Fernando Alonso says his Formula 1 return in 2021 will be a building year with Renault ahead of the series' radical car rule overhaul for 2022.
Renault announced on Wednesday it had signed double F1 world champion to return to the team in 2021 on a two-year deal, with potentially an option for a third season.
Next year was supposed to see the debut of F1's radical new car regulations, but the coronavirus pandemic and the financial woe that has set upon the world forced the series to delay the change to 2022.
Renault currently isn't on the level of the top teams in Mercedes and Red Bull, and likely won't make much inroads into that deficit next year owing to the 2020 cars carrying over to next season.
Alonso accepts this situation, but believes 2022 will bring "a bit of fairness" to F1, and he believes a season in the current cars will still prove beneficial in Renault's efforts to create a strong new package.
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"I'm aware of things. I have not been underground for two years, I've been watching television, and I know that only one team will win in 2020, and will win in 2021 probably," he said.
"But, you know, this is the same for the remaining 19 drivers that are on the grid. And we try to work with our own team and our own future.
"I think the 2022 rules will hopefully bring some fairness to the sport and will bring some close action as well with the teams more level and less scope to invent anything that has a large performance advantage.
"So, having that in mind, there is enough time, I think, to work on those projects and to build the momentum that I think we need.
"Hopefully from today, we will see some more motivation, some boost from everybody. And I'm happy, I'm relaxed, I'm aware of what 2021 will be. And I'm hopeful of 2022.
"And, as I said, this is a matter of building something together and building something together that you trust, that has the capabilities, has the facilities, has the investment and all those ingredients I found in Renault, so I'm relaxed."
Alonso hasn't driven competitively since January's Dakar Rally (below) - in which he finished 13th on his debut - but will contest the IndyCar Indianapolis 500 in August.
Despite having minimal car time by the time the 2021 season begins, Alonso says his exploits at the Indy 500, the World Endurance Championship and IMSA in 2019 have kept him more than fit enough to race competitively in F1.
"Last year, especially, it was a very, very active season for me," he said.
"This year is the same for everyone, because F1 did one race in Austria, I did a three-week race in Dakar.
"That is the only background that we have this year. The world had stopped for several months, so we are all in the same conditions.
"I think last year, between all the endurance racing, between IMSA, between WEC and between Dakar preparation, I've been behind a steering wheel nearly every week of the year.
"I feel ready and I feel that I am at 100% in terms of driving."
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