"New" Alonso has shaken off "toxic" baggage, says Renault

Renault believes it is bringing back to Formula 1 a "new" and "better" Fernando Alonso, who has shaken off the "toxic" baggage from his last spell in the sport.

"New" Alonso has shaken off "toxic" baggage, says Renault

The French car manufacturer has signed a two-year deal with the Spaniard that will see him enjoy his third spell with the team that brought him his two championship titles.

But while Alonso earned a reputation in his career for venting frustrations in public if things did not go his way, Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul believes his driver is a totally different character now.

Speaking exclusively to Motorsport.com about Alonso, Abiteboul said: “I think the years that he had away from the track have probably been an opportunity for him to reset, to actually measure how lucky or privileged we are all of us to operate and perform in Formula 1, and probably to come with a fresh set of mind.

“Let's not forget how the competition, it can be toxic on people, on individuals, you know. No matter how hard you try, or how hard you work, you can't win. And it's the sport that is doing that.

“I'm not surprised that a sport that's like that is creating this type of situation and therefore legacy, but that's also why he [Alonso] was so interested in this new profile for the sport, and maybe the opportunity of bringing a new Fernando into a new F1.”

Abiteboul says one of the key factors that won Alonso the seat against similarly experienced stars like Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel was the motivation he showed in making a success of the project.

“I guess that above everything else, I would put the motivation and mental frame there. The talent is there with Fernando and it is also there with Vettel and Bottas. There is no doubt about that .

“But, you know, the mix of the mindset and motivation were important elements, plus also the timing of this crisis.”

Read Also:

And while Alonso has a reputation for being tough for team bosses to manage, Abiteboul says he will likely lean on former Renault chief Flavio Briatore for advice.

“I guess the only one who has been successful in that respect is Flavio [Briatore], and I think it's no secret that I grew up myself with Flavio.

“I've seen also some of the things that he was doing with Fernando and I keep on having some dialogue with Flavio. He's around, and he has been amongst many people, and I'm not going to mention them, but he’s been part of today's announcement.

“I take inspiration in what I will have to do next year in the way that I will handle Fernando. But for me again, the new Fernando, fresh from his one year off from F1, I think will be a better Fernando.

“I will make sure to be extremely transparent with him, because he's a smart person. He understands and knows a lot about F1, so the one thing that I would never do is lie to him or over promise and under deliver.

“So managing his expectation, his own expectation, will be probably the starting point of a strong and fruitful relationship.”

shares
comments
Mugello set for September slot on updated F1 calendar
Previous article

Mugello set for September slot on updated F1 calendar

Next article

Explained: Why black Mercedes doesn't cause cooling issues

Explained: Why black Mercedes doesn't cause cooling issues
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Prime

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022