London — Double world champion Fernando Alonso will make a Formula One comeback at the age of 39 in 2021 with Renault, the team he won his titles with, after two seasons out of the sport.
The French manufacturer announced the Spaniard’s return on Wednesday, with Alonso set to partner 23-year-old Frenchman Esteban Ocon at the team that finished fifth last season.
The two-time Le Mans 24-hour endurance winner and former Ferrari driver secured his championships in 2005 and 2006 and most recently raced for McLaren in 2018.
“Renault is my family, my fondest memories in F1 with my two world championship titles, but I’m now looking ahead,” he said in a team statement.
“It’s a great source of pride and with an immense emotion I’m returning to the team that gave me my chance at the start of my career and which now gives me the opportunity to return to the highest level.”
Alonso’s third stint at Renault, after also racing for them in 2008 and 2009 after a fiery 2007 season with McLaren, closes another door to four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel.
Vettel faces an uncertain future after Ferrari announced that the German would leave at the end of 2020 and be replaced by Spaniard Carlos Sainz, who grew up with Alonso as his role model.
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