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Jul.9 (GMM) Fernando Alonso has played down suggestions he might make an appearance this year during a Friday practice session.
Some have suggested it would be a wise move for the 38-year-old to prepare for his return to Formula 1 next year with Renault.
But the Spaniard insisted: “I don’t think I will drive a Formula 1 car this year.
“I will come to some races to see the work of the team and maybe I’ll work on the simulator in Enstone to help me gain back the speed.”
Probably a bigger concern for his new boss Cyril Abiteboul is Alonso’s reputation not only for demoralising his teammates, but also causing problems within a team.
Abiteboul admitted on Wednesday: “We discussed Fernando’s reputation.
“This was one of the reasons why it was important for him to take a break from the sport. Let’s not underestimate how ruthless and toxic Formula 1 can be.
“It doesn’t matter how well you work, how hard you try and how strong you consider yourself – sometimes it’s just impossible to get the result you deserve,” the Frenchman added.
Eric Boullier, who was Alonso’s team boss at McLaren, thinks the Spaniard’s presence will actually be good for his 2021 teammate Esteban Ocon.
“By working with Fernando, he (Ocon) will be able to draw inspiration from it, gaining maturity and the ability to unite a team,” he told Ouest France newspaper.
“If he is overshadowed by Alonso, it is because he was not the leader we think him to be, but honestly I really doubt that this will happen,” Boullier added.
In fact, Boullier said a champion like Alonso alongside Ocon – a “young and hungry man” – is “the most formidable lineup” Renault could possibly have.