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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 April, 2005, 12:40 GMT 13:40 UK
Renault determined to keep Alonso
Fernando Alonso and Flavio Briatore
Briatore is determined to keep hold of 23-year-old Alonso
Renault want to secure Fernando Alonso on a long-term deal to ensure he does not move to a rival Formula One team.

Ferrari are known to be keen on Alonso as a successor to Michael Schumacher, whose contract expires in 2006.

Renault team boss Flavio Briatore told Swiss magazine Motorsport Aktuell he had opened talks with Alonso about extending his deal beyond 2006.

Briatore, who is also Alonso's personal manager, said he hoped to secure a deal by May "if all sides are in agreement".

The Italian said that "as long as Michael is there, Alonso will never drive for Ferrari", and added that other teams were also interested in signing the 23-year-old Spaniard.

"Ferrari aren't the only team that would like to have Fernando," he said.

I can't see any weaknesses with Alonso
Flavio Briatore
"For Renault there is an easy way to secure the services of Alonso - one only has to provide him with the most competitive car."

Alonso is leading the world championship for Renault after victories in two of the first three races. Team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella won the other.

Briatore, who ran the Benetton team when Schumacher won his first two titles in 1994 and 1995, said Alonso had the mental strength to be champion.

"I can't see any weaknesses with him. He keeps high in his rhythm during the races. He knows his own limits and those of his car and never exceeds them."

Alonso has a 10-point lead in the championship over Toyota driver Jarno Trulli. Reigning champion Schumacher has just two points.




SEE ALSO
Alonso earns Ecclestone's backing
06 Apr 05 |  Formula One
How the mighty have fallen
03 Apr 05 |  Formula One
Alonso cruises to Bahrain victory
03 Apr 05 |  Formula One
Alonso eases to Malaysia victory
20 Mar 05 |  Formula One
Schumacher 'to quit in 2006'
03 Oct 03 |  Formula One
Ferrari move for Alonso denied
01 Oct 03 |  Formula One


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