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Renault give Alonso his winning car
Alan Baldwin | December 01, 2005 12:15 IST
Renault gave Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso an early Christmas present when they presented him with his winning car on Wednesday.
"I hope it gives you even more inspiration and enthusiasm for next year," Renault president Carlos Ghosn told the 24-year-old Spaniard at a celebration of the team's two championships.
"I knew it was a big surprise but this is a dream come true," he said. "I don't have a place to put it but I will find one."
The youngest champion in the sport's history, and winner of seven of the 19 races this year, assured reporters he would be just as determined and competitive in 2006.
He said the title has changed nothing in either his lifestyle or the way he went racing.
"I still think in the same way, I want to beat the other people. I have been a very competitive person all my life and now I have won the championship. I was the 2005 champion but 2006 is a new experience.
"I want to be the best also in 2006, 2007, 2008 and whenever. I always want to beat the competitors in anything I do, it doesn't matter whether it's Formula One or tennis," he declared.
"Next year is a new challenge but I didn't change my life or anything," added the Oviedo driver.
"People always ask me what I bought after the championship to celebrate. I didn't buy anything because I come from a modest family and I don't like the life of the rich people.
"So I don't need to buy anything expensive because I don't know how to use it," he added.
"I enjoy time with my family or things like that. Very little things, they are the most important in my life."
Alonso will have just one day of testing before the New Year, with Renault not due to bring out their new car and engine until January 10.
Asked whether people are treating him differently since he won the title in Brazil in September, the Spaniard said he feels more respected.
"I was the youngest [champion] ever so I am extremely proud of this but life keeps going and next year is a new motivation and probably more difficult than this year," he said.
"I will have the number one on my car so probably at the start of the season I will be one of the three or four drivers who will be favourite to win.
"I think the McLaren drivers, [Ferrari's seven-times world champion] Michael [Schumacher], probably Honda if it's good enough in the winter tests and the Renault cars can all be champions in 2006," added Alonso.
"I will enjoy 2006 like the first championship I raced."
Formula One: The Complete Coverage