News scrollers were running since evening proclaiming that ex-Renault and ex-McLaren driver and double world champion Fernando Alonso has decided to rejoin Renault. But whilst the news items said it’s a. 3-year deal, web reports suggested a 2-year deal. The former champion would be partnered by rookie driver Nelson Piquet for the 2008 F1 season.
Next year, double world champion Fernando Alonso will drive alongside Brazilian rookie Nelson Piquet Jr. They will be supported by Frenchman Romain Grosjean, reigning 2007 F3 Euroseries Champion and a product of Renault’s driver development scheme, in the role of test driver. [Source]
Well, it was inevitable I’d say. For a driver of the calibre and stature as Alonso, the top teams should be the destination and since neither Ferrari nor BMW had the openings, the next logical choice would have to be Renault. Toyota may have the kind of money to entice Alonso but their car’s competitiveness is just not enough for a championship fight. But poor Kovalainen…after a good season (rookie season, mind it!) and securing Renault’s only podium place of the season, he finds himself out of the team. But there’s a silver lining to it: Renault consider him to be “good enough to challenge Alonso” and hence thought keeping him would not be the best thing to do in interests of team harmony. They sure wouldn’t want another Alonso Vs. Hamilton saga to pan out within their team. It remains to be seen whether Kovalainen would join McLaren or maybe even Toyota or Force India.