Fernando Alonso will return to Formula One next season as a Renault driver with an official announcement expected tomorrow. Contracts have been signed and sealed and just the formalities are left to be completed.
A driver merry-go-round was kicked off when Ferrari axed Sebastian Vettel and it is set to lead to Alonso returning to Renault.
The two-time world champion, who turns 39 later this month, will take over from Daniel Ricciardo, who is replacing Carlos Sainz at McLaren.
In turn, Sainz is stepping into Vettel’s seat with Ferrari.
Alonso won both of his Championships with Renault and has had two separate spells with the French constructor.
He retired from F1 in 2018 to try and complete motorsport’s Triple Crown by winning the Indy 500 with McLaren.
However, Alonso has not been able to accomplish that feat and he will return to race in F1 next year.
Mercedes star Esteban Ocon will remain on loan to Renault and drive alongside Alonso.
Earlier this year Alonso’s advisor Flavio Briatore explained how his client was keen to return.
“Fernando is motivated,” he said.
“A year out of Formula 1 has done him good. He has detoxed himself and I see him more serene and ready to return.”
“If you make the decision to close the door, you have to be ready to allow it yourself.”
Since leaving F1 Alonso has twice won the Le Mans 24 Hours and competed in the Dakar Rally.
However, he missed out on the Indy 500 as McLaren failed to qualify for the main event.