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Tifosi claim Alonso as driver of choice.


Renault has admitted that three-quarters of the effort that went into winning Sunday night's inaugural Singapore Grand Prix came from its driver, which might explain why Ferrari fans have re-opened the debate about its line-up for next season.

Such was the unexpected nature of Fernando Alonso's victory in F1's first night race that Renault had to hunt for the means to toast the Spaniard, but engine guru Denis Chevrier insisted that the team had never doubted that its double world champion would return to the top of the podium if the opportunity presented itself.

The opening came when, ironically, rookie team-mate Nelson Piquet Jr did little to help his own cause by crashing out of the race on lap 14, bringing out the safety car. Alonso, pursuing a radical strategy after being sidelined in second qualifying, had already made his first stop for fuel and tyres and was thus well-placed to move towards the head of the field when the majority of the pack made similar stops.

Promoted further by penalties and the disappearance of two further cars running to just one stop, the Spaniard did not put a foot wrong over the remaining distance, receiving a solid second stop from the regie and defying a second safety car to take a famous victory.

"It has been 31 races, since Japan 2006, that we have not heard the French anthem," Chevrier commented amid the celebrations, "We worked to make sure the problems were not repeated and, in the end, we had our fingers crossed that nothing went wrong.

"But 75 per cent of this victory is due to the driver, to Fernando, who drove like a man possessed, without mistakes. It was fantastic. I only hope that he will stay with Renault because there are few like him on the market, and he will be the key for us next year."

Alonso's future, and the impact of winning a race with Renault this season, dominated a lot of thoughts in the wake of the race, with the Spaniard himself remaining coy on the subject.

"This victory is thanks to the massive effort [the team] are making with this year's car and next year's car, but it's not changing the decision for next year," he insisted, "As I've always said, though, Renault will be my first priority because I feel I'm at home in this team."

Team boss Flavio Briatore also admitted that he did not expect the Singapore success to play a major part in Alonso's decision of where to race next season, with the Spaniard being linked to both BMW Sauber and Honda since Ferrari and Red Bull ruled him out of their line-ups.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
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,Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H  leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

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findone - Unregistered

September 30, 2008 5:35 PM

Silent runner: yes!, Alonso did pass someone at Singapore, and not only in the first lap, in fact he was almost the only one to do it on track after the first lap. Last year he got the same points as Hamilton, a rookie fiercely supported by his team in clear detriment to Alonso. In Hungarooing, the team asked him to wait in the pit lane, as they said immediately after quals, and as you could hear from the radio of Dennis-Hamilton conversation, but then it was Alonso who got the penalty because they did not support him later. If you do not remember, in well known Dennis words: "We were not racing Raikonnen, we were racing Alonso". Would you like to hear that from your boss?

Evenstar - Unregistered

September 30, 2008 7:27 PM

@ loeb & silent runner. fuji [japanese gp 2007] Please brush up what happened in fuji last year. Look for any report before posting. Alonso crashed because his car was severely damaged by previous accident with Vettel. It was clearly seen on TV footage. After the accident with Vettel, Alonso’s car lost all the pace and performace. Alonso lost the championship in Hungary, when he was penalised after being reported by his own team because daddy Hamilton cried to brit press. Had his team supported him in Hungary, he would have never been penalised.



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