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Cars “Still room for improvement” - Alonso drives Renault R.S. 20

19:45  13 october  2020
19:45  13 october  2020 Source:   gq-magazin.de

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After the 2018 season finale in Abu Dhabi, Fernando Alonso said goodbye to Formula 1. This year, apart from the Dakar Rally in January and the Indy 500 in August, there were actually no motorsport activities on the program. It was only when Daniel Ricciardo suddenly switched to McLaren that Alonso got back into the game at Renault.

  „Noch Raum für Verbesserung“ - Alonso fährt Renault R.S.20 © Renault

In order to prepare the 39-year-old for the comeback in the coming season, team boss Cyril Abiteboul had the Grand Prix track in Barcelona rented for a so-called film day two days after the Nürburgring race. This should give Alonso the opportunity to familiarize himself with the current race car for the first time.

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However, there were two catches: According to the regulations, driving performance is limited to just 100 kilometers for test days. In addition, the tires used do not match the product that Pirelli brings to the track at the races. The rulers want to prevent film days from being used for extensive tests.

First appetizer for Alonso

Alonso didn't care. The 2005 and 2006 world champions were already happy to finally be able to actively intervene in the action again: "That was a great day here in Barcelona today," beamed the veteran. "I only had 100 kilometers, but they were very special for me. It was a great feeling to be back in an F1 car, to feel the R.S. 20 with my own hands, and to work with the team."

Folie 1 von 15: Fernando Alonso bereitet sich auf sein Comeback vor. Wir haben einige Bilder ... 1/15 SLIDES © Renault Fernando Alonso - Renault - Comeback - 2020 Fernando Alonso is preparing for his comeback. We have some pictures ... Folie 2 von 15: Der Wechsel von Ricciardo zu McLaren sorgte für eine zweite Chance bei Renault. 2/15 SLIDES © Renault Fernando Alonso - Renault - Comeback - 2020 The change from Ricciardo to McLaren gave Renault a second chance. Folie 3 von 15: Im Oktober gab es die Rückkehr in das Formel-1-Auto. 3/15 SLIDES © Renault Fernando Alonso - Renault - Comeback - 2020 In October there was the return to the Formula 1 car. Folie 4 von 15: Renault mietete die Strecke in Barcelona für einen sogenannte Filmtag. 4/15 SLIDES © Renault Fernando Alonso - Renault - Comeback - 2020 Renault rented the track in Barcelona for a so-called film day.   „Noch Raum für Verbesserung“ - Alonso fährt Renault R.S.20 New car gadget removes scratches & scuffs as if by magic Advertisement Adcentric - NanoMagic The slide show continues on the next slide Fernando Alonso - Renault - Comeback - 2020 For the 39-year-old it was the first drive in a Formula 1 car this year. Folie 5 von 15: Für den 39-Jährigen war es die erste Fahrt in einem Formel-1-Auto in diesem Jahr. 5/15 SLIDES © Renault Fernando Alonso - Renault - Comeback - 2020 More than 100 kilometers were not allowed during the film day. Folie 6 von 15: Mehr als 100 Kilometer waren im Rahmen des Filmtags aber nicht erlaubt. 6/15 SLIDES © Renault Fernando Alonso - Renault - Comeback - 2020 Before that, Alonso had already stopped by the factory of the racing team in Enstone. Folie 7 von 15: Zuvor schaute Alonso schon in der Fabrik des Rennstalls in Enstone vorbei. 7/15 SLIDES © Renault Fernando Alonso - Renault - Comeback - 2020 The two-time world champion remembered the successful past. Folie 8 von 15: Dabei erinnerte sich der zweifache Weltmeister an die erfolgreiche Vergangenheit. 8/15 SLIDES © Renault Fernando Alonso - Renault - Comeback - 2020 We show more pictures of the preparations for the big Alonso comeback in 2021 ... Folie 9 von 15: Wir zeigen noch mehr Bilder von den Vorbereitungen auf das große Alonso-Comeback im Jahr 2021... 9/15 SLIDES © Renault Fernando Alonso - Renault - Comeback - 2020   „Noch Raum für Verbesserung“ - Alonso fährt Renault R.S.20 Do you hate toilet cleaning? Scrubbing is a thing of the past Ad Adcentric - Pro-B Fresh The slide show continues on the next slide Fernando Alonso - Renault - Comeback - 2020 Folie 10 von 15: Fernando Alonso - Renault - Comeback - 2020 10/15 SLIDES © Renault Fernando Alonso - Renault - Comeback - 2020 Folie 11 von 15: Fernando Alonso - Renault - Comeback - 2020 11/15 SLIDES © Renault Fernando Alonso - Renault - Comeback - 2020 Folie 12 von 15: Fernando Alonso - Renault - Comeback - 2020 12/15 SLIDES © Renault Fernando Alonso - Renault - Comeback - 2020 Folie 13 von 15: Fernando Alonso - Renault - Comeback - 2020 13/15 SLIDES © Renault Fernando Alonso - Renault - Comeback - 2020 Folie 14 von 15: Fernando Alonso - Renault - Comeback - 2020 14/15 SLIDES © Renault   „Noch Raum für Verbesserung“ - Alonso fährt Renault R.S.20 Correct your bad posture and relieve back pain with this Ad Adcentric - TrueFit The slide show continues on the next slide Folie 15 von 15: Fernando Alonso - Renault - Comeback - 2020 15/15 SLIDES © Renault

After the trips to the Dakar and the IndyCar series, the Iberian had to get into an F1 racer again. "The car feels good. But at the moment it drives even faster than me. I couldn't get the full speed out of that," Alonso admitted.

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He tried to improve lap by lap and give the engineers feedback. "But it wasn't that easy. You sometimes miss a braking point because you've forgotten how fast you can get to the corners. I also had to get used to the braking power or the cornering speeds again. With 18 years of experience, that shouldn't be take so long. "

The pitfalls of a film day

The familiarization period was also made more difficult by the special program of a film day. Instead of doing constant runs, Alonso had to repeatedly position his racing car according to the direction for the cameras. Renault also let some drones soar that the pilot was not allowed to simply race away.

Nevertheless, Alonso got a first feeling for the current R.S. 20 on which his company car will be based in the coming year. The conclusion was somewhat positive: "You can feel the potential in the car. But I think there is still room for improvement."

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Alonso had to admit, however, that he is not yet at 100 percent himself: "I have to work on the upper body and neck in particular in the next few months. After the 100 kilometers today it actually feels pretty good. Let's see if that will still be the same tomorrow. "

Long list for preparation

It has not yet been determined when the 2021 season will start and when Alonso will finally be able to tackle Grand Prix number 313. The list for the preparations for the comeback is long: "Above all, we still have to work on the position in the car, on the seat, on the pedals and on the steering wheel," explains the returnee.

"Then of course it is also important to build up a good relationship with the engineers. In the end you have to understand each other practically without words. That will take some time. But we still have the whole winter."

During the break, he watched all the races live on TV. In order to familiarize Alonso with the processes in the team as quickly as possible, there was also additional technical equipment from new, old employers.

"The team provided me with a new computer. With it I can watch Esteban's and Daniel's onboard recordings and listen to the radio traffic at the same time," reveals Alonso. "In addition, I am virtually at all of the strategy meetings and briefings. So I know what is going on at the race weekends."

Alonso still expects to be behind

Despite Ricciardo's first podium at the Nürburgring and an increasing form curve, Alonso warns of premature euphoria. "We have to keep our feet on the ground. The rules will remain more or less stable until 2022. The midfield teams will therefore remain behind in the next season."

By the way, Alonso wants to start his second spring with a new helmet design: "My helmet will look completely different next season. I don't want to give too much away at the moment. Just this much: The fans should take a look at the helmets that I have Worn 14 or 15 years ago. They were the inspiration for the new design. "

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