Briatore urges Alonso back to Renault

Mon, 24 September 2007, 06:36

Flavio Briatore has urged Fernando Alonso and McLaren to part company ahead of the 2008 season.

Amid intense speculation that Renault and Ferrari may now be in a bidding war to secure the services of the disgruntled Spaniard in 2008, Briatore recalled his team’s successful collaboration with Alonso between 2002 and last year that netted back to back drivers’ titles.

Asked about the 26-year-old’s seemingly untenable relationship with McLaren boss Ron Dennis at present, Italian Briatore told Sport Auto: “That is healthy neither for the team nor the driver.

“We have our own way of dealing with drivers. With us, Fernando simply got along well. Perhaps that is what is missing with him at McLaren.”

Renault’s 2008 driver lineup is now long overdue, and Briatore said he is still not ready to give anything away.

“We are a little bit late,” he admitted, “but I am not in a hurry either.

“At the moment we are still considering what the best driver formation for us will look like.”

Briatore is keen, however, to put the disappointment of this year behind Renault and return to the competitiveness of the Alonso era.

“The team is exactly the same,” he said, “and they have not forgotten how to build a winning car. We know now what is wrong with the (2007) car. We know the tyres better. I have a good feeling.”

He said Renault’s full concentration has been on the 2008 single seater for some time now.

“For the last two months we have changed practically nothing on the current car because I want a guarantee that in 2008 we are back at the front.

“There will not be any excuses then,” Briatore said.

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