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Alonso set to announce Renault future

By Jonathan Noble Sunday, November 2nd 2008, 22:54 GMT

Former world champion Fernando Alonso will end speculation about his future on Wednesday when he is confirmed as Renault's lead driver for 2009.

The Spaniard has been considering his options for next year following a challenging season on a return to the French car manufacturer that helped him to world titles in 2005 and 2006.

But despite overtures from Honda Racing and BMW Sauber, Alonso has decided to remain at Renault for another season.

Renault team boss Flavio Briatore told autosport.com on Sunday night in Brazil that the team were planning to reveal their driver line-up for next year this week.

"I will confirm my drivers on Wednesday," he said. "That will be the announcement but I cannot say who the drivers will be."

Sources suggest that Brazilian Nelson Piquet is now favourite to keep the second seat - having been handed a stay of execution following a step forward in performance in recent races.

Renault test drivers Lucas di Grassi and Romain Grosjean had been linked to the second seat this season.

Briatore would not confirm speculation about Piquet when asked if the Brazilian would indeed be staying on board.

"We will see," he said. "You know, it is not a surprise anymore."

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There's been three different champions in 3 years, each driving for a different team. Surely this is a pretty good time for Formula 1?

I know what you are saying, but you need that affinity with someone. I don't know, but would imagine not many football fans watch football just for the sake of it without having anyone to cheer on. I have supported the likes of Hunt, Mansell, Senna, Villenueve, Schumacher. But I said here the day schumacher retired, that there was no one I had any interest in anymore. I have sat and watched races, but find I can just as easily start channel hopping or not mind people calling round.

My family used to know that Sunday afternoon was the one day of the week that I didn't want to be disturbed because i was watching the F1. Now I can just as easily switch off and go do something else.

Edit: mmmm, know Alonsos options could have been very limited next season. But it seems Renault have taken an age to get back anywhere near the front. I'm not sure they have what it takes at the moment to build a car under the new rules that will be quick straight off the mark, and that would be a shame after the performances Alonso has put in during the last few races.

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That without doubt was the most amazing race, and a fitting end to a great season.

It had everything you could ever want from a Formula 1 race.

A sudden shower on the grid, what tires to take off the line?

Hamilton’s blinding move to overtake Fisi.

Then Vettel driving like he was racing for the silverware

Hamilton racing for 5th place with a tired engine

Massa driving like a man possessed

Vettel taking Hamilton’s 5th place with 2 laps to go

So there we were, just like last year, all he had to do was finish 5th or better. But Vettel is hustling the plucky young English chap. It’s wet, they’ve all come in for inters. This can’t be happening…….

Then Vettel is past the Hamilton and we’re staring down the barrel of second place for the second year. The families explode in the Ferrari pit. This is it their boy is going to win at home in front of those fans who have prayed all day for this. Their boy is out front and winning, doing everything he can to take home the silverware and be the next Senna ™.

No this can’t be, Vettel is driving away from Hamilton. What is he doing with that Torro Rosso, it’s not fair. He’s not going to get anything for this, it’s meaningless from Vettel. But it’s everything for Hamilton. It’s his whole life and future and universe. It’s can’t go wrong again .. Not like this.

It’s the last lap. England sits on the edge of their sofa and shouts with all it has. Prays, and wills the McLaren to catch and pass the Torro Rosso. The Australians thrashed up in the Rugby league worlds cup on Saturday. The English Cricket lost 20 million dollars with a pathetic display of ineptitude and wetness on Saturday. On Sunday we can’t loose this. Not like this.

Turn 1 The Senna esses gone 2, 3 the Curva Do Sol, 4, up the hill into turn 5 The Ferra Durra all fly past … the Torro Rosso is tantalisingly close but just inches to far, just out of reach. Vettel isn’t going to make a mistake is he …? Down the hill through 8 and 9 ….10

Please not like this……

But wait … who’s that ….

No it’s can’t be……..

Glock. But yes there he is. He’s in front of Hamilton. Or he was. They’re into turn 11 Mergulho. Down into the compression before they climb to the start finish line Vettel passes Glock. Who looks like he’s driving a truck on ice that’s been sprayed with oil. Turn 12 Juncao. This is it ….. Hamilton slips past. Meanwhile Massa has crossed the line. The Ferrari pit are dancing around, they’re won. The New Senna ™ is going to be crowned in Brazil. They’re ecstatic.

Tear of joy.

…… Massa is punching the air. …….

The McLaren pit is running into the pit lane… they can’t believe it; they have to see it for themselves.

Massa’s family are dancing around hugging each other in a moment of utter joy … the Ferrari Mechanic grabs hold of them. He’s shouting something…

Behind them, the Silver and black McLaren slips across the line and the crowd go silent. Whilst England screams with joy. YES it’s our turn to win. We’re not the losers this time it’s not our turn. He’s won, he’s won for us. He’s English and ours and brilliant and only 5th (just) but he’s won the championship for us.

Thank you thank you thank you.

They can’t believe it at Ferrari, Massa did everything he could and it’s been stolen from under their noses. They stand looking lost and confused….how did this happen. He won, but he didn’t win? What happened?

Massa isn’t punching the air anymore.

Hamilton is punching the air.

The job has finally been done.

There is champagne and glum looks on the top step. All three look like they’re lost. Even Alonso looks like he’s been told his wife has left him to live on a commune in Alaska and sell CD’s of animal noises on the internet. Kimis lost his Number 1 on the front of his car. He looked tired and lost all season. Bored and uninterested. Massa looks like his world has ended. Understandably is guess.

Down below the podiums, the scene is much different, the McLaren boys and celebrating like its 1999. Smiles and hugs, backslaps and high fives.

This has been a classic year I think. The last lap and pretty much the last corner. It doesn’t get much better. Some one complained to me that there had been no racing and passing this year. That it was all processional. I said, Hamilton racing to win in Germany. Driving through the rain at Silverstone. Crashes in the pit lane at Canada. The mess that was Belgium. Vettel winning in a monsoon in Italy. Alonso driving like he was on fire in the Singapore night air. Hamilton tagging the wall in Monaco and still winning.

This year was fantastic.

Max got caught with his pants down and a ropey lass spanking him for Gods sake. How could you not have been gripped by F1 this year? The Stewards made some appalling decision and ruined both China and Spa.

But through it all Hamilton and Massa raced for the silverware and entertained us. Both of them deserved to take it. Massa won more races and Hamilton never stopped trying. Without the mess that was Belgium, the penalty for Canada and the drive through in Chine. I think we would be celebrating much earlier. But that’s FIA motor racing I guess.

Kimi had a lot of bad luck, but looked uninterested and dog slow a lot of the time. Maybe it was the car and his driving style. But he just didn’t look like he wanted it as much as Massa did. He’s still the fastest man out there with 10 fastest laps this year. But the results just didn’t follow.

Kubica flattered to deceive in the end. The high point of Canada was never relived and the beemers struggled during the second half of the season. He couldn’t drive the team forward and just whinged and moaned when BMW said they were developing the 2009 car from Singapore onwards. Maybe BMW didn’t have the faith in Kubica to go out and win. Maybe they just knew it was a pointless fight.

Alonso came good at the end and showed why he was a twice world champion. If Renault had been developing their engine a touch earlier, we could have had a 4 way fight at the end maybe. Two wins rejuvenated him. He looked like a different driver to the one who stated in Australia. He had a car that was dog slow and ill-handling. He’s tuned the car and the team into what he wants and moved Renault ahead of BMW. If his team mate (who crashed yet again) hadn’t failed so badly, they would have taken the best of the rest title.

So there you go. It was a good year to watch I think, despite the FIA trying to cock it up. Ferrari gets the constructors and McLaren get the drivers. I’ll be back next year no doubt. New cars, drivers, technology and World Champion. What’s not to like.

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He looked like a different driver to the one who stated in Australia. He had a car that was dog slow and ill handerling.

He finished a repsectable 4th, not far behind the others?

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1386821hamilton-f1.gif

:(

I think I'll stick a few quid on Massa for next seasons championship. During the last half of this season he's seemed head and shoulders above every other driver. With Massa, Hamilton, Alonso and Kimi (when he tries) all battling it out and Kubica and Vettel coming through the ranks, F1 should have an amazing next few years. Roll on next year.

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Any chance of Kovalinen cunting off from Mclaren, then?

Yet another race in which he got nowehere and we need a go at the constructors next season.

I wouldn't mind seeing what Vettel could do in a McLaren to be honest. No chance of it happening though I don't think. Kovalinen has been very disappointing.

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:(

I think I'll stick a few quid on Massa for next seasons championship. During the last half of this season he's seemed head and shoulders above every other driver. With Massa, Hamilton, Alonso and Kimi (when he tries) all battling it out and Kubica and Vettel coming through the ranks, F1 should have an amazing next few years. Roll on next year.

Not exactly. I swear, I read somewhere that Alonso has amassed the most points in the last 8 races.

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Any chance of Kovalinen cunting off from Mclaren, then?

Yet another race in which he got nowehere and we need a go at the constructors next season.

I agree, he should have been rear guard for Lewis but as per usual faded off to nowhere

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Kovalinen has been very disappointing.

He has but i still think the Mclaren is behind the Ferrari, Kovi has had some good drives and poles but i honestly think Hamilton is driving the nuts of an inferior car to the Ferrari much like Alonso in the Renault.

Watching Massa on the podium was pretty harsh, he can hold his head high tho and i do feel a little sorry for him - reminds me of that Rally race where Sainz lost the title in view of the finish line :(

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I know what you are saying, but you need that affinity with someone. I don't know, but would imagine not many football fans watch football just for the sake of it without having anyone to cheer on.

I think lots of football fans, like myself, watch lots of football even if they don't support one of the teams involved, because we love the game and seeing it played.

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Great review as always sidewaysbob.

Heikki did a great job I thought, he lost two places defending Hamilton at the start which was difficult to recover from.

I also doubt Hamilton let Vettel through, I think he just had less grip due to lower downforce (as evidenced by the ease with which he caught up on the straights, only to lose it again in the corners).

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Great review as always sidewaysbob.

Heikki did a great job I thought, he lost two places defending Hamilton at the start which was difficult to recover from.

I also doubt Hamilton let Vettel through, I think he just had less grip due to lower downforce (as evidenced by the ease with which he caught up on the straights, only to lose it again in the corners).

The Vettel pass was caused by Kubica unlapping himself. Check the replays...

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Next season has huge potential but I can't help but think that the new rules will initially favour the richer teams. For this reason I'd back Ferrari for the title next season.

McClaren need to get rid of Heikki though. There are way too many guys in equal or worse cars outperforming him race after race.

In a way though it's nice to have better drivers in worse cars. Having the likes of Vettel, Kubica and Alonso in the mix this season has made it all the better for it.

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I know what you are saying, but you need that affinity with someone.

I was a Piquet fan. When he retired i kept watching, but it wasn't till Hill came along that I supported someone else. Since then I hadn't supported anyone till Hamilton turned up. I tried with Button, but I was never that bothered.

Having someone to support makes it better, no doubt - especially if they are in the mix to win. But (for me) it's not essential.

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I love Hamilton, i think he's a great driver who goes out to win.

I Love ferrari because of it's cars and the team and being italian. Not so much for the percieved FIA favouratism or the hissy fit weight throwing. Cemented i think when Mclaren lost the one race to Ferrari at Monza the week after Enzo had died.

I also have a lttle place in my heart for the Williams crew. Because that's who Mansell drove for when i first started watching F1. I like to follow what they're up to and hope they get a good result. Frank is possibly the last of that band of garage used car salesman that went racing for the thrill of racing and not just to display a brand and make some money.

I like Mclaren because Ron is such a great character. Being grumpy a single minded is superb i think. Also the season they won all but one race was great to watch.

Drivers for me, should always go out there to win. Not like Prost crusing round to pick up 3rd and 2nds. Mansell would always go for it. Kimi always gets fastest lap. Hamiltin has to try and win. Senna beleived God looked after him, on a hot qualy lap he was on a different plain. Mickey shoes was in a different class

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Can I just say that this season Massa has been the most improved driver. Also he refused to get involved in all the mud-slinging that was going on (I know there are some who feel he punted Lewis deliberately but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt) for that alone I respect him. He let his driving do the talking.

One of the reasons I wanted Lewis to win so badly was because of all the hateful talk coming from the Spainish press, Alonso, Flavio Briatore et al. I wanted him to give them all the middle finger in the most tasteful way possible.

If Massa had won the title, he too would of been a worthy champion and I would of been happy for him but I would of been sad at the pleasure so many people would of taken in Lewis losing.

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Such an amazing race. Probably the best sporting event I've watched. I thought it was funny when ITV tried to inflict us with nostalgia of their 12 years of coverage, then flicked to the advertisement break almost as soon as the race started. Won't miss that.

Going to be much better on BBC if only to have 'Fleetwood Mac - The Chain' as the theme tune again.

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I think Massa is as good as Hamilton, but on the day it just went our way... in fact I think its a miracle that Hamilton won.

Massa's as good as Hamilton and Vettel is probably better than them both!

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I'm happy as long as the BBC keep Brundle on (much to the FiA's displeasure). I've heard the commentators are going to be him and Crazy Dave.

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Massa's as good as Hamilton and Vettel is probably better than them both!

:wub:

Hamilton is way better than them both, give Vettel the same car he will do better than Heiki but not as good as Massa, Raik, Kubica.

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Well that's nice coming from choddo who is a mod.

In the x factor thread jpickford said "diana should just die" - no explanation as to why. He just said it. In the buzzcocks thread a few people called James Cordon a cunt. He is a cunt and makes them sick. I haven't seen anyone start banging on at them for saying such things. For them to explain themselves. No one has told them to "cunt off", told them they were talking shite, are a prick etc etc. There is no reasoning other than they seem to loathe the people. But no one gives a fuck (and rightly so I think)

I'd fucking love to see the reaction had I come in here at the start of the race and said "Hamilton is a cunt who makes me sick and I hope he dies".

Nice one choddo by the way. I don't really "know" people on this tread as such. But because of the hd tv thread I did at least have respect for you. No doubt if I answered back in a similar way I'd be looking at a warning or a ban.

You could at least take it with a bit of humour.

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:wub:

Hamilton is way better than them both, give Vettel the same car he will do better than Heiki but not as good as Massa, Raik, Kubica.

Well I guess if Vettel moves to Ferrari for 2009 we shall see.

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emjay2k: I said it was bad for the sport from my own personal point of view. This is the first year I have actually not watched F1 races. I've seen maybe half of them, and even then not all the way through. I wanted to like it again, but couldn't find it in me to really get behind any of the drivers.

I was going to watch the first race on the BBC just to see how they handled things compared to ITV. But from my point of view, I won't now because it's obvious exactly what will be going on. And I am not going to tune in and watch almost blanket coverage of someone I don't like. Followed by a race where there is no one I want to cheer on. I only watched this race because it was the last of the season.

I am pissed off because I not what you would call an avid sports fan. F1 and the Moto Gp are my only real loves where sport is concerned. It's a shame that there isn't enough of a reason to keep me watching the sport I have followed since I was at school.

I guess if there are any new exciting drivers next year then it might get me interested again.

But for every time I "banged on" about Hamilton, there were twice as many massalol's and twice as many again FIA biased comments. But because they came from Hamilton fans it was never tiresome or boring it seems. Frankly I thought the same massa crying pics being posted countless times each race weekend he had bad fortune grew weary a long time ago.

ok so a more serious answer; yes, Hamilton gets too much coverage. You can see the rest of the drivers starting to get pissed off with every interview from ITV having a Lewis agenda, but as a person he seems ok to me. Carefully managed to the point of banality but incredibly talented and genuinely passionate about his sport.

However, to criticise Hamilton for arrogance while praising Schumacher and also claiming F1 isn't worth watching in the most competitive year (or two) that F1 has had for the 30 years I've been watching it, and that partly thanks to the retirement of the terrifyingly perfect robotic cheating German already mentioned, is just so far off the spectrum of things in this world that I can comprehend is bound to result in a barrage of Doubleyoo Tee Eff.

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I'm happy as long as the BBC keep Brundle on (much to the FiA's displeasure). I've heard the commentators are going to be him and Crazy Dave.

It just *has* to be Brundle, he's such a brilliant commentator. I'll be gutted if they go with one of these banal new BBC presenters like we got during The Ashes 06/07. "Hey I know nothing about them there autocars, but look at my trendy designer shirt!"

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Exactly. They mentioned briefly how Massa's dad took him racing, sacrificed his time etc. - pretty much what Lewis's dad did, just on two opposite sides.

Yeah he's also utterly, utterly minted though and bought Feipe's ride, which is never ever going to attract the kind of empathy that Hamilton Snr's 2 jobs etc brings out in the majority of the F1 watching public.

Not that Massa hasn't proved he's worth his seat now, but 3 or 4 years ago he was the Brazilian Nakajima.

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