Fernando Alonso has completed a filming day in the 2020 Renault car, in preparation for his Formula 1 return with the team next season. The two-times world champion for Renault said it “felt nice” to be able to drive an F1 car again, after two years in retirement.
“It felt amazing to be able to drive these cars after two years and feel the speed again, how everything comes so fast, corner after corner, the performance under braking and all the things a Formula 1 car has to offer.” He said, “To feel it once again felt nice.”
Alonso said that the Renault’s performance was ‘a nice surprise,’ I think the car was a nice surprise. We know the car is performing well at the last couple of races and I felt the grip and certainly good potential in it.”
However, he said he himself was not up to speed yet to extract the car’s maximum performance, showing the importance of today’s track time to his F1 return. “The last time I drove a Renault engine was in  and I felt a step forwards, which is quite important there. Everything felt good.”
“I wasn’t able to maximise the performance of the car because I’m not up to speed yet,” he added, “but I’m happy with the day.”
Alonso said he the day’s programme had been primarily filming and about finding a comfortable position for him in the car. “Most of the day was a little bit of filming with some drones on track and some action behind the camera.
“At the same time, it was about working with the team to do a couple of laps and for me to find comfort in the seat, the steering wheel and the pedals.” He said, “These are things for next year which, over winter, could be very tight. It’s our first steps.”
Renault scored its first podium for nine years at the Nurburgring last weekend. However Alonso said this hasn’t changed his perspective on the team’s potential.
“I’m still the same after Sunday. I know what the team is capable of and I know the prospects for the future are good.
“The podium is a thing that had to happen,” he added. “[The] most important thing is to follow the trend that we see now, keep the momentum into next year, especially for 2022, and I think we know how to do it.”
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
- Pictures: Wrecked chassis from Grosjean’s Bahrain fireball crash to go on display
- Bottas vs Rosberg: Hamilton’s Mercedes team mates compared after 78 races each
- F1 revenues fell by $877 million in Covid-struck 2020 season
- Hamilton and Mercedes finally announce new deal for 2021 season
- F1 audience figures “strong” in 2020 despite dip in television viewers