Fernando Alonso announced Monday that he will return to the team where he won two Formula One world titles in 2005 and 2006. Alonso agreed to a two-year contract with Renault, the Associated Press reported.
Spanish media reported that Alonso would earn $51.3 million per season, though Renault would not confirm the figure.
“I am delighted to be returning to Renault,” Alonso said in a statement . “This is the team where I grew up as a driver in Formula One. Now it is time for us to begin a new chapter together.”
Alonso is moving on after a turbulent season at McLaren, where the 26-year-old Spaniard was released from his three-year contract last month after publicly falling out with team boss Ron Dennis.
The rocky relations — caused by Dennis' refusal to give Alonso No. 1 status over rookie driving partner Lewis Hamilton — eventually led to a spy scandal that cost McLaren $100 million and all of its constructors' championships points.
“It's not easy to sum up a season with just a grade or a number. What is certain is that 2007 has been a very good year for me in spite of what people think,” said Alonso, who finished third in the 2007 drivers' standings with 109 points, one behind champion Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari.
Alonso will partner another rookie in Nelson Piquet Jr. at Renault, but his No. 1 status is certain due to a close relationship to team boss Flavio Briatore.
“We are delighted to be welcoming Fernando back home to the team where he enjoyed his greatest success,” Briatore said. “He knows the team well and how we operate. He will feel comfortable straight away in this environment.”