The two-times Formula 1 World Champion, the Spaniard Fernando Alonso and the Brazilian Nelsinho Piquet will be the two official Renault drivers for the 2008 season; replacing the Italian Giancarlo Fisichella and the Finnish Heikki Kovalainen; this has already been announced to the AFP in Spain. Renault’s spokesman did not refer to the contracts duration or gave any details that could compromise them.
In an interview with the French motor-racing official web page, Alonso stated ”I’m very happy by signing with Renault. Everyone knows is a great team and what they have achieved in the Formula One. In the 2005 and 2006 seasons the team won the world championship and I would like to be part of that success”.
For a long time now, it has been announced on the Spaniard’s web page his return to Renault assuring his comeback ”to his origins”.
Alonso affirmed Renault is a team ”that knows what it takes to win.” He also stated that ”the decision to elect a team did not take more than one week; my people as well as myself know what we wanted”.
A few weeks ago, Alonso, 26-year-old abandoned the McLaren-Mercedes team after one season marked by the constant troubles with the head leaders, besides the Ferrari’s espionage case and the worst of all the very obvious rivalry with his team-mate, the British Lewis Hamilton.
Alonso, a two-time world champion (2005 and 2006) returns to the team with which he lived his Formula One best seasons. He makes his final decision once the FIA decided not to sanction Renault due to a non-clear espionage case involving the McLaren team.
Alonso did not give an extend declaration about the issue in question. “I am one of the 22 privileged ones that can drive a single-seater each year and I’m still even more fortunate to be able to abandon a great team and enter another one. Many drivers have never been able to run in the highest category”.
Alonso will drive next to Nelsinho Piquet, son of the three-time World Champion Nélson Piquet (1981, 1983, 1987), who was Renault’s tester pilot last season. Renault’s test driver position will be occupied by the French driver Romain Grosjean, Formula 3 Euroseries 2007 Champion.
Piquet made a written statement on his web page ”A fantastic opportunity to debut in Formula 1 was offered to me by one of the best motor-racing teams as well as next to one of the best drivers. It is something for which I have worked a lot and I’m proud that my hard work has been noticed allowing me to achieve this position”.
Next January 31st; Renault will officially present the R28 single-seater in Paris with which will run for the 2008 F1 Championship season.