It was recently rumoured that Fernando Alonso returned to Renault simply as a stop-gap before heading out to Ferrari. The Spanish driver had moved from world champions Renault in 2007 because he felt that McLaren were in a stronger position to offer further titles. However, as the move didn’t go as well as planned, Alonso returned to Renault this year due to few other teams being able to take him at the time. Earlier in the season he was said to be in a strong position with Renault, having managed to get a clause added to his contract which essentially allowed him to leave if he wanted. This sparked speculation that Alonso was in the process of negotiating a way into the Ferrari team, but this has since been quashed by both parties.
Earlier in the month Alonso denied having such a clause in his contract, and today Ferrari president Luca de Montezemolo has said that Alonso wouldn’t necessarily be the ideal driver for the team. The current Ferrari pairing have had a shaky start to the 2008 campaign. While Kimi Raikkonen is performing quite well, his Australian Grand Prix was little more than embarrassing. Team mate Felipe Massa has endured a tougher start, although the Brazilian driver has improved and won the Bahrain Grand Prix two weeks ago in dominant style.
To line up a Raikkonen-Alonso double act would mean wanting to damage yourself. I want two equal drivers that work together. Luca de Montezemolo.
Montezemolo suggesting what many feel: Pairing Kimi Raikkonen with Fernando would be a recipe for disaster. Both drivers are incredibly talented and egos could very easily dominate the team environment.
Alonso has however stated that he would like to remain with Renault, but also stressed they need to give him a decent car.
There are a lot of factors to evaluate. My first option is to stay with Renault if we manage to create a winning car, and the truth is that we are moving forwards.
But what I do want is a car with which I can win. There are several, Williams, Toyota, BMW and Ferrari, of course, who are always on top no matter what. I wouldn’t want to continue fighting to get into Q3. Fernando Alonso.
It would appear that Alonso is a little frustrated, but also pleased with progress and feeling a little more optimistic. However, his comments about wanting a winning car, and mentioning other team names (even Toyota!) suggest a gentle warning to the Anglo-French squad.