RACE DEBRIEF

    Two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso will demonstrate his championship-winning 2005 R25 ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to mark his return to F1 and Renault’s re-branding to Alpine in 2021.

    Alonso will drive the unmistakeable blue and yellow R25 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Yas Marina track.

    READ MORE: How the Renault R25 finally ended Ferrari's dominance and delivered Alonso's first title

    The V10-engined Renault R25 powered Alonso and team mate Giancarlo Fisichella to eight wins in 2005, plus seven pole positions and 18 podiums, to give the team their first constructors’ title, and Alonso his first of two drivers’ titles.

    “It’s very emotional to see the R25 run in anger once again, and having Fernando at the wheel is the cherry on the cake. The car-driver partnership was a classic time in F1 and remains one of Renault’s proudest achievements in motorsport,” said Renault Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul.

    55932706
    Alonso won the 2005 and 2006 championships with Renault and has already tested their 2020 challenger

    “While the car is a symbol of our past achievements, Fernando reflects our strong ambition to keep pushing for more success and recapture those incredible moments and emotions. Of course, any results will now be under the Alpine name but our future success will all be homage to this amazing time in Renault’s F1 history.”

    READ MORE: Fernando Alonso to drive 2020 Renault F1 car at end-of-season Abu Dhabi test

    Renault’s Enstone and Viry factories have partnered with German specialists Rennwerk Company to get the R25 running, and it was due to be driven in a demonstration for the 2020 French Grand Prix – but the Covid-19 pandemic put halt to that.

    Alonso returns after a two-year break from F1 with Renault’s new incarnation – Alpine – in 2021. He will take part in the end of season driver test and, next year, partner Frenchman Esteban Ocon, who clinched a maiden F1 podium at the Sakhir Grand Prix.