Thoughts on Fernando Alonso after his 2020 Indy 500 run & on his return to Formula 1 with Renault in 2021

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Image Reference: Wikipedia, CC BY 2.0

It’s just not the day Fernando Alonso wanted during yesterday’s Indy 500.

He started from 26th and made some improvements on track position as high as P15 thanks to a series of full course yellows.

The machine behind his No.66 Chevy for Arrow McLaren SP worked against Alonso, unfortunately, thanks to a clutch issue that saw him end up in P21.

But participation-wise, it’s great to see Alonso reunite with McLaren once more, having denied a Honda affiliate outfit ride earlier this year based on his comments about their turbulent F1 engine at the time a few years ago.

If he wants to compete again at the greatest spectacle of racing in Indianapolis, then he’ll have to wait until at least 2023 by the time at age 41/42.

For now, his next project will be guiding the Renault F1 Team back to its former glory with young gun Esteban Ocon.

Image Reference: Artes Max via Wikipedia, CC BY 2.0

He will bring Championship-winning pedigree to that organization where he won two straight World titles in 2005 & 2006 as well as Ocon learning from the great man’s instinct.

Renault’s return as a fully-fledged Formula One since 2016 isn’t exactly a big success just yet.

At times, they have shown some glimpses of success in the midfield with regular Top 10 plus occasional Top 5 finishes.

But they’ve yet to taste a podium finish yet apart from their best finish of 4th thanks to Aussie Daniel Riccardo in Italy last year and Britain earlier this month.

I may personally not followed a lot of Formula 1 these days.

But Ricciardo’s chance to jump at a rejuvenated McLaren side suits him better in line with their return of the Mercedes power next year.

It hurts Renault, right?

But salary demands and opportunities that have a better chance to crack regular podiums are challenging for Riccardo to say no.

With the Renault F1 Team only running themselves as the exclusive engine supplier in 2021, it looked to be a perfect place for Alonso to help bridge this team towards the regular front row targets.

And if Alonso can be the man to finally gift Renault a podium place since the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix in P3 from Nick Heidfeld, then we may begin to see a la Denny Hamlin or Kevin Harvick racer in Formula 1 who can still dominate the field in his prime that consists some experienced rivals and prospective youngsters.

I would like to see Alonso competing another Indy 500 next year and do something special.

But the Renault chiefs wouldn’t let him distract their current project.

For now, I wish Alonso the success he craves on his return to Formula One and hopefully comes back to the Indy 500 soon with one last hurrah!

And if any other free agent Formula 1 racer who has a championship pedigree like Alonso before, then I hope Sebastian Vettel would be the next man to crack the Triple Crown & try to win the Indy 500 as long as a competitive organization like Andretti, Penske, Ganassi & Rahal gives him that opportunity.

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