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Ferrari boss cool on Alonso link

Fernando Alonso
Alonso is demanding further improvements from Renault

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has cooled ongoing speculation linking double world champion Fernando Alonso with a move to the Italian team.

Alonso returned to Renault in a two-year deal but has only taken six points from three races, reheating rumours he will leave in 2009.

But Di Montezemolo told Gazzetta dello Sport: "I want two equal drivers that work together.

"To line up Kimi Raikkonen and Alonso would mean wanting to damage yourself."

Raikkonen and Felipe Massa are Ferrari's 2008 drivers and Alonso reiterated his stance ahead of this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix, insisting he is more likely to commit to Renault if they can provide him with a race-winning car.

"My first option is to stay at Renault if we succeed in creating a winning car," he told El Pais newspaper.

"The truth is we are making progress but what I want is to race in a car that can give me victories."

There are a lot of things to evaluate

Fernando Alonso

Alonso won back-to-back world championships with Renault in 2005 and 2006 but the team have made a disappointing start to the 2008 campaign.

The Spaniard finished fourth in the Australian Grand Prix and followed that up with eighth in Malaysia and 10th in Bahrain.

He added: "There are a lot of things to evaluate.

"There are several teams, Williams, Toyota, BMW and Ferrari that are always on top, no matter what happens."

However, Renault insist they can provide Alonso with a faster and more reliable car when the calendar returns to Europe in Spain this weekend.

"We're confident the things we are putting on the car will produce a clear advantage," said technical director Bob Bell.

"It will be a big step forward - multiple tenths of a second.

606: DEBATE

"At the moment we are deficient in aero-generated grip in the high-speed corners - that is probably contributing the most to our lack of performance.

"Equally, we are losing out in the low-speed corners, so we have suspension upgrades that will start addressing those problems.

"We do have to be cautious, though, and remember that every team sees Barcelona as an opportunity to introduce a major upgrade."

And Bell says Alonso understands what he and the engineering team are working towards, and that he is fully committed to the cause.

"Fernando remains very focused and positive," he insisted. "He recognises that the team is doing all it can to provide a better package.

"He would like a car capable of fighting for the win.

"However, the one thing we know about Fernando is that he will fight tooth and nail - whether he's fighting for first place or 15th he never gives up."


see also
Mark Webber column
19 Apr 08 |  Formula One
Alonso plays down link to Ferrari
03 Apr 08 |  Formula One
Alonso hints at switch to Ferrari
28 Mar 08 |  Formula One
Alonso's happy homecoming
31 Jan 08 |  Formula One
Renault expect to challenge again
31 Jan 08 |  Motorsport
Alonso makes happy Renault return
15 Jan 08 |  Formula One
Massa wins as Hamilton stumbles
06 Apr 08 |  Formula One
Bahrain GP as it happened
06 Apr 08 |  Formula One


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