Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso is set to make a return to Formula One with Renault next season, BBC reported on Tuesday.

The report stated the news will be confirmed soon as Alonso will replace Daniel Ricciardo, who is moving to McLaren at the end of this season and partner Esteban Ocon at Renault.

Alonso, 38, has been strongly linked with a return to Renault after it was announced last week that Daniel Ricciardo was leaving the team for McLaren in 2021. He drove for Renault for six seasons between 2003-’09.

Alonso, who won his two world titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006, quit Formula One at the end of the 2018 season.

Earlier in May, Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul told reporters as per Radio Montecarlo that Alonso was among the shortlist of drivers who they were considering to hire ahead of the 2021 F1 season.

Abiteboul said: “There can be many drivers, there are great drivers who are free next year. The one you have mentioned [Alonso] is an option. Although there are others.”

During the same month, 38-year-old Alonso revealed he was looking for a challenge “at the top level” and did not rule out a return to F1.

“I’m in great physical shape and my motivation is sky high, so I wanted to focus on a top-level category, be it the return to F1, the endurance championship, Indycar...” Alonso said in a video call with students at the Real Madrid Graduate School-Universidad Europea.

The Spaniard is a two-time winner of the Le Mans 24 Hour endurance event and finished 13th in his Dakar Rally debut in January. He also plans to race at this year’s Indianapolis 500.

“It was when I was searching for challenges and options for the coming years that I decided to opt for the Dakar adventure,” Alonso said.

“It was like tossing a coin and seeing how I could enjoy what’s a really different car. It was a positive experience that I’m sure I’ll do again in the future.”

“(But) I think that my next challenge will be a top-level one because I still think that I’m at 100 percent to go out and do it,” he added.

(with AFP inputs)