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Win doesn`t guarantee Alonso will stay.

Fernando Alonso has pointed out that taking his first race since rejoining Renault does not mean that he will automatically be back with the Enstone team in 2009, but admits that the relationship is a good one.

The double world champion has long pointed out that he wants to be back in a race-winning car as soon as possible, but still refuses to be drawn on possible destinations for next season. He is understood to have a get-out clause that he can trigger halfway through his current two-year deal with the regie, but with conditions attached relating to the team's performance in 2008.

Although not considered a front-runner this year, Alonso stole a fortunate victory in Singapore - admitting that, without an early safety car, he may not have scored at all - and helped Renault move into sole possession of fourth place in the constructors' championship, breaking a tie with Toyota brought about by closing a ten-point gap over the two previous races.

"It means a lot, obviously," he said of victory in F1's first-ever night race, "We always prepare for victories but, on Friday, we usually realise that we cannot fight for victory. This time was maybe a bit different. We were competitive straight away. Even though we had no simulator, nothing to prepare for the race, already from P1 we were quick.

"It means that the car here, for whatever reason, was competitive. We were hoping to take the benefit of this good car [into the race] but, after qualifying, maybe our hopes were gone already as we started 15th and 16th and you know then that it is nearly over. Without the safety car maybe I would have finished in the same position as qualifying, 15th or 14th. Again, however, today shows that Formula One is unpredictable on a Sunday.

"We keep improving the car, as I've said before. We started the season quite far away from pole position, and from the top teams, and now we are much closer, so we are definitely one of the teams who have most improved their car. But maybe it was not difficult because, at the beginning of the season, we were not at the right level.

"We have had a tough, tough 2008 championship, but now we are fighting for fourth place in the constructors'. This victory is well deserved as the guys worked extremely hard all through the season. We started far behind, maybe one second behind BMW, but now we are at the same pace as them - or even better - and this is thanks to a great job. We will find out very quickly in Fuji [if the Singapore progress was real], because we cannot forget that this is a very special track, but we will keep on pushing. Three more races to go and next year more."

Sunday's success - and the 'three races to go and next year more' soundbite - was naturally taken to suggest that Alonso would remain at Enstone at least until the end of his deal, but the Spaniard refused to be drawn.

"No, I didn't say that," he insisted, "I just want to say thanks to the team because, as I said, they keep working with this car. We had a new front wing at this race and, if you think how the championship is, and that they are already working on next year's car, they didn't forget the performance of this year [because] they brought a new front wing with four races to go.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Flavio Briatore (ITA) Renault Team Principal, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R28, Singapore F1 Grand Prix, 26th-28th, September 2008
French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 off trach and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 spins
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 leads Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Luis Fernando Ramos (BRA), Journalist
27.11.2016 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16

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Matt - Unregistered

September 29, 2008 2:29 PM

He''ll be at Renault next year. There isn''t anywhere else to go that is worth the move. He can''t go to Ferrari (face it, Kimi''s not leaving) or McLaren (obviously), BMW is looking inconsistent, and Honda would be a waste of his time when he''s already working to move Renault (a team he knows) up the grid. Add in that there are going to be lots of changes for next year and I would think that that would make him more inclined to stay where he''s at for 2009.

mhuthc - Unregistered

September 29, 2008 8:46 PM

Despite being a Mclaren fan, it was good to see Alonso win in Singapore. Renault, despite their problems this year, are a very good team and are clearly working very hard to get back to the front with Ferrari and Mclaren. Alonso is a classy driver and it was good to see the team get some reward for all their hard work this year. PS. Hamilton for the WDC this year.



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