From a spectator’s point of view is Alonso joining Renault a good thing in the grand scheme of things?

It’s not an easy question to answer.

What it guarantees (hopefully, barring unforseen circumstances) is that the three best drivers are all going to be at different teams for the next year at least.

Unlike this year where Alonso and Hamilton were both at McLaren, next season will see Hamilton remain at McLaren, Alonso at Renault and Kimi at Ferrari.  Throw a BMW driver or two into the mix and perhaps a Red Bull and it sounds like it could be a good year of racing!

The plus side of this is that there can be no claims of favouritism within teams - Renault isn’t going to jinx Alonso’s car to allow Hamilton to win for example, as were the accusations directed at McLaren last season when the Alonso and Hamilton were teammates.

The down side is that normally there are circuits which suit one car or another.  Last season if McLaren were strong at a circuit then even if Ferrari were off the pace, there was the chance of a fight between Alonso and Hamilton but this season if that’s the case then chances are Hamilton will be allowed to just drive out front without any pressure from behind.  Similarly at tracks which suit the Renault, Alonso is unlikely to be harassed by his teammate either.

Renault were a big disappointment last season so everyone (especially Alonso) will be hoping they see a return to the front of the grid - this isn’t a given right so it may be that next year we lose the chance to see Alonso fighting for race wins and podiums.

Hopefully not though, and we will get to see a three-way (at least) fight for the title which goes down to the wire as last season did.