Fernando Alonso has paid tribute to former team Renault in its celebrations of 40 years of racing in Formula 1, having claimed his two world titles with the French manufacturer.

The Spanish driver joined Renault as an F1 test driver in 2002 before going on to claim his two world titles in 2005 and 2006 to become the driver to halt Michael Schumacher's domination of the sport in the last decade.

Alonso, who made a brief two-year return to the French manufacturer after his controversial maiden campaign with McLaren back in 2007, says he has 'fantastic' memories racing with Renault and feels it deserves credit as a mainstream car manufacturer to make the stride into F1.

"Six years I drove for Renault, plus one as test driver," Alonso said at Silverstone. "It is a fantastic team, fantastic manufacturer in motorsport because there are many manufacturers in road cars that they never made the step into motorsport because they don't have the interest.

"They think that the technology that you develop in motorsport is not interesting for the normal clients, or just because they are not prepared, not able, not talented to go into motorsport and challenge themselves.

"Teams and manufacturers like Renault have been in F1 and in rally and many disciplines, is very welcome for us, for racers and motorsport lovers, so congratulations to them."

Alonso had been briefly tipped for a potential return to Renault for 2018 as his relationship with McLaren-Honda continues to dwindle, but rumours have faded with the Spanish driver hunting a drive to fight for world titles with Renault still unable to return to the sharp-end since returning to F1 in 2016.


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