FERNANDO ALONSO is poised ready to reignite his rivalry with Lewis Hamilton as the Spaniard prepares for his sensational return to Formula One.
Alonso, 38, is expected to be confirmed as a Renault driver for the 2021 season as a replacement for McLaren-bound Daniel Ricciardo. A few weeks shy of his 39th birthday, he is understood to have signed a pre-agreement to join Renault, the team where he won his two world titles in 2005 and 2006, and who are desperate to use his mercurial charms to rekindle their own faded luster.
It is understood that an announcement could be made as early as tomorrow that he has signed a two-year deal worth a staggering €33.6 (£30million).
Double world champion Alonso has been out of the sport since he left McLaren in 2018 and instead has been focusing on racing in IndyCar and the World Endurance Championship. Alonso, who started his F1 career at Minardi, enjoyed two successful spells at Renault between 2003 and 2009, winning two world titles in ’05, and ’06.
But it was his time at McLaren in 2007 when he went up against Hamilton – who is nearing a one-race ban – where the two fell out spectacularly. Their rivalry spilled over amid accusations of favoritism towards Hamilton and resulted in Alonso quitting the team to return to Renault the following year.