Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) hosted today the first of two days of testing featuring two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso and Renault DP World F1 Team.
Alonso piloted Renault’s R.S.18, the team’s car in the 2018 season.
He completed a full day of testing around BIC’s 5.412-kilometre Grand Prix track—the same layout which will host the first race of Bahrain’s first-ever Formula 1 double-header later this month and next.
Alonso’s two-day test at BIC is part of his preparations for the 2021 Formula 1 season when he is set to return to the top flight with Renault that will be rebranded Alpine F1 Team from next year.
Alonso had already sampled Formula 1 machinery earlier this year. Last month, he drove the team’s R.S.20 car in Barcelona during a filming day. He ran for 21 laps and 100 kms, as mandated by FIA regulations.
The 39-year-old Spaniard is scheduled to get back into the R.S.18 on Thursday for another day-long test run.
Alonso last competed in a Formula 1 Grand Prix in 2018 in Abu Dhabi, and is widely considered as a great of Formula 1, winning two world championships. He is also a three-time Bahrain Grand Prix winner, with two of his victories coming in his title-winning seasons in 2005 and 2006 and the third with Ferrari in 2010.
This week’s sessions at BIC follow four days of testing held last week that saw the Renault Sport Academy trio Oscar Piastri, Christian Lundgaard and Guanyu Zhou take turns driving the R.S.18.
Recently crowned FIA Formula 3 Champion Piastri and 2020 FIA Formula 2 race winner Lundgaard enjoyed one day in the car, while Renault F1 Team test driver Zhou tested for two days.