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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The problem with a slow news day...

... or a no news day is reporters need to write to make money. And what better to write about than that which we already know -- Fernando Alonso has an escape clause in his contract to leave Renault at the end of the year if he isn’t satisfied with team progress.

Alonso mentioned to the Spanish press he holds an option to leave and...wait for it... Ferrari obviously has one of the better cars on the grid. Stunning. Who’d have thought Fernando would have negotiated such a contract? After all:

1) He was fresh off his experience at McLaren (where length of contract didn’t seem to tie him down anyway)

2) Alonso’s contract length has always coincidentally seemed tied to the length of Raikonnen’s Ferrari contract

and

3) Renault CEO Carlos Goshn, known for his cost-cutting ways, has never really been all that committed to F1 (it was doubt about the team’s future that led Alonso to leap to McLaren in the first place)

But let’s take a look at what Alonso really said.

He mentions he went to Renault to win in 2008 or 2009. Let’s also be honest, it was the only competitive drive open to him.

Now, if a Ferrari seat were to open up “unexpectedly,” meaning prior to the expiration of one of the current driver’s contracts, It is natural for Ferrari to consider the double world champion. Ferrari has been known to rate him. Why should we expect Alonso to pass this opportunity up?

Meanwhile, he points out that he wants to win at Renault, this year or next. So, even while he feels this year it will be difficult, it’s pretty obvious he’s not looking to run away just anywhere, but probably to Ferrari if a seat happens to be available. Otherwise, he is committed to Renault.

Alonso admitted speculation of this sort was inevitable following Massa’s less than stellar performances in the last two races, however, and that talk of him moving to Ferrari was “logical,” but “too early."

Never too early for the F1 press to create a “controversy” by pointing out the obvious.

Meanwhile, Flavio Briatore, in an interview that bounced between talk about Renault and recent acquisition Queens Park Rangers, told Reuters he believes Renault have what it takes to snatch a win this season.

Briatore promised a new package for Barcelona, and that “absolutely yes,” it can win. Don't miss the top stories of the day, subscribe to the SpeedRead Web newspaper now! -- Email SpeedRead -- Learn more about author C.D. Six

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