Fernando Alonso stated that the Alpine F1 team feels completely different since the last time he raced with Renault, saying that it is a “good sign.”
It is just a matter of hours until the two-time world champion makes his come back in the pinnacle of motorsport with the re-branded team Alpine. In his two sabbatical years, the Spaniard raced in other categories like IndyCar, the World Endurance Championship, and the Dakar Rally.
Alonso will start his third stint with the French team. He raced for them also from 2003 to 2006 and from 2008 to 2009.
The Spaniard highlighted that he saw many positive differences at Enstone compared to the last time he was there more than a decade ago.
“They are very different, and that’s a good sign,” Alonso said.
“After 10 years, if they were all the same, maybe that would not be good news for us.
“I think the factory has been updated quite heavily. More people are working now, in Viry in France, the factory has been updated too, and I think the level of technology that we have right now compared to 15 years ago is very different.
“I’m very happy with the things that I saw last year. Visiting both Enstone and Viry. We have very talented people inside the team. We have great designers and technicians.
“Some of the mechanics, they are still same from my last time, so that’s also a good touch of the old days as well, and a good atmosphere that we all want to repeat the success we had in the past.
“But we have new people, very good spirit, very young talented people, so we are quite a nice organization now. So, hopefully, we can deliver.”
The last time Fernando raced in Formula 1 was in 2018 with McLaren. Then, he decided to leave the sport to chase the triple crown. However, he decided to come back.
Despite Alonso’s confidence, he does not believe that in 2021 he can add victories to his Palmares considering where Alpine finds itself compared to the other F1 teams.
“I don’t fear any particular challenge,” Alonso said.
“How the midfield is right now, it is very competitive. So it’s something that we are aware of, that we need to maximize, and we need to be perfect every weekend if we want to score good points.
“Then another challenge but not only for me but for everybody in the team and everybody in the paddock will be the 23 races. We have to be just aware of that number as well and try to save energy when we can during the year.
“Even in June, August, September, even if you feel fresh, the more you save, the better you will be in November and December.
“So there are a couple of things that after being out for two years, I will have to relearn a little bit and get used to, but in terms of driving or in terms of approaching the weekend working with a team, I think it should be quite smooth.
“I was not at home for two years. I was racing every weekend. So it should be fine.”