Fernando Alonso has claimed that his superb Formula 1 triumphs against the odds in Singapore and Japan late last season 'sent out a warning' to his and Renault's rivals for 2009 when, he insists, he has only one goal – that of regaining a title that was last his three years ago.
Following a distinctly trying first half to the 2008 campaign, Alonso's tireless development push and committed work ethic was the key to driving Renault back towards the front of the grid, to the extent that by the end of the season the hitherto unloved R28 was arguably the third-quickest car in the field.
Though Ferrari and McLaren-Mercedes retained a significant edge, in Singapore and Japan at least the brilliance of the man inside the cockpit of the Régie's
challenger enabled Alonso to claim his first victories of the season – and back-to-back ones at that, with the former coming from all the way down in 15th on the grid following an engine failure in qualifying.
Moreover, the Spaniard was the highest-scoring driver over the second half of the campaign, and had the championship been decided on the basis of the final nine races alone, the twice title-winner from Oviedo would have again been crowned king. In 2009, he underlines, he is determined to produce that form all year-long.
“We had been going fairly well with some good results, but those two wins underlined what we are capable of doing,” the 27-year-old is quoted as having said by UK newspaper the Daily Star
. “I believe I sent out a warning to the other guys for this season.
“I am really up for the new campaign. I have just one target – and that is to be the champion for the third time. I know that I can do it...”