Alonso returns to Formula One in run out for Renault

Renault F1 test signals a 'new beginning' for Alonso

The Renault squad is buoyed after claiming its first podium in nine years at the Eifel Grand Prix, and Abiteboul revealed the two-time world champion had sent multiple messages to the team over the weekend in Germany.

The test in the RS20 vehicle came 20 years after Alonso first tested with Benetton - the team that then became Renault - at the same circuit.

"I felt at home already from day one", added Alonso.

Double world champion Fernando Alonso has made his Formula One comeback in a private test for Renault.

It wasn't until Tuesday morning, however, that he did his first laps in the F1 auto since testing with McLaren a year ago, more than 500 days since his trip to Bahrain.

"It was a good opportunity for me to feel the auto", he said. These are things for next year which, over winter, could be very tight.

Alonso said: "I know what the team is capable of and I know the prospects for the future are good".

Because these have to be shared with team-mate Esteban Ocon, that means Alonso will have only one and a half days in the revamped vehicle before the start of the 2021 season. "With the COVID situation it was not the normal preparations, not many days in the simulator, but nevertheless we are ready". "After not driving in Formula 1 for two years, I'm really looking forward to it". I think it's going to be like a new beginning, getting surprised about the speed of the vehicle, the braking performance, the cornering speed, a lot of things that will surprise me once again, and I'm looking forward.

"At the moment we have to live with that", he told Sport1 after the recent race at the Nurburgring.

"I think we have all the ingredients to do a good 2021".

He said the test was "about working with the team to do a couple of laps and for me to find comfort in the seat, the steering wheel and the pedals". A lot of the people who worked today, worked as mechanics in my days in the team.

"Fernando is like a big shark, as soon as he starts to feel the blood, he wants to attack".

The former Ferrari and McLaren driver, who will be returning for his third stint with Renault in a well-travelled career that started back in 2001 with backmarkers Minardi, also plans on unveiling a new helmet design different to the worn he used on Tuesday, though teased fans that it would resemble one of his famous designs from early in his career.