Renault test Driver Zhou and Fernando Alonso will get behind the wheel of the Renault R.S.20 cars for a one-day post-season test held at the Yas Marina Circuit on Tuesday 15 December.
Shanghai-born Zhou is currently eighth in the 2020 FIA Formula 2 Championship with one win and five podiums. The 21-year-old has completed five days of F1 testing in 2020, with runs in the R.S.18 car in Budapest, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, the latter of which were alongside Fernando, who returns to the sport in 2021 after a two-year hiatus.
Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal, Renault DP World F1 Team:
“We would like to thank the FIA and F1 for their acceptance of our test plans, made in recognition of our commitment to young drivers throughout junior motorsport and to Fernando’s own dedication to furthering the careers of young talents.
“Zhou has experienced the benefit of the Renault Sport Academy, having joined its ranks last year. He has worked hard and made a genuine contribution to the performance of the team through his work in the simulator and test programme. I am delighted he can drive the R.S.20 to complement his journey so far.
“For Fernando this will be the next step in his return. He has worked tirelessly to make sure he is as ready as he possibly can be for 2021. He wants to contribute fully – not just to the team, but to the fans and the sport he has missed in the past two years.”
Now here is where this gets funny. This test was supposed to be a young driver Formula 1 test after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Renault successfully lobbied the FIA to get Fernando not eh ticket and it seems Sebastien Buemi is expected to drive for Red Bull and Robert Kubica for Alfa Romeo.
Now, Ferrari have entered the ring lobbying for Carlos Sainz, of all people, to drive for them. The teams will have two cars at the test with Ferrari slated to use Robert Shwartzman and Antonio Fuoco.Fuoco would be the likely candidate to miss out not eating should the FIA agree to Sainz driving.
“I’m willing to test for Ferrari,” Carlos said.
“I think it’s no secret, especially now that the hand has been opened a bit by the FIA for drivers that are not rookies, or not young drivers, to test, I don’t see why the FIA wouldn’t open the hand a bit also to all the drivers.
“Personally, I wouldn’t take any young driver out of the seat.”
This is shaping up to be the young driver test that wasn’t for young driver so to speak.