The French car manufacturer’s increased competitiveness this year has led to growing interest from Alonso in the team’s progress, and a belief that his return next year could deliver more than originally hoped.
In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com, Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul said that Alonso’s hunger had ramped up the team’s desire to get him out in its current car.
However, an FP1 outing has been ruled out.
“Initially it [the approach] was, I drive when I drive,” said Abiteboul about Alonso. “But now I get the feeling that he is really keen to get to have a go, even in the current car. So we are looking into the opportunity to do that, but being very sensible.
“So I mean, I’m not talking about any FP1 because frankly he doesn’t need that: he doesn’t need the exposure of FP1. And we need clearly the set up opportunity.
“But we’d like to see [him in the car] because I can feel that he has hunger for it.”
The reluctance to use an FP1 for Alonso leaves Renault with very limited opportunity to try the current car however.
That is because Formula 1’s testing regulations were changed for this year in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Previously, the post-season test at Abu Dhabi had been run over three days and used as a combination of young driver running and tyre…