Former Red Bull driver Mark Webber reckons there would be little point in Fernando Alonso returning to Formula 1 in 2021.

Two-time F1 world champion Alonso has been linked with a third stint at Renault next year to take the seat vacated by Daniel Ricciardo, who will switch to McLaren as Ferrari-bound Carlos Sainz’s replacement.

But Webber said he would be surprised if Alonso returned to fight within the F1 midfield, which was a big factor behind why he grew frustrated at McLaren and ultimately left the Woking squad at the end of 2018.

“We know Fernando is extraordinary, had an insane career,” Webber said in the F1 Nation podcast.

“He’s not at his peak anymore, it will be harder for him to do what he did in the past.

“A Fernando at 9 out of 10 is clearly still good for someone to have. But Alonso is a serial winner and [being stuck in the] mid-pack is what he left F1 for.

“He was determined to say that ‘if I can’t fight the podiums then I don’t want to be in Formula 1’ - that was the last message we had.

“I don’t see an opportunity for podiums for him in terms of a team that can do that for him.”

Alonso’s manager and former Renault boss Flavio Briatore recently said the Spaniard was “detoxed” and “motivated” for a return to the F1 grid, but Webber does not think a comeback would make sense.

“He’s a racer, he’s missing it a lot, but what’s the focus?” Webber explained.

“Is he going to be loyal to a new regime and sign a two- or three year-contract? Is it just for one [year], and four months in and then the team is looking for someone else? So, what’s the point?

“I’m not saying he couldn’t, but it would be very, very challenging for him to stay motivated for two years, in the middle of the field.”