Two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso is to return to the sport in 2021 with Renault, the French team announced on Wednesday.
The 38-year-old Spaniard will partner Esteban Ocon and replace Daniel Ricciardo, who is set to join McLaren at the end of the current season.
Alonso will be returning to familiar ground having previously spent six seasons with Renault across two spells, winning his two championships with the “Regie” in 2005 and 2006.
He also narrowly missed out on another three titles — in 2007 with McLaren, and in 2010 and 2012 with Ferrari.
Widely regarded as one of the world’s best drivers, Alonso has not won a Grand Prix since 2013, and initially walked away from F1 at the end of 2018, seemingly frustrated at driving a succession of uncompetitive cars.
Outside F1, the Spaniard has twice won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and has also competed in the Indy 500, seeking to add to his previous Monaco Grand Prix wins to become only the second driver to win motorsport’s Triple Crown.
But despite achieving success in other categories, Alonso was long rumored to be looking to return to F1, and his former manager Flavio Briatore revealed in May that the Spaniard was “motivated and ready to return” to the sport.