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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 September 2006, 16:51 GMT 17:51 UK
Alonso defiant despite title blow
Fernando Alonso
Alonso is determined to bounce back from his Monza dramas
Fernando Alonso remains determined to defend his Formula One crown after a turbulent Italian Grand Prix.

The Renault man lost five grid places after a penalty and then retired with engine failure to leave him just two points clear of Michael Schumacher.

But the Spaniard insisted: "I am not worried about the title.

"We have three rounds left to go and we will get stronger and stronger. The verdict in Italy is simple: the race was decided off the track on Saturday."

Alonso started 10th on the grid after he was penalised for allegedly blocking Ferrari's Felipe Massa in qualifying.

He showed his grit, and the R26's capabilities, by battling up to third before his engine blew and he is confident the package is in place to keep Schumacher at bay.

"When you start from 10th, you have to push everything to the limit - yourself, the car, the tyres and the engine," said Alonso.

We have nothing to lose and will be racing aggressively until the last lap of the last race

Renault director of engineering
Pat Symonds

"I was going to easily finish on the podium and we showed that without the penalty, the car had the pace to fight for the victory."

Renault remain confident they can defend both their titles, despite sliding three points adrift of Ferrari in the constructors' standings.

Giancarlo Fisichella added some useful points in fourth, closing the gap on third-placed Massa in the drivers' race to five points, and he is confident the team will pull together for the final push.

"This has been a tough day but we will keep fighting to the end and doing everything to win both titles," Fisichella said.

Renault director of engineering, Pat Symonds said: "We have nothing to lose and will be racing aggressively until the last lap of the last race.

"We have plenty of upgrades coming in the weeks ahead. To all intents and purposes, the world championship starts here."

Ominously for Renault, Schumacher showed no signs of letting his impending retirement at the end of the season detract from his focus on winning an eighth title.

The 37-year-old has clawed his way back from a poor start to the season right into contention and his focus on the title remains undiminished.

"What matters is the world championship," said Schumacher. "I am 100% focused on the constructor and drivers race now.

"The championship was difficult in the beginning but we returned in mid-season now we are just a few points behind.

"No-one would have thought we would be in this position in Canada (where Alonso led by 25 points) but we have done a great job and much more will happen in the future."



SEE ALSO
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