CONFIRMED: Fernando Alonso to return to F1 with Renault in 2021 - team

Fernando Alonso. Image AFP  Toshifumi Kitamura

Fernando Alonso. Image AFP Toshifumi Kitamura Toshifumi Kitamura

Two-time Formula One world driving champion Fernando Alonso will return to the series in 2021 after a two-year hiatus.

The French manufacturer announced the Spaniard's return on Wednesday, with the 32-times race victor set to partner 23-year-old Frenchman Esteban Ocon at the team that finished fifth last season.

He left Formula One in 2018 after four fruitless years at McLaren and is due to make a third attempt to win the Indianapolis 500 with McLaren in August.

"Renault is my family, my fondest memories in Formula 1 with my two World Championship titles, but I'm now looking ahead", said Alonso of his return.

Now that the outfit's star driver Daniel Ricciardo is confirmed to be migrating to McLaren next year, the open seat is ripe for filling by Alonso, whose return to the team will be announced as soon as Wednesday, per Racer. "In addition to past successes, it is a bold mutual choice as well as a project for the future", said Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul.

"His experience and determination will enable us to get the best out of each other to take the team towards the excellence that modern F1 demands".

Renault sates that its desire is to "build a team around two complementary drivers, combining experience and youth, and pooling their values and talent in the service of the project".

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Renault are struggling in the sport, but Alonso will be hoping that an overhaul in the regulations and the introduction of a £115m-a-season budget cap in 2022 will fire them back up the grid.

"Alongside Esteban, his mission will be to help Renault DP World F1 Team prepare for the 2022 season in the best possible conditions". He has since raced in IndyCar, the World Endurance Championship and at the Dakar Rally, winning the WEC title with two victories at the famous Le Mans 24 Hours.

Alonso showed remarkable consistency when finishing on the podium in the first nine races of the 2006 campaign, and has 97 top-three finishes in total in F1.

Alonso has been away from Formula 1 since leaving McLaren in 2018.

Alonso went on to claim a maiden victory that same season and secured back-to-back titles across 2005/06, beating Kimi Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher, after which he switched to McLaren.

Alonso is sixth all-time for wins but his last was at the Spanish GP seven years ago with Ferrari.

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