Quitting McLaren would be ‘great’ – Alonso

Tue, 2 October 2007, 02:09

Fernando Alonso said on Monday that he would be “delighted” if he did not have to be Lewis Hamilton’s teammate also in 2008.

After runaway championship leader Hamilton at Fuji repeatedly expressed his desire for Alonso to leave McLaren at the end of the season, the 26-year-old Spaniard told the radio station Cadena SER that he is willing to oblige.

“I’d be delighted if I didn’t carry on with Hamilton,” he was quoted as telling the Spanish network.

“If we are not together next season and I can go to a good car, then great. If we have to carry on together then we will have another great battle.”

With Ferrari contractually locked out for next year, Renault has bounced back as the most likely destination for Alonso — if he is granted a release from his contract by boss Ron Dennis.

Flavio Briatore no longer conceals his desire to reunite the French team he leads with Alonso, telling La Gazzetta dello Sport on Monday that it would be “stupid” to deny it.

The irresistible incentive for Alonso is Briatore’s promise of clear number one status.

“These days it’s important that the roles, number one and two, are clear, otherwise you risk to destabilise the team,” he told the Italian sports newspaper.

“If you hire a world champion, then you must give him the number one status.”

Alonso, meanwhile, played down Bernie Ecclestone’s intimation at Fuji that he might sit out the 2008 season before joining Ferrari in 2009.

“However and wherever, I love to race and that’s what I want.”

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