Fernando Alonso, Renault, Imola, 2020

Alonso told Renault to have 2022 car in its wind tunnel on January 1st

2020 Turkish Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Fernando Alonso has told Renault to have its design for the 2022 F1 season in the wind tunnel on the first day of next year – the earliest date allowed by the regulations.

The team’s executive director Marcin Budkowski described how Alonso has urged the team to prioritise its preparations for new technical regulations which are due to arrive in 2022.

“He’s asking about anything,” said Budkowski. “We’re in the wind tunnel and he said ‘so you can’t run the ’22 car at the moment’. No, we said, we can’t do it because of the regulations.

“[He asked]: ‘So when can you start developing?’ And we said ‘1st of January’. ‘Ok, are you running on the 1st of January?’ And I said: ‘Normally we don’t but this year we might because it’s the year’.

“He said ‘OK, we’ll have to run on 1st of January. I will come here, I can help you on the 1st of January’. So this is the level of motivation of Fernando at the moment.”

Renault confirmed today Alonso will have another two-day test in their 2018 specification car later this year in preparation for his return in the 2021 F1 season.

“Partly it’s him wanting to get back in shape and get back in the rhythm of driving a car,” said Budkowski. “But it’s an opportunity to drive and work with him on things like the steering wheel, his favourite button position, how he wants to be able to activate all the different systems on the car, practice our procedures.

“It seems simple but the more we practice these things the less we have to do during winter testing. We only have three days of running for our two drivers next year.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2020 Turkish Grand Prix

    Browse all 2020 Turkish Grand Prix articles

    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...

    Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

    31 comments on “Alonso told Renault to have 2022 car in its wind tunnel on January 1st”

    1. That’s the sort of insight you only gain after almost 20 years driving F1 cars!

      Can’t wait for his next suggestion!

      1. You jest, but this: “He said ‘OK, we’ll have to run on 1st of January, I will come here, I can help you on the 1st of January’. So this is the level of motivation of Fernando at the moment.” …is what makes the difference between a driver and a team leader.

        1. The problem is, it isn’t about turning up and helping out on 1st of January, it’s everything that goes before. There is limited wind tunnel run time so it doesn’t make sense to run models until development is at the right place. Running something underdeveloped in the tunnel will be a waste of limited resource (and also potentially more expensive than running on a non bank holiday also!). The flip-side is that the earlier you test models the more time you have to interpret results and work on solutions or improvements. So in an ideal world Renault have a fully developed 2022 car designed early enough to have a scale model built and ready to test on 1st January but the reality is that it’s not magic and depends on the development path. I’m sure the engineers at Renault have got a plan and aren’t in need of any advice from Alonso – he has been associated with plenty of disasterous cars so he should perhaps focus on the driving and let others get on with what they know best.

          1. Dave, Renault already seem to have a reasonably well developed 2022 contender – it has been reported that both Renault and Ferrari have already passed the front crash tests and homologated the design of the nose and front crash structures for their 2022 cars, so they must have already reached the point where they are producing at least some components at full scale for those tests.

            To some extent, whilst aiii talks about “the difference between a driver and a team leader”, it does raise the question of whether that is a role that Alonso necessarily needs to play at Renault. If the reports are correct and Renault, like Ferrari, have been working on their cars since 2019, they’re probably already well developed concepts – which means that the effect of Alonso’s input might be rather limited at this point, since the general direction of car development is probably already pretty clearly established.

    2. Hah, another possible headline “Alonso already making criticisms and demands.”

      How is he going to help in the wind tunnel seriously? Reminds me of a micromanaging manager, it’s even worse when they’re not a manager.

      1. But it’s good for PR. The main reason why they do it

      2. Alonso and this point in his career is a terrible choice and hard to believe Prost has lost his eye for new talent.

        1. @Pat
          I tdon’t think that was exactly a choice made by Prost.
          It was probably Luca De Meo needing a high profile name to convince Renault’s top executives to keep the F1 program alive.
          Alonso would probably attract sponsorships and has started to make people talk yet.
          Lots of advertising for Renault.

          1. Another minor aspect … how many more Renault cars will they sell in Spain with Alonso on board.?
            Quite a few I would guess.

      3. If Alonso said anything but this, you’d be here spouting nonsense about how he’s already not showing commitment to the team by not being involved in the 2022 car development.

        Of course he’s not going to be discussing the fine details of aerodynamics with the engineers, but he can certainly provide feedback on whether an aero package that has certain characteristic tradeoffs would be preferable for his driving style over another.

        1. Thanks for telling me what I’d be doing…

          You don’t need to be at the wind tunnel or demand they’re working on a specific date to talk about what package you prefer.

          1. I mean, it’s pretty obvious that’s what you’d do.

            The team’s executive director is chatting with the press about how excited Alonso is to be working with the team, and how he’s offered to help in every way he can to make the 2022 car better. And your first reaction is to twist it into Alonso is already making criticisms and demands.

    3. And so it begins, the decline of Renault due to the tail wagging the dog.

      Look what Alonso did to the Mclaren Honda relationship. How long before he tears Renault apart from within? I suppose he’ll either make them WDC contenders or leave F1. There will be no middle ground.

      1. Honda is what happened to the McLaren/Honda relationship.
        Honda switched to Red Bull and had tons of success, but has still chosen to leave F1. Maybe we can blame Max for that? It’s almost every race we hear Max complaining about lack of power.

        It’s amazing that a single driver, in your mind, has so much influence that they can single-handedly transform a mid-pack team to the WDC/WCC. And if Alonso was that single driver, ANY team but Merc would be pretty stupid not to take that chance on him.

        Renault has been rumored to be leaving F1 for at least 3 years. Them deciding to quit is going to have nothing to do with Alonso. IF they end up being a contender, I expect they’ll stick around. If they stay mid-pack, no driver would have been much of a factor in whether or not they decide to leave.

        1. I think the point is that Alonso has had a very negative influence on the team once he gets bored/annoyed. You can see the flipside of this coin with Hamilton pushing Mercedes to ever perfect the team and car.

          Or how the negativity at Red Bull ultimately pushed Honda out of F1 altogether. Even though their engine is only bested by Mercedes with only a few bhp. Yet indeed Red Bull/Verstappen keep complaining it’s the engine when clearly that same engine does set higher speed trap numbers with Alpha Tauri cars.

      2. JC, that does not line up with what people at either Honda or McLaren have said though.

        McLaren, over time, seems to have become disillusioned with the progress of Honda and the setbacks when Honda changed their engine concept. Honda, on their side, whilst accepting that the change in engine concept did initially set them back quite a bit, seem to have felt that McLaren was being overly critical of their power unit and overly optimistic about some aspects of their chassis design that saw Honda being scapegoated for failings of the team.

        It seems to be much more of a mutual breakdown in relations between the engineering teams on both sides of the partnership. Any criticism that Alonso might have made in public seems to have been of fairly minor consequence to the wider mistrust and lack of engagement that seems to have occurred between the technical departments of both Honda and McLaren – the deal would probably have collapsed at about the same time simply because both sides were not really co-operating throughout the deal.

    4. One would think something like that would be automatic if you hope to win.

    5. I’m all in favour of some Alonso amusement, but I think the headline is a little disingenuous isn’t it? I mean, the team already suggested they might be running the car anyway in the tunnel on January 1st. It’s more that he’s saying he can be there if needed even on new year’s day, anyway that’s how I read it from the above.

      1. Why pass up a chance to turn fuel some Alonso hate?

        There isn’t even a single quote directly from Alonso in the article and people are making a big fuss about it.

        Budkowski is basically saying he’s excited Alonso is showing so much commitment to preparing for next year, and working with the team on development of the 2022 car, and everyone is jumping at the chance to twist it into “Alonso Demands This!” or “Alonso already causing trouble at Renault!”

        1. There isn’t even a single quote directly from Alonso in the article

          I said: ‘Normally we don’t but this year we might

          He said ‘OK, we’ll have to run on 1st of January.

          It is literally right there.

          1. That’s not a direct quote from Alonso…

            Budkowski is relaying (and likely paraphrasing) a conversation he had with Alonso.

            If Dieter or Keith called up Alonso and asked him about it, THEN it would be a direct quote from Alonso.

    6. Yes sir, whatever you say, Napoleon!

    7. This is what seperates legends from good drivers!

      1. @fish123
        Errmm, nope.
        Results separates legends from good drivers.

          1. er.rrrr darn Bell Cheque.

    8. I don’t think its Alonso being there to help with car models – its a willingness. Its New Years day and a bank holiday (one of the few irreligious ones) so if hes getting the team to push its a bit rich to have people forced to come into the office while you put your feet up in Andorra/Monaco/Switzerland.

    9. We don’t have to look too far back in F1 history to see the benefits of drivers building teams around their needs and wants.
      Hardly a week goes by that you don’t see something about Hamilton’s influence at Mercedes. Would he have been as successful without Wolff.? Doubt it, but it is the building of a team that has benefited him immensely. Something that he likely couldn’t have done at McLaren. That Team belonged to Ron Dennis.
      Same with M. Schumacher and Ross Brawn at both Benneton and Ferrari.
      RedBull too, although the Team has been built by and around C. Horner. Likely a better overall model for a budget limited operation.
      Alonso is doing what Alonso thinks he needs to do. More credit to him. Results will speak for themselves. Gonna luv it.

    10. God forbid, driver is committed to winning. This is Alonso’s last chance and very likely Renault’s too. They must go all in, no compromises. Alonso is doing the right thing, motivating everyone and keeping them in focus.

    11. proud_asturian
      14th November 2020, 8:14

      Toxic man.
      Hopefully his shameless attempt to stay relevant ends with no points and consignment to the dustbin of history.

    12. Schumacher was at the same point in his career when he jumped in a Mercedes, and got the car to be a competitor, so the likes of Rosberg, and Hamilton could fight for championships.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
    If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.