The Alonso revolution begins

The Asturian completed a test in Barcelona today with this season's Renault RS20. He drives an F1 again: "It has potential, we see it every week."


Without superstitions, Fernando Alonso's third era at Renault began on Tuesday the 13th. "It's true," the team said early in the morning, confirming the runrún of the previous days: the Asturian drove the Renault RS20 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. This is a filming day in very limited conditions, just 100 kilometers (just over 20 laps) on Pirelli's demo tires. But they are enough to generate sensations behind the wheel after several days in the simulator and for his new team to introduce him, properly, to this season's car. It is also a coup: after taking the podium with Ricciardo at the Nurburgring, seeing Alonso in that car will scare away direct rivals. Those who are not scared are foolish.

"Even though they are only 100 kilometers they were very special. They have helped me to enjoy Formula 1 again. Because of the speed at which things happen, the cornering, the power of braking, the acceleration ... and also happy for being with the team, my family for so many years. It has been exciting, "said the protagonist after the test in a direct from 'Instagram'. "The car is faster than me for now, I can't extract the maximum. Getting used to the speed of F1 is not that easy, but I improved lap by lap." On the feelings: "It has potential, we see it every weekend, but there is room for improvement" .

One year, 6 months and 11 days later, since the Bahrain test in 2019, Alonso has driven an F1. It was also very important for Renault: in the last days they slipped that they had a lot of interest in returning to Montmeló, where they suffered the most this year and the track that generated the most confusion. Now they celebrate that the high downforce package responded in Mugello or Eifel, but they left with many doubts about the Catalan track and it is not a whim that the filming day has been organized on this circuit. Luca de Meo, CEO of the French manufacturer, expressly supported it. They wanted to confirm the jump in performance of the RS20 there. Cyril Abiteboul, team leader, also opens the door to a second test with the 2018 car, already with no mileage limit.

"I see the cameras, the meetings or the strategies"

It was not all that simple, because the restrictions imposed by the pandemic in Europe kept the filming in suspense almost until the last hour. It was even said that they could turn to Paul Ricard if there had been some kind of perimeter closure in Barcelona. In any case, the Renault trucks passed Montmeló on their way between Nurburgring and Portimao and there they stopped. "I have seen all the races, I have a good set up with a computer that the team gave me and I see the 'on board' cameras of Esteban (Ocon) and Daniel (Ricciardo). I can follow the radios, the meetings, the rallies of strategy and I know what is happening every weekend. The results improve and the podium in the last race was well deserved for the hard work ", adds Alonso, who in 2021, at 39 years old, will be an Alpine Renault driver in Formula 1.

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