Even though Lewis Hamilton has been lauded as the greatest driver in F1 since Michael Schumacher, it was Fernando Alonso who dethroned the German great two years in a row which culminated in his first retirement. In fact, there is a strong argument to be made that Alonso is perhaps greater than Hamilton despite winning only two world titles and winning his last F1 race way back in 2013. The reason for this can be rooted to him being a polarising character due to which he has often not found himself in a competitive drive which has allowed him to win more world titles. However, former teammate and 2009 world champion, Jenson Button feels that Alonso may be a changed man when returns next year with Renault.
"[Raikkonen] got away from F1 and spent a few years away and realised how good F1 is," Button, who was Alonso's teammate at McLaren. That's why they go back, and that's why Fernando is going back. It definitely helped him and Fernando will come back a better driver as well, I think. Whether he's more skilled as a racing driver, or if it's the way he works with the team, I think he will be very different," he told to AutoSport.
"It will be interesting to see because Fernando from four years ago or three years ago, you wouldn't want in your team. "But now I think he's much more of a team player and understands that it's necessary to succeed," he added.
Alonso won his first two world titles in 2005 and 2006 with Renault and this is going to be his third stint with the French team. Alonso has big shoes to fill as he replaces Daniel Ricciardo who has scored two podiums already this year. Alonso has already started testing on the simulator for Renault.
Alonso left Formula 1 in 2018. Since then he won the LeMans twice during his time away and attempted to win Indianapolis 500 twice unsuccessfully. Alonso is best remembered for his 2012 season with the inferior Ferrari when he came very close to winning the world championship against Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull.