Renault’s Executive Director Marcin Budkowski says Fernando Alonso is “incredibly motivated” as he continues preparations for his return to Formula 1 and wants to be at the team’s factory when 2022 wind tunnel work begins.
Alonso stepped away from Formula 1 at the end of 2018, following an unsuccessful four-year stint at McLaren, but will return to a race seat for 2021 with Renault, which will be rebranded Alpine.
Alonso got behind the wheel of Renault’s R.S.20 as part of a filming day and has also had substantial mileage in the squad’s 2018 car across test outings in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi this month.
“In terms of his enthusiasm, in terms of his determination, he’s been at the factory, obviously, to do some seat fittings,” explained Budkowski.
“I took him round the factory to show him how things had changed since he was there in Enstone a number of years ago and obviously a lot has changed since then.
“His motivation is incredible, he’s really asking everybody, pushing and you spend a few minutes with him and you’re straightaway… you’re more motivated.
“It’s great for the staff to be exposed to someone like this who is not only a great champion but also is so motivated for next year and the next years to come.”
Budkowski went on to reveal that Alonso’s determination is such that he plans to be at its Enstone factory on New Year’s Day, when development on Alpine’s 2022 car can begin.
“We were in the wind tunnel and he said ‘so, you can’t run the ’22 at the moment?’ And we said no, we can’t do it, because of the regulations,” said Budkowski.
“‘So when can you start developing?’ And we said first of January. ‘OK, are you running on the first of January?’ And we said normally we don’t but this year we might because it’s New Year, you know?
“He said ‘yeah, OK, we have to run on the first of January. I will come here and help you on the first of January.’ So this is the level of motivation of Fernando at the moment.”