On the first day of Renault’s double day of testing in Bahrain, the Spaniard drove 93 laps in the 2018 season car.
Fernando Alonso he is focused on his return to Formula 1. He prepares himself physically and does not miss every opportunity presented to him to get into a car, even if it is not the one he will use in 2021 when he begins his third cycle at Renault, where he was two-time champion.
Three weeks after the tests in Montmeló, the French team organized a double day of tests without limit of kilometers in Bahrain that covered the bad news of the weekend, when Alonso received the veto of the teams to participate in the post-season tests in December in Abu Dhabi, exclusively for young drivers who have not played any Grand Prix, a condition that excludes the Spanish.
Alonso’s 39-year-old did not go unnoticed in the paddock, where the Danish Christian Lundgaard (19), the Australian Oscar Piastri (19) and the Chinese Guanyu Zhou (21), members of the Renault young driver development program, were also present. Sport Academy. Neither is your experience.
On board the R.2.18, the car that Carlos Sainz and Nico Hülkenberg used two seasons ago – the only one available under current regulations – and awaiting permission from the International Automobile Federation (FIA) for those end-of-year trials, Alonso did 93 laps and traveled 503 kilometers at the Bahrain International Circuit.
As it turned out, he raced on the soft tire and also did short runs to adapt to the Renault as a qualifying simulation.
On Thursday, meanwhile, the Spaniard will do a race simulation: he will use the hard tire and do long runs, in which he will look for performance and not so much speed.
This is a very different test day than the one you experienced three weeks ago, when you first got into an F1 car after almost two years. At the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, at the wheel of the RS20, Alonso barely drove 100 kilometers during a day designed for audiovisual filming.
“The neck is not ready, I have made a lot of elastic tape, but nothing replaces the car and I need kilometers. That’s why we go to Bahrain. The more you drive an F1, the better you are,” he explained to L’Equipe after that test and in the prelude to your trip to Manama.
Although he stressed that he is “very committed” to what will be his return to F1 and that he works “every day” to get ready “physically”, for Alonso “nothing replaces being able to drive a car.” “” In Formula 1 the important thing is to add kilometers above the car, the more you drive the better for the preparation. That’s what it took, “he reaffirmed.
Likewise, he regretted that there are only three days of pre-season testing in 2021. “The tests will be limited next year and that is a challenge for everyone, but more so for me. Barely a day and a half of pre-season testing per driver and not Thus, a championship can be prepared, “he remarked.
This will be Alonso’s third stage at Renault, since he was between 2003 and 2006 and from 2008 to 2009. His last experience in the category, meanwhile, was with McLaren, until 2018.