Fernando Alonso believes he will “discover a lot” when he conducts his first laps in Renault’s 2020 Formula 1 car during a filming day at the Circuit de Barcelona-Barcelona.
Two-time world champion Alonso will make his long-awaited F1 comeback with the French outfit next year, who will be renamed Alpine for the 2021 season.
F1 teams are permitted to two filming or promotional days over a season, allowing Alonso to complete up to 100km in this year’s RS20.
The Spaniard’s most recent run in an F1 car was with McLaren in 2019, and the outing will mark 20 years since he first tested for the Enstone-based outfit under its Benetton guise at the same track.
Alonso said his first taste of a 2020-spec F1 car would feel like “a new beginning” as he ramps up preparations before his return to the grid in 2021.
“It’s going to be an amazing feeling, after two years not driving an F1. I’m really looking forward,” Alonso said.
“I think it’s going to be like a new beginning, getting surprised about the speed of the car, the braking performance, the cornering speed, a lot of things that will surprise me once again, and I’m looking forward.
“It is very special to be back in Barcelona. I remember my first test with Benetton in the year 2000 was in Barcelona, and it’s going to be in the same circuit 20 years after that first test, it’s going to be one of the last opportunities with the car name on the Renault brand, because next year it’s going to change. I feel very privileged and I’m looking forward and very excited.”
Alonso has been spending time with Renault at both of its factories in Enstone and Viry, but despite this he feels he isn’t as prepared as he would have liked.
“Preparing for this test was not easy,” Alonso said. “With the COVID situation it was not the normal preparations, not many days in the simulator, but nevertheless we are ready.
“It’s only 100kms, it’s a filming day, so we try to maximise those laps and try to get some images and some filming. I know that I will learn and will discover a lot of things during those laps. I will take it with a very open approach and try to learn as much in every kilometre.”