'The objective for the rest of the season is a podium or even a victory' - that was Fernando Alonso's bold statement after the chequered flag fell following the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Alonso, who qualified eighth for the thirteenth round in the 2009 FIA F1 World Championship, battled his way up to finish fifth in the end and pick up another four points, a drive that was branded 'perfect' by Renault team boss, Flavio Briatore.

To date this season the Spaniard has notched up 20 points, thanks to seven top-eight finishes. However, just like on Sunday, P5 is the best he has managed and now the two-time world champion is eager to try and break into the top-three.

His next chance to do that should come at the Singapore Grand Prix in two weeks time - although Renault's participation there is of course dependent on the outcome of the WMSC hearing next week, which will convene, ironically, to look into the circumstances of Alonso's victory last season in the 'Lion City' [see separate story - click here.]

"I'm very happy with the result today, although at the start the KERS did not meet my expectations," Alonso reflected.

"In the race I had good pace, the car behaved perfectly and our strategy worked well. Finishing in fifth position is a good result, but the objective for the rest of the season is a podium or even a victory."

Renault's head of engine operations, Remi Taffin, concurs that a rostrum result is badly needed: "Today's result is quite positive as we have scored four points," he continued. "Our starts were not fantastic and that meant that we couldn't get ahead of some cars and fight further up. However, the performance of the car was where we expected it to be.

"We hope that the races to come will allow us to complete the season strongly and get on to the podium."

Romain Grosjean meanwhile finished 15th in the sister Renault R29, and the Frenchman was annoyed not to have done better, especially as he qualified 12th.

"I'm very disappointed with today's race. My start was very poor and I need to try and understand why," he stated. "I had some contact in the first chicane and so the car was damaged for the rest of my race, which made things difficult and impossible to score any points.

"The challenge now is to continue to progress and try to get closer to Fernando in qualifying."


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