Flavio Briatore confirmed 2 things today. First, that he offered a seat in the Renault team to Fernando Alonso, now free from McLaren. Second, that Fernando Alonso would like to commit himself only for 1 year, likely to be free when several seats become available in 2009.
Briatore however is not interested in a year long deal.
“I know how much he can still give Renault, but an agreement for one year would have no sense with an outlook projected for a period of time.”
He offered Alonso chance to return to his old team on a long term basis:
“Let’s see what happens from here to Tuesday. I have presented a project for the future to Fernando. If his desires coincide with ours, it can happen.”
Not sure what the “Tuesday” in the above statement to Gazzetta dello Sport means, deadline for Alonso to make up his mind?
What would his move back to Renault mean to the current Renault drivers Fisichella and Kovalainen ?
For one, Kovalainen would either have to bite the bullet and accept no. 2 driver role, or leave. He said a day or 2 back, that he does not want to race in a team where he does not have an equal status… Renault’s Pat Symonds on the other hand said, that these days in F1 team must have clear no. 1 in order to fight for titles… If Alonso goes in, Heikki will very likely go elsewhere.
But what about Fisichella ? Logic says Flavio will drop him. He still has Kovalainen and Piquet. Moreover if Alonso gets in, Fisichella’s experience, his only asset, may not be needed any more. But, would Alonso be happy to have as a team mate Hamilton’s rival from GP2 and very fired up Nelson Piquet ? I would not be surprised if the selection of a team mate will be one of the conditions of Alonso’s return to Renault. Tamed Fisichella may come handy…
Meanwhile, Webber and Coulthard should start to worry about their seats in Red Bull. These are words of Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz:
“Let’s see how things go, Coulthard and Webber are 100% our drivers for 2008. But there’s nothing certain in F1, only things that are very probable.”
Definitely keeping his options open … What are the contracts for again ?
Jarno Trulli also seems to be confirming rumours that Toyota approached Alonso.
“I was immediately informed by phone of the split between Alonso and McLaren. I know he has spoken to Toyota and has asked for more technicians: it would be great by me…”
Trulli and Alonso are former team mates from Renault.
The rumours and speculations are sure to continue till moment Alonso there is an ink on Alonso’s new contract …