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Renault aiming to run Alonso this year

NEWS STORY
26/09/2020

While Fernando Alonso declares that he is "available" for "anything" Renault needs of him this year, the options would appear to be limited.

Though he is attending a number of races with the French team, having been out of F1 since the end of 2018, when the Spaniard returns to the cockpit he is going to find the sport has moved on in the last two seasons.

No surprise therefore that Renault is hoping to give its two-time world champion in the coming months.

"He's definitely keen on getting back behind the steering wheel," admits Cyril Abiteboul, "so we'll see that.

"We are building the programme," he continues. "There is a couple of opportunities within, obviously, the restriction of the sporting regulation.

"Things like filming days that we've not done so far, (and) there is a post-season test... we'll see where we get there.

"We also have a two-year old car programme that we can run pretty much anywhere and he will probably do a bit of that also.

"So, you'll see him in action. I can't say here where and when exactly yet."

Following the Spaniard's revelation that he has already spent time in the team's simulator, Abiteboul was asked about the feedback he gave.

"I'm not sure I want to comment on the simulator specifically because it's not necessarily the main strength of the team," he resplied, "and we are working hard to improve in that area.

"That's typically an area where there has been a lack of investment in the last few years - but on a broader perspective first we saw a Fernando that's happy to be back not yet in action but back in the team environment, in particular a team that he knows and where he obviously has good souvenirs - but souvenirs are not a reflection of what's going to happen so we need also to be forward looking.

"I think, being on the Viry side - because I can't travel in the UK myself - I was not in the UK, but I can tell you that he was really impressed by all the changes in Viry, all the new people, the energy, the drive.

"The determination in Viry that there is in developing a new PU for what is now 2022. It was supposed to be '21 but it's shifting back a year.

"Obviously I'm biased when I say that but it's something that is extremely important to us, to see Fernando and to see his pride and the excitement in his eyes.

"He's also been a witness to all the changes in Enstone - but a nice building is not again a statement of what's coming. So, we just need to work very hard to make sure he has a car that he wants and also that he deserves."

While testing in a two-year-old car faces few limitations, the end of season test in Abu Dhabi is essentially for young drivers. However, Renault is in talks with the FIA in a bid to run Alonso on one of the days.

Check out our Saturday gallery from Sochi, here.

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