Sunday, December 16, 2007

Alonso set to rejoin Renault this week

Monday 10th December 2007

Fernando Alonso's return to Renault is expected to be confirmed within the next 48 hours.

According to reports, the Spaniard has agreed a £70m, three-year contract. However, the deal contains an opt-out clause that would enable Alonso to leave the team in twelve months' time.

Alonso's return to Renault, two years after he left Flavio Briatore's outfit, became a likelihood when the team escaped punishment at last week's World Motor Sport Council hearing.

'It is a pleasing outcome for Alonso, who maintains his status as the second-highest earner on the grid behind Ferrari's world champion, Kimi Raikkonen, five weeks after being dismissed by McLaren,' says The Daily Mail.

After months of uncertainty and speculation, all the final pieces for the 2008 driver line-up are falling into place.

Nico Rosberg has committed himself to Williams, leaving Pedro de la Rosa the favourite to partner Lewis Hamilton at McLaren next season.

However, Alonso's return to Renault puts a question mark against the future of Heikki Kovalainen and Giancarlo Fisichella. With Renault also keen on promoting Nelson Piquet junior, both drivers could yet leave the team.

'Kovalainen has also been touted as Hamilton's next team-mate. He is the preferred choice of the Hamilton camp and is seen as a good team player who would not cause undue disturbance in the way the temperamental Alonso did,' reports the Mail.

'Kovalainen would appear to be in a two-way fight with McLaren's experienced test driver Pedro de la Rosa. A veteran of 72 grands prix over eight years, he represents the safe option and is popular within the team.

'As a Spaniard, he would also satisfy several of McLaren's sponsors, who stand to lose out from Alonso's departure.'

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Michael suggests a sabbatical for Ralf

Michael Schumacher has suggested that his brother Ralf takes a sabbatical from F1 and re-evaluate his future.

The younger of the Schumachers left Toyota at the end of the 2007 season and is currently without a drive for the new season.

Although linked with teams at both ends of the grid, it seems unlikely that the 32-year-old will find a race seat.

Schumacher did test for Force India at Jerez, but his time in Spain was marred by errors and technical problems.

His sibling and seven-time World Champions believes that Ralf should be careful of joining a team near the back of the gird.

"I don't know all his options, but before he drives like he did yesterday it is better to think about if it makes sense to drive knowing you can only come last," Schumacher told Auto Motor und Sport.

"I think there are more reasonable, safer, wealthier and nicer options for him. I told him personally that there are so many nice things outside of F1. But I don't know all his options. There are other cockpits which are not taken, so he might see other options."

Schumacher recommended that his brother ought to consider taking a break from the sport.

"If he can get a good result then he should. He is able to bring good results and he is motivated to do so.

"But it is different for me. I would not be so motivated to race, and if it doesn't fit then maybe he should stop and have a break. He is young enough to stop, re-evaluate the situation and come back.

"I have to say my experience in coming back in Barcelona showed I did not have trouble coming back. I did not lose a bit, so he can do it too."

Source: http://www.planet-f1.com

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