The 2021 F1 season is fast approaching, with fans expectant to see new drivers race for their teams. Among the many storylines that surround the upcoming campaign, one would be that of seeing Fernando Alonso back in the sport.
Having retired after the 2018 season, Alonso spent a couple of years trying his luck in IndyCar. But he has now returned with a sense of purpose and to guide Alpine F1 in a new era for the team.
Amongst those on the grid, McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo has expressed his delight at seeing the two-time F1 champion return. Speaking in an interview, he mentioned that he is looking forward to all the ‘fights and challenges.’
Both Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso will be very good rivals, said Ricciardo
Ricciardo stated, “Both will be very good rivals. They are in different teams.” (translated via Google Translate)
“I know Renault well and I know that they have a competitive car. And then Carlos in the new team…”
Ricciardo has raced against Alonso previously when they were with Red Bull Racing and McLaren, respectively. With the midfield battle set to intrigue fans once again in 2021, the fights on track will certainly dazzle audiences, and Ricciardo is keen to contribute to it.
“I’m looking forward to all the fights, all the challenges. I’m really excited and also happy that Fernando is returning to Formula One,” concluded Ricciardo.
Alpine would need to show improvements in their 2021 car
For most of the season, Renault remained on the fringes of the battle for P3. But during the business end of the campaign, they sprung back to life courtesy of Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon’s podiums.
That said, the French team has often faced issues with reliability and lower performance in contrast to their immediate rivals. For a champion driver like Alonso, hence, Alpine will need to make sure that their car is capable of landing a Top 5 finish, at the very least.
Therefore, the 2021 F1 season promises nothing but excitement, and drivers will be raring to get out onto the track. And so an Alonso-Ricciardo battle in the very first race would set the mood for an enthralling campaign in the sport this year.