In Renault they don’t hide that Fernando Alonso He will start the World Championship with a handicap compared to the rest of the riders. Although those who change teams will also start at a disadvantage compared to those who do not, in the case of the Asturian this will be accentuated since he has been two years away from Formula 1. Luckily for Fernando Alonso the World Championship will start in Bahrain, a circuit in which he has won three times.
For those who love statistics, Formula 1 started in Bahrain in 2006 and 2010, years in which the Spaniard took the victory. Fernando Alonso knows the Sakhir track perfectly, which is where he has won the most victories in his career, although he has also won three times in Malaysia and in Hockenheim. On the other hand, the Asturian, has carried out tests with Renault in Bahrain; which is also where the preseason will be held.
It should also be noted that, before getting on the Renault, The last time Fernando Alonso drove a Formula 1 was in 2019 with McLaren, also in Bahrain. Thus, despite his inactivity and despite the short preseason he will have, of just a day and a half, the Spaniard has enough experience in Sakhir to complete a good race. It’s no wonder he celebrated the postponement of the Australian Grand Prix. Not only will he have another week to prepare, but he will start the World Cup on his fetish circuit.
The disadvantage of Fernando Alonso
However, Marcin Budkowski, executive director of Renault, recently highlighted: “I think you have to take into account the disadvantage at which he will start with respect to the rest of the drivers on the grid, considering that has not raced in Formula 1 for two years”. “I can understand that for Carlos Sainz or Ricciardo the challenge of next season with a new team will be complicated, because they will have to learn a new working method and they will have to interact with unknown engineers, but in Fernando’s case it will be different considering his prolonged absence”, He added.
“It will be difficult for Fernando to get used to the car in just a day and a half of testing. This is true for most of the drivers, but in a particular way for him seeing his absence from Formula 1 the last two years ”, insisted Marcin Budkowski. For that reason, Fernando Alonso He said after the test he carried out in Bahrain: “We finished with basic things that we did as preparation in the factory like making the seat, the position of the pedals and all that, that It is a benefit since we only have a day and a half of winter testing next year”.
However, he still has a lot of work to do to get ready: “There are many things to do to be ready. There is also the part of get in shape, according to Formula 1 standards. I know I need to keep working. You also have to work on comfort in the seat, the pedals and the connection and relationship with engineers to understand each other with a glance”.
2021, a year of transition for Fernando Alonso
Luckily for Fernando Alonso, Laurent Rossi, who will be his new boss after the departure of Cyril Abiteboul, considers 2021 as a year of transition for the team, which has been renamed Alpine. “Formula 1 is at the heart of this project and although 2021 is a year of transition, for us and for everyone, in 2022 we want to be constantly on the podium”.
In this same line Fernando Alonso commented: “Next season there will be a continuation of Mercedes’ dominance, but in 2022 we have high hopes. The goal is clear 2021 year of preparation, of integration with the team where a podium would be fantastic, but in 2022 with the regulation change, dreaming of winning and being up again”.
The World Cup begins in Bahrain after the postponement of Australia
With the statistics in hand, Fernando Alonso can be optimistic for the first race of 2021 in Bahrain, a circuit where he has never been on the podium if he was not in first position. It should be noted that the World Cup will not start in Melbourne after the Australian Grand Prix has moved to the next November 21 because of the outbreaks in the capital of Victoria. Although last season it was not raced in Melbourne due to the coronavirus, now it has not been able to stay on the scheduled dates as it was played in the middle of a park, making it more difficult to control the flow of fans. For this reason the World Cup will start in Bahrain.
Also for this reason other urban circuits such as Monaco, Azerbaijan and Canada are in danger. In case of not being able to be disputed, Formula 1 would replace Monte Carlo with Istanbul, Turkey), Baku by Mugello (Italy) and Montreal for Nurburgring (Germany) as published in the last hours ‘Formule1.nl’.