Fernando Alonso will drive for Renault again next year alongside Nelson Piquet Jr.
Alonso stays with Renault
MADRID // Fernando Alonso will drive for Renault again next year alongside Nelson Piquet Jr. Renault said that Alonso has signed a contract extension that keeps him with the French team until 2010. The Spaniard rejoined the team in 2008 after a year with McLaren, but a rocky partnership with world champion Lewis Hamilton in 2007 forced Alonso to leave the Woking-based team. Renault also confirmed that the Brazilian Piquet Jr, the son of the three-time champion Nelson Piquet, will partner the Spaniard for the second straight season. "We are happy to confirm both Fernando and Nelson for next season," the team boss Flavio Briatore said. "This gives the Renault F1 Team one of the most exciting driver pairings with the perfect blend of youth and experience. "Fernando's commitment for the next two seasons confirms the faith he has in the team and we are delighted to continue working with him."
The 25-year-old scored more points than any driver in the last five races of the 2008 season and will be a main challenger to Hamilton in 2009, as long as his Renault car continues to improve. Alonso won back-to-back championships with the team in 2005 and 2006 which led to his move to McLaren. "I have decided to stay with the Renault F1 team because, as I have often repeated this season, they have always been my first choice and I feel very happy and comfortable with them", Alonso said. "It's a very close-knit team with a competitive and winning mentality, and also a relaxed and warm attitude, which suits me perfectly." Before Hamilton's world title victory last week in Brazil, Alonso was the youngest ever Formula One champion.