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Page last updated at 09:58 GMT, Friday, 28 March 2008

Alonso hints at switch to Ferrari

Fernando Alonso
Alonso has hinted that he could leave Renault after one season

Fernando Alonso has hinted he could leave Renault and move to Ferrari.

Renault have not been competitive this season following the double champion's return after a stormy year at McLaren.

"I always try to be in the best car. I'm at Renault because we won in 2005 and '06 and I want to do that again, this year or next," Alonso said.

"But when the option of leaving exists, I will try to be in the best car possible and it's clear Ferrari is one of the best."

When Alonso signed for Renault last winter, there was widespread speculation that he would only stay for one year before joining world champions Ferrari for 2009.

And his comments seem to confirm suspicions that the Spaniard could indeed have a break clause in his contract that would allow him to leave after just one year.

We knew that finishing in the top eight was going to be difficult - that's the reality

Fernando Alonso
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo is known to regard Alonso highly.

But the Italian team already have world champion Kimi Raikkonen and team-mate Felipe Massa under contract for 2009.

Signing Alonso would involve finding a way to curtail Massa's contract, which runs until the end of 2010.

But Alonso cooled speculation linking him to Ferrari, saying it was inevitable following a poor start to the season by Massa, who has retired from both races following driver errors.

"It's early to talk about moves and rumours, but Massa has had two bad races with mistakes and that has kicked off speculation," Alonso said.

"It's logical, but it's too early."


The 26-year-old has admitted after Renault's poor start to the season that he has no chance of battling with McLaren and Ferrari.

Alonso, who ended last season just a point behind Raikkonen, finished as the last points scorer in eighth place in Malaysia on Sunday.

"It was more or less as we expected," said Alonso, who was fourth in the chaotic season opener in Australia.

"We knew that finishing in the top eight was going to be difficult and if it hadn't been for Massa's retirement we wouldn't have made it.

"That's the reality and that's what the situation is like, it was no surprise. In a normal race, with no retirements, we were ninth in qualifying and eighth in the race.

"Before Barcelona [for the Spanish Grand Prix on April 27] we will have some improvements for the car, [but] the same ones all teams will make, so the championship is going to stay more or less the same.

"We saw it last year and we see it every year. The cars that win the first two or three races stay on top. We are not going to see big surprises during the year."

see also
Mark Webber column
25 Mar 08 |  Formula One
Todt steps down as Ferrari boss
18 Mar 08 |  Formula One
Raikkonen eases to Malaysia win
23 Mar 08 |  Formula One
Alonso eager for Sepang challenge
19 Mar 08 |  Formula One
Renault expect to challenge again
31 Jan 08 |  Motorsport
Alonso puts new Renault to test
21 Jan 08 |  Formula One
Alonso bides his time over future
21 Nov 07 |  Formula One
Alonso tipped for Renault return
15 Nov 07 |  Formula One

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