Fernando Alonso motivated and ready for F1 return, says his manager

Fernando Alonso is "ready" to return to Formula One amid reports linking him with former team Renault next season, his long-time manager Flavio Briatore has said.

The two-time world champion left F1 in 2018 after four seasons with the then struggling McLaren team, and has since competed in Indycar racing, endurance events and the Dakar Rally.

But Alonso, who will turn 39 in July, could be poised for a dramatic return to the team with which he won his titles in 2005 and 2006.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - 2015 Italian Grand Prix - Race - Monza Circuit
Flavio Briatore says Alonso is "ready" to return to F1 (David Davies/PA)

Speaking to Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, Briatore said: "Fernando is motivated. A year out of Formula 1 has done him good. He has detoxed himself and I see him more serene and ready to return.

"We are watching what is happening. Let's not forget that there is still a championship to run."

McLaren chief executive Zak Brown told Sky Sports that signing Alonso was a 'no-brainer' for Renault as they seek a driver to partner Esteban Ocon.

"Yeah I spoke with him [Alonso] the other day and I was kinda poking around," Brown said. "I think he's undecided, and if I was running Renault, that's who I'd put in the car: big name, fast as anyone, won two championships with them, so he's got history.

"So, from a Renault perspective I think he's a bit of a no-brainer to put in."

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Sebastian Vettel defends F1 world championship
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Sebastian Vettel defends F1 world championship

during the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit on October 9, 2011 in Suzuka, Japan.

during the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at the Albert Park Circuit on March 27, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 27: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium after winning the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at the Albert Park Circuit on March 27, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
during the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit on April 10, 2011 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
during the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit on April 10, 2011 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
during the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit on April 17, 2011 in Shanghai, China.
during the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit on April 17, 2011 in Shanghai, China.
during the Turkish Formula One Grand Prix at the Istanbul Park circuit on May 8, 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey.
during the Turkish Formula One Grand Prix at the Istanbul Park circuit on May 8, 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey.
during the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya on May 22, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.
during the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya on May 22, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.
during the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya on May 22, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.
MONTE CARLO, MONACO - MAY 29: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Red Bull Racing leads the field into the first corner at the start of the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at the Monte Carlo Circuit on May 29, 2011 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
during the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at the Monte Carlo Circuit on May 29, 2011 in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
during the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at the Monte Carlo Circuit on May 29, 2011 in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
during the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 12, 2011 in Montreal, Canada.
during the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 12, 2011 in Montreal, Canada.
during the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 12, 2011 in Montreal, Canada.
during the European Formula One Grand Prix at the Valencia Street Circuit on July 26, 2011, in Valencia, Spain.
during the European Formula One Grand Prix at the Valencia Street Circuit on July 26, 2011, in Valencia, Spain.
during the European Formula One Grand Prix at the Valencia Street Circuit on July 26, 2011, in Valencia, Spain.
during the European Formula One Grand Prix at the Valencia Street Circuit on July 26, 2011, in Valencia, Spain.
during the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone Circuit on July 10, 2011 in Northampton, England.
during the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone Circuit on July 10, 2011 in Northampton, England.
during the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone Circuit on July 10, 2011 in Northampton, England.
during the German Formula One Grand Prix at the Nurburgring on July 24, 2011 in Nuerburg, Germany.
during the German Formula One Grand Prix at the Nurburgring on July 24, 2011 in Nuerburg, Germany.
during the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix at the Hungaroring on July 31, 2011 in Budapest, Hungary.
during qualifying for the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix at the Hungaroring on July 30, 2011 in Budapest, Hungary.
during the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix at the Hungaroring on July 31, 2011 in Budapest, Hungary.
during the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit of Spa Francorchamps on August 28, 2011 in Spa Francorchamps, Belgium.
during the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit of Spa Francorchamps on August 28, 2011 in Spa Francorchamps, Belgium.
during the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit of Spa Francorchamps on August 28, 2011 in Spa Francorchamps, Belgium.
during the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit of Spa Francorchamps on August 28, 2011 in Spa Francorchamps, Belgium.
during the Italian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza on September 11, 2011 in Monza, Italy.
during qualifying for the Italian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza on September 10, 2011 in Monza, Italy.
during the Italian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza on September 11, 2011 in Monza, Italy.
during the Italian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza on September 11, 2011 in Monza, Italy.
during the Italian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza on September 11, 2011 in Monza, Italy.
during the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix at the Marina Bay Street Circuit on September 25, 2011 in Singapore.
during the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix at the Marina Bay Street Circuit on September 25, 2011 in Singapore.
during the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix at the Marina Bay Street Circuit on September 25, 2011 in Singapore.
during the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix at the Marina Bay Street Circuit on September 25, 2011 in Singapore.
during the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit on October 9, 2011 in Suzuka, Japan.
during the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit on October 9, 2011 in Suzuka, Japan.
during the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit on October 9, 2011 in Suzuka, Japan.
during the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit on October 9, 2011 in Suzuka, Japan.
during the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit on October 9, 2011 in Suzuka, Japan.
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The PA news agency has contacted Renault, who are yet to comment on the reports.

Renault have a vacancy for 2021 after Daniel Ricciardo signed for McLaren, filling the place of Carlos Sainz who is to replace Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari from next year.

Vettel could well rival Alonso for the place at Renault, with the German's options limited following the decision to part with Ferrari after six years.

Briatore told Gazzetta he was not surprised that Vettel was to leave Ferrari after finishing behind his young team-mate Charles Leclerc in the 2019 standings, likening it to the position Alonso found himself in at McLaren in 2007 when Lewis Hamilton emerged.

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Fernando Alonso tests new McLaren Indy racer at Indianapolis
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Fernando Alonso tests new McLaren Indy racer at Indianapolis
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"In F1 it has always been about having the winning recipe," said former Benetton and Renault boss Briatore. "You must have one driver who is focused on the world championship and the other who collects big points, snatching them from rivals.

"Vettel paid for the fact that a very fast boy arrived at the team. It surprised him and the team, as happened at McLaren with Hamilton (in 2007). Two drivers at the same level in a team eventually risk taking points off each other.

"(Sainz) is a good driver, and he had a good championship in 2019 if we consider the car he had available.

"The situation seems clear to me: Ferrari is betting everything on Leclerc and it is good because, as I had the opportunity to say last year, he is a future star."

The jostling for driver positions in 2021 comes with the 2020 season yet to begin due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Formula One has expressed hope the season can begin in Austria in early July with back-to-back races at the Red Bull Ring, with a deal also in place for Silverstone to host two races this summer subject to quarantine restrictions.

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