Emerson Fittipaldi has warned Fernando Alonso that he shouldn't expect an easy ride as he returns to Renault for the 2008 Formula 1 season.

Alonso returns to the regie after a single season with McLaren, which turned out to be more tumultuous than either party had anticipated. As well as his role in the F1 spying saga, Alonso also fell out with both the team and his team-mate Lewis Hamilton, with the decision then taken to end his time with the team just one year into a three year deal.

However, having elected to return to the 'safety' of Renault for 2008 - where he will be the number one driver - Brazilian legend Fittipaldi warned that his countryman wouldn't let the Spaniard have it all his own way.

"Nelsinho will be worse for Fernando Alonso than Lewis Hamilton," he was quoted by Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport. "Nelsinho is an excellent driver, is very fast and in the past year has completed more than 15,000km of testing with Renault.

"For all these reasons I believe that he will give him more problems."

Despite that however, Fittipaldi said he felt Alonso was capable of returning Renault to the winners circle after a trying campaign that saw the defending champions surrender its titles without seriously challenging at the front.

"In the past, Briatore, thanks to Fernando, has been able to maximise the performance of the team," he said. "And if it happens this time, the Spaniard will fight for the title."

 

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