Renault confirm Alonso and Piquet Jnr for 2008

2008 F1 season

Fernando Alonso, McLaren-Mercedes, Monte-Carlo, 2007 | DaimlerRenault has confirmed its driver line-up for the 2008 season with Fernando Alonso making a widely-anticipated return to the team.

He will be partnered by Brazilian rookie Nelson Piquet Jnr, son of three-times world champion Nelson Piquet.

Piquet takes the place of Heikki Kovalainen, his predecessor as GP2 runner-up and Renault’s previous test driver in 2006.

Kovalainen is expected to be confirmed as Lewis Hamilton’s team mate at McLaren for 2008. Kovalainen had earlier commented that he did not want to be at a team where he would be forced into a number two role, suggesting he did not want to partner Alonso.

Reports suggest Alonso has signed a three-year deal, refuting earlier rumours linking him to a deal with Ferrari for 2009. Renault has also confirmed F3 Euroseries champion and Renault Development Driver Romain Grosjean as a test driver for 2008.

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33 comments on Renault confirm Alonso and Piquet Jnr for 2008

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  1. Daniel PT said on 10th December 2007, 19:25

    What if Nelson Piquet gives a beating to Alonso? That would be interesting! But certanly Alonso as assured in is contract that he would be given number 1 status.

  2. After Renault being cleared for their spying case, this annouancement would be inevitable. I can’t wait to see how Alonso and Piquet will fair in the R28.

    Kovalinen will probably go into McLaren 2nd race seat too. That will be another team pairing to watch.

    The driver seats have shuffled around a fair bit for the 2008 season, and I’m glad of it. It is good to see the likes of Piquet, Glock and Boudrais in Formula One. Its only a matter of time before we see Conway, Carroll, Senna and others taking up F1 seats…bring it on!

  3. Peteszab said on 10th December 2007, 19:52

    I’m shure Alonso got a number 1 status at Renault. Does anyone know if Telefonica went back to Renault together with Alonso?

  4. frecon said on 10th December 2007, 19:57

    3 years contract???

    Every paper is saying is a 1+1 year contract. Also it’s said that he has number one status, separated mechanics and boxes and no shared telemetries.

    About Piquet. He almost beated Hamilton in GP2, so it wouldn’t be strange if they do it again in F1.

    I only wish a season with 3 or 4 winners teams, equality conditions, and just sport. No more scandals please!!!

  5. frecon said on 10th December 2007, 20:03

    Peteszab

    No Telefonica is not coming back.

    the new sponsor is Slim, owner of a huge telecom company in southamerica. He’s paying a lot of money to Renault with only one condition. Piquet has to be oficial driver.

    The contract of Alonso should be really solid, because new sponsor protects Piquet, president Goshn hasn’t forget how Alonso left Reanult to go to Mclaren, and internal fights with Symonds were never completely overcome. So the only person who are in Alonso’s side is Briatore.

  6. @frecon:
    it seems Fernando has an option for 2009. It’s not official, but many websites and also part of the press say that it depends on the results he will achieve next season. If the car will not be fast as he expects, he will move away in 2009. It could be Ferrari… someone says…

  7. oliver said on 10th December 2007, 20:29

    Alonso’s move to Renault, can only be described as foresight with the benefit of hindsight.

  8. carlos said on 10th December 2007, 20:53

    “Reports suggest Alonso has signed a three-year deal, refuting earlier rumours linking him to a deal with Ferrari for 2009.”

    It does seem there is an exit clause for the first year in the contract, then Alonso can cancel it and to go to Ferrari if Renault’s car is not competitive. It seems Flavio trusts in the new car.

  9. seems like there was nowhere for alonso to go but backwards – nelson piquet jnr seems a good choice – but I dont expect him to play second fiddle either and I dont expect his sponsers would like that either – I wouldnt trust alonso a second if he beats him – probably start throwing another tantrum – bring it on

  10. Vertigo said on 10th December 2007, 21:16

    Flavio will try and keep Fernando for 2009, he has a lot of influence over him. Alonso could get angry if Piquet gives hinm a run for his money, which he definitely could do, he’s looked good in GP2. I hope that the new Renault is competitive, because then we will have six drivers (Raikkonen, Massa, Alonso, Piquet, Hamilton and probably Kovalainen) all with potentially race-winning cars and an instinct to win races. If the new BMW is also strong, we could have one of the best seasons for many years.

  11. Daniel said on 10th December 2007, 22:46

    When I first heard Alonso would be going back, I got afraid of Piquet’s future… I think he won’t be told to play “number two”, like Barrichello and Irvine were in Ferrari, for example, but, as it was mentioned above, probably they’ll have separate telemetries, completely different teams and different soaces. It’s obvious that, at some extent, data will be shared, but perhaps Piquet will be receveing Alonso’s information with considerable delay…

    I don’t think it’s fair at all, but I understand Alonso’s side, as his role as car ‘developer’ won’t be fully recognized if the rookie on his side gives him a run, like Hamilton did, and Piquet is totally capable of doing…

    Anyway, I’m confident that ‘Nelsinho’ will have a great Formula 1 debut…

  12. Wesley said on 10th December 2007, 23:07

    If the McLaren is as competitive as last year I think Kovalainen is going to be a force to be reckoned with,I would love to see that.

    If the Renault is as NON-competitive as last year I think we will hear even MORE whining from Alonso than last year.We should see some great battles between Alonso and Heidfeld.I expect the Renaults and BMWs to be neck and neck next season.I still believe BMW will remain in the top three.

  13. I heard a 3 year contract with an opt out clause. I could be wrong.

    I don’t think Alonso will win many GP’s and also I don’t think he will do very well in the championship. Only time will tell though I suppose.

    I’m thinking that Mclaren wont even be on the grid in 2008 at this rate. anyone agree???

    To be honest I think its wrong for the FIA to get other teams involved when its just to do with Mclaren and Ferrari!

  14. I too heard a 3 year contract with an opt out clause, although what those conditions entail I have no idea even if it were true.

    I think Alonso has learnt a lot from his relationship with McLaren, and the past season. Although likewise, Renault would have learnt a lot about Alonso, a side which never arose during his time at Renault. I think both sides would have negotiated an amicable contract – i.e. Renault giving preferential treatment, and Alonso not speak ill of the team, or unjustly complain.

    I’m making no predictions for next season, as things do change from season to season practically overnight – who knows, BMW, McLaren, even Ferrari, could be off the pace. But they all have great drivers that make up for it.

    And bear in mind, Schumacher has won GPs in Ferrari’s that should not have won anything. So I wouldn’t discount Alonso not winning anything at all even if the Renault is not competitive off the start.

    The season can’t start soon enough :D

  15. As Autosport puts it, the top three drivers are in 3 different teams (as they were in 2006) and that is good for the theater.

    If Alonso brings his famed 0.6 sec to Renault, then they are already on the same level as BMW :-)

    It looks like neither Ferrari nor McLaren are planning radical new cars (correct me if I am wrong), so there should not be any risk of them getting it seriously wrong and going backwards. But it also gives the chasing pack chance to catch up – and Renault with Alonso may do just that.

    I am sure Piquet was told clearly what it takes to get promoted to the race seat alongside Alonso. I expect he will play by the book (whatever the book says) at least in his first season.

    We can expect announcments from McLaren and Force India soon … But by taking Kovalainen as their driver, McLaren would have 2 still rookies racing for them. They both can race, they have shown it. But who knows how good their car set up and feedback skills are with so short racing experience … I wonder if Dennis is ready for such a radical line up…

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