FERNANDO Alonso’s long-term manager Flavio Briatore has tipped the Spanish motorsport stalwart for a return to F1 in 2021 after a year out.

In an interview with Italian publication La Gazzetta dello Sport, Briatore said Alonso is ‘ready to return to Formula 1’.

“Fernando is a lot more relaxed than he was 12 months ago. The time away from the sport has re-energised him and he is ready for a return.” he added.

Briatore signed Alonso back in 2001 to drive for his Renault team after scouting him from the Formula 3000 Championship.

Four years later, Alonso would claim the drivers championship in 2005 and 2006 under Briatore.

Alonso left Formula One in 2018 and has since gone on to triumph at the 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship and is a two-time winner of the Le Mans 24 Hour Endurance race with Toyota Gazoo Racing.

Most recently, the Spaniard competed in various off-road rally events in preparation for a respectable 13th position finish in his very first Dakar Rally.

Despite his enthusiasm for an Alonso return, Briatore remained realistic that they must wait to see how the 2020 season plays out due to the coronavirus.

Recent driver changes and a vacant seat opening up in the Renault squad have also fuelled rumours of a return for Alonso.

Fellow Spanish racer Carlos Sainz Jr’s move to Ferrari, taking the seat of the recently departed Sebastian Vettel, and Daniel Ricciardo’s move from Renault to McLaren, have opened up a promising seat at the French squad, a seemingly perfect fit for Alonso.

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