Jenson Button believes that Fernando Alonso’s return to Formula 1 is “good for the sport”, describing the two-time world champion as “a real personality”.
Button was teammates with the Spaniard for two years between 2015 and 2016 at McLaren, where he was able to see how the two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner operated up close.
After two years away from F1, Alonso returns to the sport with Alpine in 2021 where he will look to help re-establish the Enstone team as one of the best on the grid.
The 39-year-old’s talent for racing has never been in question but his relationships with teams and other drivers have at times broken down
However, Button does not foresee that being an issue this time around, claiming that he had become “more humble”, and welcomed his return.
“I think it’s great,” he told Planet F1. “He’s a real personality and I think he has probably learned to be a little bit more humble over the last few years.
“I think you will see a really strong and well-mannered Fernando Alonso. It’s really good for the sport, really good for him and he seems to be working really hard on fitness, which is great. He’s going to need to be as he’s not a young spring chicken anymore.”
In their final season as Renault, the French-owned team finished fifth in the constructors’ championship and were on the podium three times.
While fifth was not a progression from 2019, they were in the battle for third until the final race and will hope to push on with a driver of Alonso’s skill and experience at the wheel.
“It’s also good for Renault, a team he has won two World Championships with, and to come back with them,” he added.
“Fernando has some big shoes to fill as Daniel Ricciardo was extremely good and nothing fazes him. It’s going to be great fun to see Daniel at McLaren alongside Lando but yes, great to see Fernando back on the grid.”