As part of a so-called film day, Alonso was allowed to drive a maximum of 100 kilometers today on the Barcelona circuit, the track where Alonso also completed his very first Formula 1 test in 2000. The Spaniard drove about 21 laps with the R.S.20, the car that gave Renault its first podium finish in Formula 1 since 2011 at the Nürburgring thanks to Daniel Ricciardo.
Alonso will take the place of Ricciardo at Renault next year, and was positively surprised by the Renault’s performance on Tuesday.
“It felt great to be able to drive a Formula 1 car again after two years and feel the speed again,” said Alonso. “That everything comes at you so fast, corner after corner, the performance under braking. It was very nice to be able to feel that again. The car itself was also a nice surprise. We know that the car has been performing well in recent weeks. I felt the grip and noticed that there is a lot of potential in it. “
The two-time world champion admitted that he still has to work on his own speed, after focusing last year on his participation in the Dakar Rally in January and the Indianapolis 500 in August: “I couldn’t get the most out of it yet. because I am not up to speed yet, but I am satisfied with today. “
“The car is better than me”
“The car is better than I am at the moment. It’s not that easy to get back to Formula 1 speed. It got better every lap and I tried to give the engineers some feedback. However, we also had some film work to do. , so there were cameras and drones following me on the track. There was a lot of pressure on the boiler, it was hard work. “
Alonso virtually already part of F1 team
Alonso admits that he will also have to get physically ready for his Formula 1 return in the coming months. In the meantime, the Spaniard is virtually already part of the team behind the scenes: “Of course I watch all the races at home, but the team also provided me with a nice set-up with which I can watch and watch the onboards of Esteban and Daniel. can listen in on all radio traffic, debriefs and meetings. “
“So I know what happens on the weekends. The results keep getting better and last weekend’s podium was well deserved after all the hard work.”
Focus on 2022
Despite the upward trend, however, Alonso focuses his arrows on 2022, as the regulations will remain more or less the same next year and Renault is also expected to have to settle for a place in the middle bracket. “I know what this team is capable of. Nothing has changed since Sunday. The most important thing is to maintain the momentum for next year and especially for 2022.”