Renault, Chairman and CEO of Nissan, Carlos Ghosn on Wednesday did not hide that enticing Fernando Alonso back to the new factory Renault team is an objective.
“Would I like to sign Alonso? For sure,” he told the Spanish sports daily AS at the Paris launch of the new project.
In 2005 and 2006, Alonso won back-to-back titles for Renault but in more recent years has had up and down fortunes and no further championships as he switched between Ferrari and McLaren.
Now, the 34-year-old is helping to build up the works McLaren-Honda collaboration, but he finished last season a woeful seventeenth overall.
Ghosn continued: “Of course I would like to (sign Alonso) but it is not my responsibility. It is the team that has the responsibility and I support their decisions.
“During our years in formula one I have made many friends, we have met many talented drivers and Fernando is one of the best — he is definitely one of the best drivers in formula one today,” he added.
Following his titles, Alonso returned to Renault in 2008 and 2009, but the budgets and results were lower and the carmaker ultimately sold Enstone to Lotus.
“When we left F1, other major brands such as Honda and Toyota had as well, because the crisis hit all of us,” said Ghosn.
“We now believe it is time to take advantage of our experience and recover the history of our brand in F1. Our commitment is very firm and our priority.”
It is not known for how many years current Renault drivers Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen have signed up for.
“I don’t know if I can talk about the number of years,” Magnussen told the Danish broadcaster TV3.
“I’m glad to have a contract and I’m here this year, and then the future is open.”