Renault and Red Bull hoping to secure Fernando Alonso for 2008 season 

Written by David on November 03rd, 2007 at 4:07 pmLast Update: November 03rd, 2007 at 4:07 pm

Flavio Briatore and Norbert HaugThe rush is on to secure the services of the newly liberated former McLaren driver Fernando Alonso for 2008. Leading the race to sign the double world champion are Renault and Red Bull Racing, according to reports on Saturday. “There are always talks everywhere and with everyone,” Red Bull mogul Dietrich Mateschitz told the Austrian newspaper Salzburger Nachrichten, albeit admitting that his outfit already has ‘fixed contracts’ with two drivers for next season.

One of them is David Coulthard, who found time to also speak with the newspaper despite currently being on vacation. “If Red Bull intends to get Alonso, I am sure I would know about it. So I doubt that it is happening,” the Scottish veteran said. Coulthard’s management told the British newspaper The Guardian: “We haven’t heard a word. The team has an obligation to enter David in next year’s championship and, if they are moving for Fernando, I’d like to think we would know.”

Furthermore, it is understood that team boss Christian Horner is far less enthusiastic than Mateschitz about the concept of booting out Coulthard or Mark Webber to make room for Alonso. But Germany’s Bild newspaper quoted Mateschitz as adding: “In Formula One, nothing is for sure.” He also described the $26m Alonso rumors as “a great compliment for us.”

Apparently more resolute, however, are Flavio Briatore’s plans to reunite the Spaniard with Renault. “I have presented a plan to Fernando about the future,” the Italian is quoted as saying by La Gazzetta dello Sport. “If he wants to cooperate with us again, it can happen. I know how much he can offer to Renault,” team boss Briatore added, but he played down suggestions that Renault is prepared to play along with a merely single-year deal. “An agreement for one year would not make sense,” he insisted. Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn also seems in favor of Alonso’s return. Asked about the rumor, he said: “Briatore is in charge of the Alonso case. I delegate all sporting decisions to him. But primarily Renault must occupy a role in Formula One among the favourites,” Ghosn added.

source: GMM

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