Jenson Button has cast doubt on whether Fernando Alonso would be interested in making a return to Formula 1 with the Renault F1 Team in 2021.
Alonso has been linked with the French outfit following Daniel Ricciardo‘s announcement that he has begun a deal to drive for McLaren F1 Team next year.
If Alonso made the decision go to Renault for next season, it would be his third stint with the team, where he also won his two Championship titles, in 2005 and ’06, but they have failed to secure a podium finish since they received works status in 2016.
Button, who won the 2009 Championship title, and was team-mates with Alonso from 2015-16, does not believe that he will want to drive for the team unless they are battling with teams at the front of the grid.
Speaking on Sky Sports F1, he said: “I think if Renault were close to the front and he could see that in 2021 or 2022, there are chances of podiums and wins, I think he would jump at the chance if he had the option.
“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. He doesn’t have that time, and he’s not willing to put in that time I don’t think.”
He continued: “I’m just not sure this is the right opportunity for him. I think if he was able to get into one of the top three teams, of course, he would jump at the chance because he can show his speed.
“He hasn’t lost it at 38 years old. But building a team again for three or four years? I don’t think that’s what Fernando is looking for,” said Button.
Alonso left F1 at the end of the 2018 season to pursue other racing interests, taking two victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and a WEC (World Endurance Championship) title.