Renault has confirmed that double Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso will return to their driver lineup for the 2021 season.
Alonso left F1 at the end of 2018 but always kept the door open for a potential return.
The Spaniard who turns 39 later this month, will be returning to the team for whom he won his two titles in 2005 and 2006.
“It’s a great source of pride and with an immense emotion I’m returning to the team that gave me my chance at the start of my career,” he said.
Alonso added that Renault’s “progress this winter gives credibility to the objectives for the 2022 season and I will share all my racing experience with everyone from the engineers to the mechanics and my team-mates.
“The team wants and has the means to get back on the podium, as do I.”
Renault F1 team principal and managing director Cyril Abiteboul said: “The signing of Fernando Alonso is part of Groupe Renault’s plan to continue its commitment to F1 and to return to the top of the field.
“His presence in our team is a formidable asset on the sporting level but also for the brand to which he is very attached.”
Alonso has signed a two-year deal but reports indicate his deal offers him the option of staying beyond the initial term.
He will partner the Frenchman Esteban Ocon, as a replacement for Daniel Ricciardo, who is moving to McLaren.
Alonso is regarded as one the greatest racing drivers of all time and is the sixth most successful driver in F1 history in terms of wins with 32.
After leaving F1 at the end of 2018, Alonso has become a two-time winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours, adding victory in 2019 to his first win in 2018, won the world endurance championship and also competed in this year’s Dakar Rally.
He has set himself the target of winning motorsport’s so-called triple crown, for which he needs to add only the Indy 500 to the Monaco Grand Prix and Le Mans victories he has already achieved.