Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Fernando Alonso, the two-time F1 world champion who has now moved on Indy car racing and endurance racing, may be back in the sport which made him a legend — if the buzz in the circuit is to be believed.

Not yet officially retired from Formula 1, Alonso has spoken of his desire to return to the F1 fold — more so with the projected rule changes starting from the 2021 season.

The Spaniard, now 38, left F1 at the end of the 2018 season and successfully pursued other forms of motorsport including the prestigious Le Mans 24 hour race and also targeting the Dakar Rally to kick off his 2020 season.

The current crop of drivers are not averse in having Alonso back in Formula 1, provided the Spaniard makes his way to a competitive outfit. “Fernando’s obviously a well-accomplished driver. I haven’t spoken to him, so I don’t know how much he’s been feeling or how much he’s missed it. But I don’t think it would be bad for the sport,” world champion Lewis Hamilton remarked.

“Ultimately, there are a lot of young kids on their way up and there’s only 20 seats. But if there’s no other good youngsters coming through, then there definitely is space for some that are currently here that probably could be replaced. I would welcome it as I would be more just happy that I won’t be the oldest here,” the 34-year-old British driver added.

While Red Bull’s Zak Brown has left the option open for Alonso to return, there is also talk that Sebastian Vettel may soon consider retirement to concentrate on his family with the arrival of a third child last week. The F1 rumour mill also suggests that the Spaniard could fill any seat made vacant at Ferrari with Charles Leclerc as its main long-term option.

“He’s a great driver and it would be good to see him,” Red Bull’s young tyro Max Verstappen said. “But if he comes back, then it has to be only in a competitive car, otherwise I think it’s just a waste of time for him. I think he knows that himself,” he added.