Alonso commends the performance of the Renault R.S20

Alonso commends the performance of the Renault R.S20

Former world champion Fernando Alonso had his first test outing with the Renault team as he will be racing for them in 2021 after making a Formula 1 return with the team on Tuesday.

This outing was the first for him in F1 since the Mclaren outing in Bahrain back in April 2019.

After the test Fernando Alonso went ahead to say that the R.S20 was outperforming at the moment. This was after he drove for 100 Kilometres with the R.S20 model in what was classed as a promotional event. He also conceded that it will take time to adjust to the car’s braking and cornering performance levels after racing in other categories.

“It has been a very good day in Barcelona, our filming day,” he said in a video interview. “Only 100kms, but for me they were very special, getting back to an F1 car and to the team.

“The feeling was good. I think the car is obviously outperforming me at the moment, because I cannot extract the maximum from the car.

“Getting back to the F1 speed is not so easy. I was improving lap after lap, and trying to give feedback to the engineers. Also we had some filming to do, so there were cameras, there were drones following on track. S o it was hard pressure, hard work today.

“I think the car has potential, as we see every weekend. But still some room to improve, as we know, and we’ll try to do it in the shorter term.”

Alonso commends the performance of the Renault R.S20
Former World champion Fernando Alonso during the Renault test in Barcelona on Tuesday

Alonso said he had no concerns about dialling himself in.

“The last three cars I drove were the Dakar in January, Indycar in August, and now the F1, so they cannot be more separated, each of the three!

“With the F1 it’s a little bit easier, because it’s the thing that I’ve been driving all my life, and after 18 years in F1 and now getting back, it’s true you are missing a little bit the braking points, how quick all the corners arrive, braking performance, cornering speed performance, so there are many things that I need to get used to again.

“But it will take a shorter period of time than getting used to a completely new thing, for example Dakar and Indy.”

Alonso also admitted that he had to work on his physical condition as he prepares for 2021.

“There are many things to get ready. First will be the fitness – you have to be back in shape, you have to train for F1 standards, the neck, especially all this part of the body, the upper part, will need to be reinforced and worked on in the next couple of months.

“The neck is OK after 100kms, but I will tell you tomorrow! Maybe a little bit of pain. So far it has been good, but I know that I need to keep working.

“Then preparations in terms of comfort, seat fitting, the steering wheel, pedal positions, there are many things we need to go through. And also the engineers, trying to have a good relationship, a good connection, that we understand each other even just looking at each other.

“All those kinds of things, we will need a bit of time. We are using this part of 2020 and also the winter of next year to build the momentum.”

Alonso is already embedded in the Renault team on race weekends, albeit in virtual form.

“Of course I watch all the races from home. I have also a nice set-up, I have a computer that the team gave to me a couple of weeks ago, so I can follow Esteban’s on-board camera, Daniel’s on-board camera as well, I can follow the radio communications from the team, the debriefs, the strategy meetings.

“So I know what is happening every weekend. The results are getting better. The podium in the last race was I think a very deserved podium finally, for the hard work.”

Asked about prospects for next year he repeated his earlier assertion that, he doesn’t expect a big change in the status quo, and that his real ambitions lie with 2022, and the new regulations.

“We all have high hopes inside the team, looking at the team’s progress in the championship, and the positions on the weekends. At the same time we also have to have the feet on the ground, knowing the regulations will be more or less the same until 2022.

“We know that the deficit the midfield teams have this year will carry on next year. With the feet on the ground and a lot of positive energy and optimism for next year I think we have a great team, talented people in the team, great sponsors, a lot of fans around the world. I think we have all the ingredients to do a good 2021.”

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