“There’s nothing Alonso wants more than a third title” – Symonds

2020 F1 season

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Fernando Alonso is returning to Formula 1 because he believes he will have a chance to win a third world championship, says the man who oversaw his two first titles.

Pat Symonds, who was engineering director at Renault during Alonso’s championship-winning 2005 and 2006 campaigns, said he has “no doubt” the 38-year-old is coming back in pursuit of a third F1 title.

“I think it’s it’s a shame that a guy with that amount of talent has only won two championships,” Symonds told the official F1 website. “And if I think that’s a shame, Fernando will think it’s it’s a tragedy.

“So there’s definitely unfinished business. You can talk about triple crowns and you talk about wanting to win Indy and he’d like to do all these things. But I know Fernando well enough to know that there’s nothing he wants more than another Formula 1 world championship.”

“Fernando’s not a journeyman, he hasn’t come back because he’s bored, he hasn’t come back because he wants to stay the world again,” Symonds added. “He’s come back to win.”

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Symonds believes F1’s new technical regulations, which are due to arrive in 2022, will play into Alonso’s hands in the second season of his return to Renault.

“He is pretty adaptable and I think he will get the best from from the 22 car,” he said.

“I spoke to him quite a lot about driving the Le Mans car because I’ve been working on the 2022 car and the overtaking capabilities and things. So I was talking to a lot of the drivers like him, like [Nico] Hulkenberg who’ve driven the LMP1 cars, because I wanted to understand a bit about them.

“It was fascinating to get his insights as to how he had learnt to drive the LMP car and what he’d had to do and how, particularly with the energy regeneration on that car, he’d discovered things that the other drivers hadn’t discovered. They’d been driving it for a while. He came along and he said ‘oh yeah if I do this, if I do that, if I left here and brake there I have actually got more energy to play with’.

“He is very, very good at things like that and I think the 2022 car will be will be good for him because it will be a bit of a reset for everyone. I think it will help Fernando quite a lot.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 25 comments on ““There’s nothing Alonso wants more than a third title” – Symonds”

    1. So why go to Renault…..His team mate better be ready for some action best get a harder hat and padding for his overalls mostly around the back….

      1. Where else was he going to go?

        1. He`s only coming back for more attention he`s tried the US that has not worked….So F1 again where he is still a big name (snake) caused trouble everywhere he`s been “crashgate”

    2. Adam (@rocketpanda)
      15th July 2020, 12:56

      No disrespect intended but if Alonso bags a 3rd World Title with Renault I’ll be stunned. Stranger things have happened surely but ‘coming back to win’ – with Renault? As they are now? Maybe 2022 will be a different ballgame. I’m sure Alonso hopes so.

      1. @rocketpanda Yeah exactly. Does he want a third more than anything? I’m sure. But at Renault? Any time soon? Seems highly unlikely. That said though I am stoked to see him try, and moreso just stoked to see all the drivers in the 2022 cars because it is going to be so much more driver vs driver in close combat. I think the likes of FA are going to put on a great show, even if the Renault still lags, as I expect.

        1. I think a podium will be a more realistic goal, not cause alonso is bad, but you’re only as good as your car, and I don’t see renault improving much.

          1. Podium is something they can look forward to.

            Unless by some strange accident Mercedes and Honda engines happen to be cheating and loophole for that cheat is closed… then we can see Renault winning title.

    3. Skills, age, car, engine – nothing will help him do that.
      Sorry

    4. I think Alonso is one of the best drivers of the era but winning a WDC. If he were to drive for RB yes he would be No1 driver and take the challenge to Merc or even McLaren he would definitely be able to challenge for podiums. But with Renault in their current form no, as good as he is no.

      1. He would not be #1 at RBR while Max is there. He is Helmut’s golden boy and can do no wrong. Just like Seb when he was there.

        Alonso has made a mistake with this move. Not for the first time, but probably for the last.

    5. It’s a crying shame a driver of Alonso’s ability only has 2 titles, and I respect his hunger for more, but we all know it will never happen unless he can convince Mercedes, but then Hamilton will probably stay on just to prevent that even if he was ready to retire earlier, and by that time Fernando will be too old / lost his mojo.

      It will still be fun to watch him on his absolute best behavior and to see how long it will last, and how he will annihilate his team mate.

    6. Very likely ALO hopes that, with the new 2022 regulations, he could have his 2009 Jenson Button @ Brawn F1 and the double diffuser type of year. Disruption on regs can shuffle the whole ranking, if a team is willing to take risks

      1. @svianna

        Exactly. The Brawn GP story shows that anything is possible in F1. Highly unlikely, but not entirely inconveivable. I would put a 1% chance of Renault pulling this off, but right now Alonso would still take those odds, because its better than the odds of not being in the sport altogether.

    7. 2022 will be all about mastering ground effect!

      1. For sure that’s going to be a big aspect of the game.

      2. If that turns to be true, everyone will worship Newey again….

    8. Hamilton will probably stay on just to prevent that

      Why? If Hamilton has 6, 7 or 8 titles by then and wanted to leave F1, Alonso adding one or more titles would be a complete irrelevance to him.

      I’ve only admiration for Mercedes. But it would be brilliant to see Renault at the top again instead, along with McLaren say. Can only hope it happens.

      1. Meant to be a reply to @balue

      2. @david-br Because what drives him is to hurt others as much as anything. https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/hamilton-wants-to-hurt-rivals-at-their-best-1016483/1397318/?s=1 Giving up his car to an old rival who is virtually assured to get titles in it, or worse, maybe beat his old team mate more comprehensively and cause doubts about his own supremacy will of course never happen. A Russell yes, an Alonso never.

        1. I don’t think you actually understood the article, well either that or you are deliberately misinterpreting it.
          The article doesn’t support the idea that Hamilton would hang around just to keep Alonso out of the team, it does support the idea that he might hang around to race against him and beat him again….

        2. @balue I’d forgotten that interview. As Top Trump says, he suggests the opposite, that he wants to beat the best at their best. You also need to place the interview in the context of his rivalry with Ferrari and Vettel, who he’d just defeated in the 2017 season after an acrimonious battle with both (with Ferrari being highly aggressive, including Vettel’s swipe at Hamilton in Baku). Undoubtedly he’s talking about the ‘pleasure’ of beating them despite how strong Ferrari had become and Vettel’s attitude at the time. I get where he’s coming from there. I doubt he’d say the same today.

    9. I love you Alonso but you picked the wrong team again after you picked the wrong team last time.
      The best you could ever expect will be one possible victory but a ton of misfortune has to happen in a rather bizarre set of circumstances to several drivers for you to ever see a race win.
      I wish it was different. The deck is stacked man.

      1. True but it’s not like he had a pick. Safe to say much of the reason this is happening is from DR leaving? Although perhaps Renault and FA both had already considered the scenario given that DR was only on 2 years anyway. And given that FA had said he would entertain a return all along. Not sure but as I say this is the closest he was going to get to the top based on available seats (see Vettel) and Renault is home. What if DR had expressed eagerness to re-sign though rather than doing the opposite?

        Anywho all they can do is their best and get that 2022 car as nailed as possible, and the rest is up to FA, and he’s definitely going to be good for some positions beyond the car’s capabilities.

      2. I agree with @robbie. It was either Renault or nothing for Alonso, and I get the feeling that there isn’t really a wrong choice here. Worst case scenario, Renault stays in the midfield, Alonso gets to add a few more zeros to his bank account and gets to enjoy driving the best cars in the world for 2 years. If he had several choices within F1 of which he picked Renault, then it might be a different matter.

    10. Regardless of his results I’m just happy having him back on the paddock talking trash about his car again :D

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