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Alonso hints at Renault exit

Alonso hints at Renault exit
Eurosport - Tue, 25 Mar 12:54:00 2008
Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso says he could leave Renault at the end of the season with Ferrari his desired destination.

More StoriesIs Alonso moving, or are we gossip peddlers?
"I'm at Renault because I wanted to get back to winning, like in 2005 and 2006, if not this year then next year," Alonso told Spanish newspaper As.

"But I have an option to leave so I can be in the best possible car, and it is clear Ferrari is one of the best."

Alonso reportedly has a two-year contract with Renault, but he implied that the deal includes an escape clause at the end of this season.

The 26-year-old Spaniard, who left McLaren at the end of last season to rejoin Renault after only one year with the British team, added that Ferrari was the most logical destination if he were to leave his current squad.

"It's early to talk about moves and rumours, but [Felipe] Massa has had two bad races with mistakes and that has kicked off speculation," Alonso said.

"It's logical, but it's too early."

Ferrari, who have deals with Argentina's Massa and reigning world champion Kimi Raikkonen for 2009, are known to admire the talented Spaniard with president Luca di Montezemolo having sung his praises in the past.

Alonso won the 2005 and 2006 titles while racing with Renault, relegating Ferrari legend Michael Schumacher to third and second place in his final two seasons.

His return to the French-based Renault team after a tumultuous year with McLaren, which included a feud with young British star and then team-mate Lewis Hamilton, has been disappointing.

Alonso finished fourth in a chaotic season opener in Australia and eighth in last weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix.

"It was more or less as we expected," he said of the results.

"We knew that finishing in the top eight was going to be difficult and if it hadn't been for Massa's retirement we wouldn't have made it.

"That's the reality and that's what the situation is like, it was no surprise. In a normal race, with no retirements, we were ninth in qualifying and eighth in the race.

"Before Barcelona [for the Spanish Grand Prix on April 27] we will have some improvements for the car, [but] the same ones all teams will make, so the championship is going to stay more or less the same.

"We saw it last year and we see it every year. The cars that win the first two or three races stay on top. We are not going to see big surprises during the year."

Jeremy Stahl / Eurosport
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