives. It is impossible to truly know the depth of his reputation. Journalism often hides the truth to feed a particular narrative.
Nevertheless, like Marty Mcfly, Alonso is going back to the future to make a new future, one that has yet to be written. Alonso is ready and fully aware of the challenges that await him. Speaking to the media after announcing his return he said:
“The stopwatch is the only thing that matters, not the age. I feel ready and I feel I’m at 100% in terms of driving. I did a couple of fitness tests 15 days a go and I had the best results in my career and I am motivated, happy and stronger than ever.”
“It’s an extremely happy day for me coming back to F1 first but also to the team with which I had the best experience in the category,”
“Probably my first intention was to go out in 2018 and see how life was outside the bubble and have a think for the 2021 rules,”
“I know only one team will be winning in 2020 – and in 2021 probably – but I think the 2022 rules will hopefully bring some fairness to the sport and some close action with teams more level and less scope to invent something that has a large performance advantage.”