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Last Updated: Monday, 22 May 2006, 23:27 GMT 00:27 UK
Briatore upbeat over Alonso loss
Fernando Alonso
Alonso signed for McLaren after winning last year's championship
Fernando Alonso's departure could be good for Formula One champions Renault, says team boss Flavio Briatore.

Spaniard Alonso became the sport's youngest champion at the age of 24 last year then signed for McLaren from 2007.

"He is young, he has won a lot with the team, and he has been here for five years. So he wanted a new challenge and motivation," said Briatore.

"Maybe this change is good for the team as well. You get into a cycle, and if you don't change, the winning ends."

The Italian explained: "It happened to Benetton 10 years ago, with Ferrari last year, and maybe it could have happened to Renault as well."

there are drivers like Hamilton, or Kovalainen who could possibly win championships

Flavio Briatore

Briatore was Benetton boss when Michael Schumacher won the F1 title with them in 1994 and '95.

With the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday, Alonso is leading seven-time champion Schumacher by 15 points in the championship after winning three of the six races.

Renault have already indicated they are prepared to pay what it took to sign a top flight replacement for Alonso.

Briatore highlighted four drivers as proven race winners - Schumacher, Alonso, his Renault team mate Giancarlo Fisichella and McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen.

"For the future, there are drivers like [Briton Lewis] Hamilton, or [Finland's Heikki] Kovalainen who could possibly win championships," he added.

Fisichella's contract expires at the end of the season while test driver Kovalainen could be promoted to a full race drive.

Hamilton, a winner in all the junior series he has entered, is backed by McLaren and looks likely to join that team in some role next year.

Alonso will join McLaren in 2007
19 Dec 05 |  Formula One


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