Briatore ‘still working on’ Alonso successor

Wed, 12 July 2006, 09:31

Arguably the top seat on the 2007 grid is still yet to be filled.

Heikki Kovalainen, Mark Webber and Kimi Raikkonen appear to be in the running to replace McLaren-bound Fernando Alonso at Renault, but boss Flavio Briatore is still contemplating the identity of Giancarlo Fisichella’s new teammate.

The obvious choice is Raikkonen, with the Finn – undisputedly in departing champion Alonso’s league – thought to be waiting on Michael Schumacher’s plans.

It is also speculated that F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is pushing hard for a Kimi-Renault linkup, which would mean that Raikkonen, Alonso and Schumacher are spread next year among the top-three teams.

”We are still working on our options,” Briatore was quoted as telling the ‘dpa’ agency.

The Italian said: ”Renault is a strong team which gives its drivers the chance to become world champion. We are not under pressure to rush our decision, so we will let everyone know when we do.”

Another pending decision, meanwhile, is the possible prolongation of Briatore’s own Renault contract.

Team president Alain Dassas has told Autosprint magazine in Italy that a ‘definitive answer’ should be forthcoming at Magny Cours.

He added: ”Flavio has our proposals on the table.”


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