Alonso cautious ahead of 2008 title chances

Mon, 10 December 2007, 04:05

Double world champion Fernando Alonso is remaining cautious over his title chances for next season after signing for former team Renault.

The French team has endured a tough season, failing to win a race and only once managing to get on the podium and although Alonso is hoping the team can recreate the form that took him to two world championships, the Spaniard admits its going to be tough.

“This is a question we all ask and I believe nobody can answer for certain,” said Alonso. “You know that teams like Ferrari will always be favourites. Also, the teams who have had problems adjusting to the Bridgestone tyres will hopefully have solved their problems and will be back at the top.

“Maybe Renault can be part of the top teams again this season. Today’s challenge is for Renault to go back to the top of the sheet already in January or February and then come closer to the podiums next season. They have suffered more than enough this year.”

Alonso left McLaren last month after falling out with the Mercedes-powered team over their preferencial treatment of former teammate Lewis Hamilton.

His departure caused a frenzy in the driver market with a Red Bull, Toyota and Renault all fighting for his services and the Spaniard admits he wanted to assess all the options before making a commitment.

“The decision hasn’t been an easy one to make. I would like to thank all the other teams for their interest to have me work with them.

“Like I said before, I chose Renault in the end considering their commitment to the sport and because of their strong track record,” said Alonso.

With just over three months until the start of the season, the 26-year-old is anxious to get back into the car before making any predictions.

“We will see what can be done. We shouldn’t put the cart before the horse. The first thing to do is to put the R28 on track in January and then start working thoroughly in order to get to the first Grand Prix of the season with the best car possible.

“I had to rise to the same challenge last year during the winter season and I am confident that this can happen again. After that, I will have to have a perfect season and hope for the others not to be too quick,” said the Spaniard.

Renault also announced they will launch their 2008 challenger, the R28, on January 31 in Paris.

Lawrence Barretto

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