Alonso hopes third F1 title is possible after 'first day back at school' at Renault

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Fernando Alonso "would like to say yes" to possibly winning a third Formula 1 title after his first day back at Renault this week.

The double world champion returned to the factory ahead of his comeback with the team that will be known as Alpine in 2021, and it didn't take long for the memories of 2005 and 2006 to come flooding back.

“Being back at Enstone was a very good experience, they were very emotional days,” said Alonso via

“A lot of things have changed; the simulator is new, the wind tunnel has been updated, but a few things are the same: there are the same offices, the gym that I used to visit a lot…

“It was like the first day at school, with lots of things to learn and get through, but it was very productive. I’ve followed a programme in the simulator, getting used to the car a little, testing the facilities – last time I was here the simulator didn’t exist!

"Then I had a seat fit and meetings with key people to understand the programme for next year. It was really just getting up to speed.”

This week's initial preparation comes 18 years after Alonso first stepped through the doors at Renault back in 2002, with the Spaniard embarking on his third stint at the team less than two years after leaving the F1 grid at the end of 2018.

“I return to a team that makes me very excited, which has been like my family,” he added.

“I come back happy, I come back prepared, I return after two years disconnected with charged batteries and I will drive the most sophisticated cars in the motor world every fortnight.

“So I come back with that idea. As I always say, when the traffic light turns green we all have a competitive animal and we want to win – you want titles, podiums, you want everything, but I am aware of the limitations and the difficulty we will have."

Even so, one of the reasons why Alonso is back and has accelerated his preparations is an improved performance that has seen Daniel Ricciardo finish fourth three times in the past six races.

“I think the team is in good shape for the future, the last few races were encouraging for everyone, for myself too," said the 39-year-old.

"To see Renault back in a competitive manner is a good thing for the sport and I’ve been delighted to see the improvements.

“We’ve still got a long way to go and the midfield is very tight but I think the guys have done an amazing job trackside.

"The last couple of races were very exciting to watch and I am looking forward to being back in the mix. I’ll now follow what the team needs from my side – some sim days, helping some weekends and being available for the team for anything they need.”

Perhaps the ultimate ambition for Fernando though is that third world title that has proved so elusive in his career, and the big changes coming to F1 in the next few years could offer a final chance to achieve it.

“I would like to say yes, but I am aware of the limitations, especially in 2021…there I know not," he recently told Spain's AS.

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“And in 2022 it is a coin in the air that many teams are throwing – Renault, Red Bull, Ferrari, Aston Martin…everyone thinks it will be the year everything will change and it will revolutionise F1, hopefully so.

“But nobody knows for sure what will happen and I don’t want to set that goal on this return to F1, which is so great and if it doesn’t come out I’ll have a bad feeling.

“I return to F1 simply because I love driving and it is a category that comes out more or less unscathed from the pandemic, with its limitations, and with a very powerful brand.”