“There’s a 50% chance of seeing me back on the grid in 2021” proudly declared Fernando Alonso some weeks ago. The Spaniard never even tried to hide the passion for F1 that still burns inside of him. When he left the Circus he was just tired of racing in the midfield and went on looking for other challenges: the Indy 500, both the Daytona and Le Mans 24 Hours and, next on the list, the Dakar Rally. He already managed to triumph in two of those and in 2020 he will have a second attempt at the Indy 500 with McLaren and will debut at the Dakar driving for Toyota.
Such a busy agenda left all the speculations about a possible F1 comeback bound to the 2021 season, year in which the Circus will face a massive regulation change. Many teams will therefore be looking for experienced drivers and Fernando combines it with great speed as well. The option will for sure be on many tables around the paddock, and even drivers have an opinion on that.
Lewis Hamilton, who debuted in 2007 as Alonso’s team-mate at McLaren, seems to have left behind the fierce rivalry he and the Spaniard had back in the days: “I’d be just happy that I won’t be the oldest here!” said Hamilton. “So, I’d welcome an older dude, he can come along. Fernando’s obviously a well-accomplished driver. It’s interesting to see in the past, obviously, with drivers wanting to come back, like Michael [Schumacher]”.
The only concern Hamilton has is about the young rising stars, to whom Alonso may 'steal' a once in a lifetime opportunity to join the Circus: “Ultimately, there’s a lot of young kids on their way up and there’s only 20 seats, so he has also had his period of time there, but if there’s no other good youngsters coming through then there definitely is space for some that are currently here that probably could be replaced. So I would welcome it”.
Also Max Verstappen would love to race Alonso again, but at one specific condition: the #14 would have to be in a competitive car, both for Fernando himself, but also for the sake of challenge: “It would be good to see him… if he could come back, but only in a competitive car, otherwise I think it’s just a waste of time for him. But I think he knows that himself”.