Alonso to drive for Renault in F1 Abu Dhabi young driver test

Renault has announced Fernando Alonso will continue preparations for his comeback by taking part in Formula 1's young driver test two days after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Alonso to drive for Renault in F1 Abu Dhabi young driver test

As revealed on Wednesday, permission for Alonso to join the test was granted by the FIA after lobbying by Renault for the Spaniard to be allowed to participate.

Previously he has only had a 100kms filming day run in the current car, along with extensive mileage in a 2018 machine.

The test was originally defined in the 2020 FIA sporting regulations as being reserved for drivers who had competed in no more than two grands prix, ensuring that it was for rookie drivers.

However it has now in effect been opened up to drivers who did not race this year, with Sebastien Buemi expected to drive for Red Bull, and Robert Kubica for Alfa Romeo.

The decision has frustrated rival teams who believe that Renault will gain a sporting advantage by running Alonso, and giving him a chance to make a contribution to developing the car for 2021.

Teams are allowed to run two cars, and the second Renault will be handled by Guanyu Zhou.

Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul indicated that the team's consistent support for young drivers, including the Abu Dhabi outing for Zhou, helped to sway the FIA.

"We would like to thank the FIA and F1 for their acceptance of our test plans," said Abiteboul.

"Made in recognition of our commitment to young drivers throughout junior motorsport and to Fernando's own dedication to furthering the careers of young talents.

"Zhou has experienced the benefit of the Renault Sport Academy, having joined its ranks last year.

"He has worked hard and made a genuine contribution to the performance of the team through his work in the simulator and test programme. I am delighted he can drive the R.S.20 to complement his journey so far.

"For Fernando this will be the next step in his return. He has worked tirelessly to make sure he is as ready as he possibly can be for 2021.

"He wants to contribute fully - not just to the team, but to the fans and the sport he has missed in the past two years."

shares
comments
How F1's medical car team aided Grosjean's escape

Previous article

How F1's medical car team aided Grosjean's escape

Next article

Steiner: Haas willing to "take a risk" on Mazepin F1 superlicence for 2021

Steiner: Haas willing to "take a risk" on Mazepin F1 superlicence for 2021
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Fernando Alonso
Teams Renault F1 Team
Author Adam Cooper
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Plus

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Plus

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well-aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead on pace. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent Plus

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent

While Japan's fever for motor racing is well-documented, the country has yet to produce a Formula 1 superstar – but that could be about to change, says BEN EDWARDS

Formula 1
Apr 15, 2021
Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021