His Renault may have been all-but a match for the Ferrari in recent races, but Fernando Alonso has admitted that he still harbours desires to race for the Scuderia in Formula 1 before his career ends - even if he is keen to point out that his 2008 campaign with Renault has not been a 'lost year'.

The Spaniard has been linked to a future at Maranello for some time, and though all doors appear to be closed for at least 2009 - with Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen staying firmly on-board - whispers persist that a substantial pay-off aided by Spanish bank and current McLaren-Mercedes key sponsor Santander could see the Finn shifted aside in 2010, and Alonso eased into his place. It is understood that there is still no McLaren-Santander agreement in place beyond the end of next season.

Alonso triumphed for Renault in both the Singapore and Japanese Grands Prix of late, and has been significantly the highest-scoring driver in the top flight over the last four races. In the wake of that unexpected but seemingly sustained success he is now widely expected to remain with the R?gie next year - but beyond that, he reflected, anything could happen.

"I admit that one day I would very much like to be with Ferrari," the 27-year-old confessed in an interview with German newspaper the Stuttgarter Zeitung. "It's the best team in the history of Formula 1, and it is clear that those who go with them are part of history.

"The priority for me, however, always has to be whether my team can put a winning car at my disposal. I will sacrifice nothing. I want to win rather than write history."

Alonso also sought to explain that a potential agreement with BMW-Sauber for next year did not fail to come about because of a personality clash as some have suggested, whilst pouring cold water on his reported 'feud' with ex team-mate Lewis Hamilton and insisting that he has only ever had difficulty with 'one' team during his racing career.

"I have raced karts since I was three-years-old," the man from Oviedo underlined. "In the last 24 years I have been fine with all of my teams, except for one.

"It was the same team that had problems with [Ayrton] Senna, [Alain] Prost, [Kimi] Raikkonen and [Juan-Pablo] Montoya. Perhaps the problem is with the team rather than with the driver.

"In order to get things straight, it did not have anything to do with Lewis Hamilton. I respect him and he respects me. We both wanted to win, so the fact that there were points of friction there was normal. The team could not deal with this situation."

Reflecting on his 2008 campaign, finally, whilst awarding it an 'eight' out of ten on an overall satisfaction level - 'For ten I would have to win the title or at least be able to fight for it' - Alonso did acknowledge that even if in terms of early results it had been disappointing, he has learned how to have fun and enjoy his driving once more, and it has re-awakened his hunger to be crowned world champion again.

"I do not consider this a lost year," the 21-time grand prix winner affirmed. "I have remembered that I love Formula 1, and how to enjoy it. I'm having fun again at my job; that had been lost a bit.

"As a Formula 1 driver your career lasts only ten-to-twelve years, which means you do not want to give away a year. After my second world championship I had thought two titles were actually enough. That changed this season."

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