July 9, 2020 / 7:19 PM / 25 days ago

Driver reaction to Fernando Alonso's 2021 F1 comeback

SPIELBERG, Austria (Reuters) - Driver reaction at the Styrian Grand Prix on Thursday to Renault’s announcement that Spain’s double world champion Fernando Alonso will be returning to the sport with them next season at the age of 39 after two years out.

FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 - Singapore Grand Prix - Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore - September 16, 2018 McLaren's Fernando Alonso before the race REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes’ six times world champion and Alonso’s former McLaren team mate: “I’ve no doubts that Fernando can be in great shape. The bonus for me is that I was the second oldest (driver) and now I’m going down to third oldest.

“Ultimately, the more top drivers we have the better it is for the sport.

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes driver and winner of season-opening race in Austria: “It’s good to see him back. He’s obviously won championships and he’s quite a big name in the sport. It’s important to have all the top drivers, the best drivers in the world.”

George Russell, Williams driver:

“I was quite pleased about it because Formula One is about having the best of the best drivers. Fernando is absolutely one of the best. There’s arguments that people feel like he is depriving younger drivers of an opportunity. But I think as things currently stand it makes complete sense for Renault and for Fernando. I think he’ll come back and do a great job.”

Daniel Ricciardo, Renault driver: “It’s going to be great obviously for the sport. He’s such a name in the sport and has been for so many years. To return with the team and the brand that got him his titles I think is a good fit. And I’m excited to race against him again.”

Esteban Ocon, Renault driver: “He’s very motivated. I had him on the text yesterday or before yesterday and he’s very keen to come back.”

Kimi Raikkonen, 40-year-old Alfa Romeo driver and 2007 world champion: “It’s good news for Formula One and obviously for him. We’ll see how that works out for both of them.”

Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo driver: “A driver like him is a champion so it’s always nice to see a champion in Formula One. A really good thing for Formula One in general.”

Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Ken Ferris

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