Alonso is ‘like a big shark – he sees the blood and wants to attack’ – Abiteboul

2020 F1 season

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Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul says Fernando Alonso has been buoyed by the team’s recent progress and is “very hungry” for success when he returns to race for them next year.

Alonso is driving the team’s 2020 car today in a filming day at the Circuit de Catalunya today in preparation for his return. Abiteboul revealed the two-times champion messaged the team regularly during last weekend’s Eifel Grand Prix when they scored their first podium finish since returning to the sport in 2016.

“We received messages before, during and after the race,” said Abiteboul. “You would be impressed to measure his level of interest.”

While the team sees the new 2022 technical regulations as the biggest opportunity to close the gap to the dominant Mercedes team, their progress this year has raised hopes of success in Alonso’s first year back with them.

“I think that when when he initially joined the team, and in his communication when we announced him, it was very much about 2022 and things,” said Abiteboul. “And the more the season is going and with the team’s progression, the car progression, the more he starts to be interested into 2021.

“Fernando is like a big shark. As soon as he starts to feel the blood, he wants to attack. That’s what I see, I see a shark. Very hungry. So that would be good to see.”

Alonso is already working with Daniel Ricciardo, who he will replace next year, and Esteban Ocon to develop the car’s set-up for each race.

“I’ve seen obviously how keen he is and he did send me a message that if we needed anything, he would be it would be there, no problem,” said Ocon.

“It’s good at the moment that he goes in the simulator and it’s three opinions, basically, because me and Daniel and him. We are all practising on the sim before going to the races to have a good start set-up for the weekend. To have three confirmations is better than two.”

Is Renault’s F1 return finally starting to deliver? Don’t miss Dieter Rencken’s analysis in Wednesday’s new RacingLines column on RaceFans

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2020 F1 season

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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22 comments on “Alonso is ‘like a big shark – he sees the blood and wants to attack’ – Abiteboul”

  1. The problem is it doesn’t matter whose blood.

    1. I laughed at this. ha!

  2. Returning past his ‘fast’ days, just like Schumacher did.

    1. I doubt it, raw “peak” pace has never been Alonso’s strength anyways – he’s metronomic consistency, lap after lap, is what put him at a different level to other drivers.

      I’ll never forget his DRS failing in Bahrain and him keeping the car on track, around every corner, without losing positions… we all saw how often other drivers would open that flap too early and end up in a barrier or skating across the run-off.

      1. @joeypropane
        Indeed. And probably his ability to read race situations in a clever way.
        Which is why he is a great endurance racer.

      2. sakdfasokdfjadjfa
        13th October 2020, 19:41

        Not sure about that – his qualifying record shows he had great peak pace

  3. Ocon will get stopmed so hard in 21′ (i cant wait)

  4. I don’t wanna wish Ocon to get ill or something but it would be great to see RIC vs ALO for a race or two.

    1. @ruliemaulana Daniel would win no doubt, as he is completely in tune with the car, while Alonso will be coming in with barely any experience in the car, no experience with these tyres, and not really having raced for a while. Whether Daniel would win over a season, now that’s a different question. I would back Daniel to win the qualifying battle, but I reckon Alonso might edge the points.

  5. Daniel is fully up to speed, Alonso would need a few races to get near him.

  6. Sensational! Looking forward to RacingLines…

  7. Shark bites are more severe than tattoo needles…

  8. Looks like 2022 will generate interest like never before in Grand Prix Racing. The driver changes and the hope they bring to each team is going to become really something. Here’s to a safe transition.
    Will the top six in 2021 remain the top six in 2022?

  9. Scrolling down I was hoping for some bite-the-hand-that-feeds comments. I was not disappointed.

  10. Am I the only one who feels Ocon hasn’t delivered really?

    1. Ocon’ll be delivering parcels for Amazon by the time Alonso’s done with him! :-)

    2. I think he is slower than expected.

  11. I don’t think sharks ‘see’ blood. They smell it.

    1. No that’s the Ocon fear.

  12. Spanish shark, doo doo doo…

  13. Big shark bitten by the small shark!

Comments are closed.