Alonso accepts midfield fight with Renault in 2021 is inevitable

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Fernando Alonso accepts he'll be fighting in the midfield with Renault in 2021.

Next year, the Spaniard will return to the Formula 1 grid for the first since 2018, after signing a two-year deal with the team where he won his two world titles in 2005 and 2006.

Of course, in F1 circles anticipation for his comeback is already high, but while Fernando is keeping an eye on this year's championship, he also has his focus on finally completing motorsport's Triple Crown next month.

"I have been watching the F1 races and looking ahead to Indianapolis [500], which is my challenge this year," Alonso told Spain's Marca.

"It is difficult due to the situation with infections in the United States and difficulties with travelling. There are no flights, we need permits, but it's looking good to get there and do the race.

"In September, I will then look at F1 and next year, looking forward to having another adventure."

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On that adventure, however, Alonso accepts expectations for his first year are low.

"Next year's cars are going to be the same as we are seeing now, so I am aware of where Renault may be and that we are not going to fight for the front positions," he said. "But the work of trying to improve for 2022 with a strong team and a strong environment is exciting.

"Anyway, when I close the visor, I don't care if it's for 10th, seventh or fourth, it will always feel like the last corner of the world championship."

Alonso's teammate next season will be Esteban Ocon and commenting on his arrival, the Frenchman was certainly pleased.

"It is definitely great to have him in the team," he said, speaking to "Fernando is a legend and he will have a lot with him to bring to the team.

"I was very happy with the news. For sure I can’t wait to get started and to be working with him."

When it was noted, however, that Alonso has a history of hurting teammates, with his last McLaren partner Stoffel Vandoorne specifically mentioned, Ocon downplayed the possibility of a repeat. 

"I didn’t think about it too much. Once again I’m going to try the best I can and work with the team," he said.

"I know the challenges and I know Fernando is a quick guy, but I think we have a lot to play together to bring the team forward first. We will see what happens."

As for whether being alongside the soon-to-be 39-year-old will be the toughest challenge of Ocon's career...

"I don’t know, we will see," he said with a smile. "It’s hard to say because it’s not happened [yet]."