Alonso close to agreeing Renault return?

Wed, 7 November 2007, 09:42

Fernando Alonso and Renault are close to reuniting ahead of the 2008 formula one season.

Although the Spaniard, who was recently released from his McLaren contract, did not meet Flavio Briatore’s Tuesday deadline, reports indicate that the pair have nonetheless nearly agreed a deal for next year.

The Spanish daily sports newspaper Marca claims that 26-year-old Alonso’s final decision is still “a few days” away, as negotiations continue smoothly.

Alonso had earlier baulked at Briatore’s insistence on a two or three-year agreement, but it is understood that the twice world champion will instead be free to leave Renault after a single season if the Enstone based does fails to meet certain minimal performance and results criteria.

Therefore, in the event that Renault endures another uncompetitive season in 2008, Alonso can still defect to Ferrari or BMW in 2009.

Britain’s The Guardian, meanwhile, reports on Wednesday that “if Alonso signs (for Renault) he will be partnered by Nelson Piquet Jr”, with Heikki Kovalainen “the most likely candidate” to fill Alonso’s seat at McLaren.

The newspaper said 34-year-old Italian veteran “Giancarlo Fisichella has been told there is no place for him next year”.

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