Giancarlo Fisichella might struggle to keep his seat at Renault beyond the end of the 2006 season.
The Roman, who finished third in Sunday’s Spanish grand prix after qualifying second, seemed to be left out of team president Alain Dassas’ assessment of what the 2007 line-up should look like.
”(Fernando) Alonso is not replaced easily,” the Frenchman said, ”so we need a top driver. We need a young talent and a top driver.”
With young tester Heikki Kovalainen fitting the ‘young talent’ bill, 33-year-old Fisichella would not immediately appear to cleanly slot into the ‘top driver’ category.
But Dassas insisted: ”Giancarlo is a top driver.”
Renault also put a stop on Sunday to constant speculation about the team’s long term future on the formula one grid by committing until 2012.
Referring to the bombshell deal with Bernie Ecclestone, Dassas said: ”The agreement (we) reached today … expresses (our) commitment to F1.”