Two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso has stunned the Formula 1 world by announcing his sensational return for the 2021 season.
Twenty months after his retirement, Alonso will return with Renault, partnering Esteban Ocon.
In addition to his two World Championships, Alonso has been a runner up three times, with his 32 victories placing him sixth on the all-time list.
“It’s great news that two time World Champion, Fernando Alonso, will return to Formula 1 with Renault next year,” said Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey said in a statement.
“He is an incredible talent and we can’t wait to have him back on the grid in 2021.”
Alonso’s return will see him have a third stint with Renault after racing with the team between 2003 and 2006 before returning for 2008 and 2009.
The 38-year-old’s signing is a major statement of intent from Renault after Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo announced that he would depart the team for McLaren at the end of the season.
“Renault is my family, my fondest memories in Formula 1 with my two World Championship titles, but I’m now looking ahead,” said Alonso of his return.
“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 and which now gives me the opportunity to return to the highest level.
“I have principles and ambitions in line with the team’s project. Their 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.”