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Home > India > Sports > Formula One > Reuters > Report

Briatore dismisses talk of Alonso exit

March 26, 2008 11:16 IST

Renault boss Flavio Briatore dismissed rumours of Fernando Alonso [Images] moving out of the French team at the end of the 2008 season and added that his team could still win Grands Prix this year.

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Media speculation in Spain linked Alonso to a move to Ferrari [Images] as a replacement for Brazilian Felipe Massa [Images].

Massa has failed to score a point in two races this year but has a contract with the Italian team to the end of 2010.

"This story you remember was already last year...and in the end he (Alonso) signed with Renault," said Briatore.

Briatore was speaking after announcing a new 20 million pounds ($39.85 million) five-year sponsorship deal with Italian clothing company Lotto for his English Championship (second division) soccer club Queens Park Rangers.

The Spanish Grand Prix, a home race for Renault's double world champion Fernando Alonso, is the fourth round of the season on April 27.

"I think so, yes, in Barcelona we have the new package and absolutely yes (we can win)," he told Reuters.

Renault, champions in 2005 and 2006 with Alonso, have not won a race since October 2006 and chalked up just one podium finish last year after the Spaniard had left to drive for McLaren.

Alonso has now returned to the French team, where he is partnered with Brazilian rookie Nelson Piquet, but struggled to eighth place in Malaysia last weekend after finishing fourth in the Australian season-opener.

His view of the future seemingly differed from Briatore's, with the Spaniard telling the AS sports daily on Monday he was not expecting any big step forward.

"In Barcelona we will have some improvements for the car, the same ones all the teams will have, so the championship is going to stay more or less the same," he said.

"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."

© Copyright 2008 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.
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