Alonso senses Renault "potential" after Barcelona test

Alonso senses Renault

Double world champion Fernando Alonso said he was ready for a fresh start as he tested the latest Renault Formula One auto in Barcelona on Tuesday.

The two-time world champion, who will return to F1 with Renault next year following a two-year sabbatical, stepped up preparations for his comeback by driving 100km during a filming day with the French manufacturer at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya circuit on Tuesday.

Alonso's most recent F1 experience came when he drove a Renault-powered McLaren in Bahrain for two days in April 2019.

The two-time world champion will gain some on-circuit experience with Renault's 2020 package by running the current vehicle for a filming or promotional day, with the usual 100kms limit.

Fernando Alonso tests a Renault F1 at the Barcelona circuit on 13 October 2020.

He is returning to the team with whom he won his two world titles in 2005 and 2006.

Alonso said: "The auto performed well in the last races and I felt the grip and good potential in it".

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Alonso will be able to complete 100km in the 2020-spec Renault auto in what is officially classed as a filming or promotional day.

Because these have to be shared with team-mate Esteban Ocon, that means Alonso will have only one and a half days in the revamped vehicle before the start of the 2021 season.

Alonso's return to an F1 racing auto came on the 20th anniversary of his first laps in the class, on the same Barcelona circuit, at the wheel of a Benetton, the team based in Enstone in England which became Renault in 2000.

"It made it special to be back in Barcelona", he said in a team press release.

"I'm even maybe thankful to the years we had together last year which was a very painful year which as pushed all of us, probably starting with myself, to take the measures we have taken, also with the team in Enstone, Marcin Budkowski and so on and so forth".

Alonso had not been in an F1 auto since a test session for McLaren in Bahrain in April 2019 and had not raced one since the 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, also with McLaren, at the end of his 17th season. "It's a track I know very well, so it's been a good day". "To feel it once again felt nice". I'm comfortable here with Renault.

"I know our communication was a bit negative when we found out he would not stay with the team at the time but it's precisely because it's because an honest, emotional, unfiltered communication at the time". He retired in his first Indy appearance in 2017.

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