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Former world champion Alonso set for F1 return three years after walking away

The 38-year-old Spaniard will make his comeback with Renault in 2021.

Fernando Alonso was world champion in 2005 and 2006.
Fernando Alonso was world champion in 2005 and 2006.
Image: Tim Goode

FERNANDO ALONSO IS set to return to Formula One with Renault in 2021.

The PA news agency understands that confirmation of the double world champion’s comeback could be confirmed as early as Wednesday.

Alonso, who turns 39 later this month, has been out of the sport since appearing to bring down the curtain on his career with McLaren in 2018.

But the Spaniard, who won successive championships with Renault in 2005 and 2006, is now poised for a sensational return to the grid with the French manufacturer.

Alonso is primed to replace Daniel Ricciardo, who is moving to McLaren at the end of the year. Ricciardo is taking over from Carlos Sainz ahead of his switch to Ferrari.

Alonso has competed in 311 grands prix, winning 32 of them. He starred for Renault in the early years, before quitting McLaren after one season following a turbulent campaign alongside the then-rookie Lewis Hamilton.

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He returned to Renault before a four-year period at Ferrari where he came close to winning the title on two occasions. After falling out with the Italian team, he went back to McLaren, but the switch proved desperately unsuccessful.

Alonso quit the sport after four seasons with McLaren, setting his sights on becoming only the second driver since Britain’s Graham Hill to complete the so-called Triple Crown – winning the Monaco Grand Prix, Le Mans 24 Hours and Indy 500.

Although he won the famous sportscar endurance race in 2018 and 2019 he has not been able to crack the Indy 500, despite a remarkable effort on his first appearance back in 2017.

Renault are struggling in the sport, but Alonso will be hoping that an overhaul in the regulations and the introduction of a £115m-a-season budget cap in 2022 will fire them back up the grid. He will partner the Frenchman Esteban Ocon.

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