Fernando Alonso exclusive: F1’s returning champion talks Renault 2021 move

first_img Simon Lazenby caught up with Fernando Alonso ahead of his return to Formula 1 with Renault next season “Honestly, I expect to be straight up to speed,” stated Alonso. “But I’m aware of the challenge that maybe I face in the first couple of races. Not only on pure speed, but also on procedures, steering wheel commands, things that are new for me and could take some time. I’m aware that I could struggle a little bit.“But I want to think that it will not happen.”‘Stopwatch will decide when I stop, not third title’Alonso has signed an initial two-year contract with Renault, meaning he is set to race until at least the age of 41. But, when asked if he will keep racing until he secures what feels like a long-overdue third title, he said his competitiveness will be the deciding factor, not championships.“I don’t think I will target a certain result before I stop,” he told Lazenby. “I think in motorsport, the stopwatch tells you when it is time to stop, not the age. I hope the stopwatch is on my side in the next coming years.” But he also knows he needs more track time, adding: “When you go out of the sport for two years and then you drive a Formula 1 car again, everything surprises you like the first time. I need those laps now.“The simulator is good until a certain point, but then you need the physical effort of the car, the G-forces, the training of the neck. I need as many laps as possible.”First few races could be a ‘struggle’… but will they be?That’s not to say Alonso expects to be rusty when he does get started officially next year – even though he acknowledges that it could be a ‘struggle’. – Advertisement – – Advertisement – – Advertisement – Talks between Renault and Alonso ramped up after Daniel Ricciardo’s surprise confirmation, back in May, that he would be leaving for McLaren, before a reunion between the French team and the driver who claimed their last two Drivers’ Championships in 2005 and 2006 was announced in July.With Renault fifth in last year’s constructors’ standings, they didn’t appear to have what Alonso has always stressed would be key for him making an F1 comeback – a winning package – but he insisted to Simon that, with new rules on the way in 2022, they are the perfect fit.“[They were the preferred choice] for two reasons,” he continued. “One, in terms of expectations and building something from the midfield to the top, it was very attractive, very appealing. And secondly because I know everyone in this team. I know the passion for racing. It’s the third time I come here and I knew I would feel at home here.”Renault are leading the midfield this season, currently third with four races to go, so the signs for Alonso – a man who has famously not had luck on his side with career decisions in the past – are promising. They will be known as Alpine next season and, presumably, a convenient return to a blue livery.Renault car ‘amazing’ but he ‘needs laps’Alonso stepped up his preparations for 2021 with a filming day in Barcelona last month, completing 21 laps in the team’s current car.“It was amazing,” he said. “It was quite an experience.” 5:17

Gajay Ananaba Takes Over as CEO of Omega Insurance Group

first_imgOmega Insurance Group Board Chair, Cllr. Cyril Jones, performs the leadership transition, where former CEO Charles Ananaba (right) turns over the gavel of authority to his son, Gajay (left), the new MD and CEOThere is an adage that says train up a child in a way that when he or she grows up they will not depart from it. This was vividly seen over the weekend when Gajay Ananaba was appointed by his parents as the new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Omega Insurance Company, rebranded as Omega Insurance Group Limited.Gajay Ananaba takes over from his parents, Mr. Charles L. Ananaba, former Managing Director and CEO, and Patricia R. Ananaba, former Vice President for Administration and Human Resource, who retired last Saturday, November 24, 2018.Prior to taking the helm at Omega, Gajay served for over 10 years, up to his last role as Chief Operations Officer. He was instrumental in running the day-to-day affairs of the Company and in his role; he was responsible to complete the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter program.Taking the helm, Mr. Ananaba thanked his parents from the bottom of his heart for being the best parents that any child could pray for.He said, “It will be my endeavor to sustain the efforts of my parents and ensure an even brighter future for Omega with knowledge, customer-centricity, and technology as the core mantra. As I embark on this journey, I hope to sustain the brand’s rich legacy and further strengthen it to a higher height. “As we move forward with the transition of leadership and the rebranding of Omega Insurance Company to Omega Insurance Group Limited, our loyal and valuable insureds; and the general public can rest assured that Omega’s vision, mission, and core values remain the same.”Gajay is a graduate from the Louisiana State University A&M in 2008 with a Bachelors of Science in Finance and Concentration in Risk Management and Insurance. In 2015, he earned the designation of Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) from the American Insurance Institute of Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters, making him the first and still the only Liberian to have obtained the most widely respected designation in the Property & Casualty Insurance industry in Liberia.Acknowledging his esteemed customers, Ananaba promised that Omega will continue to provide quality and affordable financial services to the private sector at a fair price.He added, “As an Insurance Group, we will continuously strive to be the leader in the non-banking financial sector through professionalism, perseverance, trustworthiness, and customer focus — our core values.”Concluding, the young CEO Ananaba said, “we diversify our book of business, and operate multiple profit centers; we are cognizant of the many challenges we will be faced with in this economy; and will rely heavily on our risk management expertise that has been the backbone of our operations.”Mr. Ananaba’s predecessor, Charles L. Ananaba, said, “I’ve had a long happy and rewarding tenure of 11 years relying solely on one of the two profit centers of an insurance company, specifically Underwriting.  Even though we have become one of the premier insurance institutions in the country, we must also be honest with ourselves and understand that maintaining a profitable book of business requires diversification.”He told his business partners at the rebranding ceremony that as they operate as an insurance group with multiple profit centers that will ascertain “our future obligations to policyholders are met timely and in good-faith.“As humans, we must accept change. The late Steve Jobs once said “you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somewhere connect in your future. So today, I am here to, tell you that I have been able to connect the dots in the past and I can assure you that they will connect in the future,” he said.The former Omega Insurance Group MD said, “As I retire today, I truly believe that those dots have connected to enable me to trust that Omega is in great hands. We have mentored our son, Gajay L. Ananaba over the past 31 years, to become a better CEO than me. We have bestowed upon him the necessary tools to spearhead Omega to greater heights.”He promised all his insureds that they should not worry, because they are leaving the business in great hands.Mr. Ananaba lauded his many staff for bringing new inspiration and joy to his life and said he and his wife started Omega Insurance because of the inspiration they received from being the only Loss Adjusting firm in Liberia, adding that, “We saw the need for quality service and technical underwriting. We understood what it meant to create an insurance company that could lead the industry by example.”Meanwhile, the event was attended by Omega customers, International guest, Family and Friends, as well as members of the Lebanese and Indian business communities.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more