Fernando Alonso won’t return to Renault next season if it means running the risk of spending a season mired in the mid-field battle, according to his former F1 team-mate Jenson Button.

Alonso hasn’t stepped foot inside an F1 car since the conclusion of the 2018 F1 season but has remained the subject of much speculation regarding a potential return to the top-flight.

However, this has been no more apparent than in recent days following the knock-on effect generated by Sebastian Vettel announcing his Ferrari exit. That led to Carlos Sainz being signed to his place at Maranello, with Daniel Ricciardo shifting to McLaren to leave a seat open at Renault that pundits have been quick to associate Alonso with.

The team with which he clinched his two F1 World Championships in 2005 and 2006, Alonso has maintained a low profile as speculation intensifies that Renault will indeed mount an attempt to sign him.

However, while fans and commentators have certainly been excited over the prospect of Alonso representing Renault once again, former McLaren team-mate Button expects Alonso to rule himself out of the running because the project simply isn't competiive enough at the moment.

"If Renault were close to the front and he could see in 2021 and 2022 there's a chance of podiums and wins, I think he would jump at the chance if he had the option," the 2010 F1 World Champion told Sky Spors F1.

"But I think it's going to be a longer process than that. If they do get to the front it's probably going to be four-plus years - and he doesn't have that time. He's not willing to put in that time, I don't think. Fernando is that sort of guy that when he has an opportunity he really does take it.

“I'm just not sure this is the right opportunity for him. If he was able to get into one of the top three teams? Of course, he would jump at the chance because he would be able to show his speed, and he hasn't lost it at 39 years old. But building a team for three or four years? I don't think that is what Fernando is looking for."

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