Press split over term of new Alonso deal

Tue, 11 December 2007, 12:48

The media is split over the uncertain length of Fernando Alonso’s new Renault contract.

The French team on Monday did not reveal the crucial detail in its announcement of the Spaniard’s 2008 return, following weeks of speculation that Alonso, 26, was desperate to commit himself only for one season.

The German news agency DPA, however, cites the information of a Renault spokesman in claiming that Alonso will stay at the Enstone based through to the end of 2009. The Spanish sports daily Marca reported a similar finding.

But Auto Motor und Sport, the authoritative German magazine, does not agree, saying the contract is for three years and a record $147 million retainer.

The British newspapers The Times and The Independent also said Alonso’s deal is for three years.

The Daily Mail, another English newspaper, said Alonso has signed a multi-year contract, but with exit clauses that will make it possible for the former McLaren driver to leave for Ferrari after just one season.

Spain’s El Mundo Deportivo says the deal is for one year only, while Diario AS reports that Alonso and Renault will have the option to automatically renew for 2009.

The most likely scenario, of course, is that the deal is for at least two years but more likely three, with the abovementioned exit clauses that will allow the Spaniard to leave Renault if the French team fails to perform to certain standards in any of the seasons the contract covers.

Meanwhile, following initial reports that Nico Rosberg has penned a new contract with Williams through to 2010, it is now clear that the German’s more lucrative deal is actually only valid for 2008 and 2009.

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