Renault confirms Alonso 'an option' for 2021 as Domenicali backs F1 return

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Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul has confirmed Fernando Alonso is being considered to replace Daniel Ricciardo next year.

The double world champion's name instantly came up when the Australian announced his move to McLaren in 2021, with suggestions even Formula 1 rights holder Liberty Media could contribute towards securing the Spaniard's return.

At the same time, others have downplayed whether Alonso would even be interested in racing for a team that remains mired in the midfield fight.

Asked about the 38-year-old by France's RMC Sport, Abiteboul replied: “It could be a lot of drivers. There are some nice drivers who will be available next year. The one you mentioned is an option."

However: “The only thing I can say for sure is that we’re going to take the time to think about it. It’s an extremely important decision," the Renault boss added.

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“We didn’t want to get into the kind of activism that there has been from Ferrari and McLaren, for reasons that are theirs.

“Quite frankly, deciding on a driver when the season hasn’t even started, we thought it was a bit strange.

“This choice of driver is the last piece of the puzzle in our reconstruction. There is a huge importance of taking our time and making the right choice”.

Commenting on the prospect of Alonso, who left the grid at the end of 2018, returning to F1 next year, former Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali believes it would only boost the already impressive list of talent on the grid.

“We have already fantastic young drivers... but Fernando would give another level,” the current Lamborghini CEO said via Reuters.

“He would be for sure very strong. Of course, he can be stronger with a good car, with a very fast car, but Fernando would be an asset for Formula 1 if he would come back.”