While Formula 1 has just experienced two completely crazy days with a game of musical chairs caused by the announcement of Sebastian Vettel’s departure from Ferrari, it’s not all over yet – Indeed, the last piece of the puzzle could well be named Fernando Alonso.
The announcement of Sebastian Vettel’s departure from Ferrari on Tuesday did indeed set off a chain reaction. The four-time World Champion will leave Ferrari and allow Carlos Sainz Jr his seat in 2021.
Sainz will be replaced at McLaren by Daniel Ricciardo and the long-awaited 2021 grid is finally taking shape, but there are still a few questions. Indeed, three main questions arise.
What will Lewis Hamilton will decide, under contract with Mercedes until the end of 2020. And the choice of the six-time World Champion will determine the answer to the second crucial question: where will Sebastian Vettel go?
Indeed, if the Briton keeps his precious seat in Mercedes, the German will probably be forced to put his career on hold or even stop it altogether, unless we see him take Bottas’ Mercedes and become teammate to Hamilton. And the third question concerns Renault. Who will succeed Daniel Ricciardo?
The Spanish press seems to have an answer. Indeed, according to Marca discussions have started between Fernando Alonso and Renault.
The Spanish two time Champion could thus complete the circle by returning to the French team in order to finish his career where he won his two world titles in 2005 and 2006.
The main problem lies in the salary that Fernando Alonso could claim, and certainly Renault needs a driver with his experience and talent in order to accompany Esteban Ocon to ensure the transition with the new regulations that will arrive in 2022. Enough to convince Renault to make a big financial effort? Very unlikely in this climate.
Former Spanish driver Marc Gene believes so however…
“I think Alonso can come back in 2021 and yes I see him in a team like Renault. It doesn’t seem strange,” he told COPE’s Partidazo programme.
According to Marca, no announcement will be made in the next few hours, but Renault may well announce its driver for 2021 before the first Grand Prix of the season in Austria on July 5th.
“The major stumbling block for Renault in their pursuit of Alonso will be his salary,’” says Marca, “but there could be a solution.
“Liberty Media are happy to pay a good part of Alonso’s high wages and an agreement could be reached before the 2020 season gets underway in Austria.”
The truth is, Marca is a Spanish tabloid reaching for any means possible to have their driver who isn’t far off 40 years of age, return to Formula 1.
Let’s not forget the reasons why Alonso left F1 in the first place? Battling at best in the midfield wasn’t part of his plans.
That said, one last swan song for Alonso isn’t an impossibility. But it’s doubtful his salary will remain high and Liberty subsidising it.