Monday, December 10, 2007

Formula 1 News: Alonso joins Renault F1 and a Ban on engine development.

Breaking news! Fernando Alonso will return to the ING Renault F1 team for the 2008 season. Alonso is back after a terrible year at McLaren to sign a $50million dollar per season two year contract with Renault F1. Under his previous stint at Renault, Alonso pulled off two world titles.

Alonso will take the #1 driver position, with Nelson Piquet Jr. taking the #2 position on the team. This leaves 2007 Renault drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and Heikki Kovalainen without confirmed rides for next season. Speculation surrounds Kovalainen that he could take up Alonso's now-vacant seat at McLaren. Though this is not confirmed.

Also new out of the Formula 1 camp is the announcement by FIA that there is an immediate ban on engine development til 2017. All F1 teams must submit their engine by March, 31st 2008. FIA El Presidente Max Mosley said, "There is no need to develop an F1 engine any further. The engine runs at 19,000 rpm, which is far faster than any comparable engine. It sounds good, it's reliable and amazingly the six partially frozen engines of the current manufacturers are really evenly matched."

Hopefully this isn't the last nail in the coffin for Formula One. With all of the rule changes and the loss of personality. Many fans are jumping ship. We can't draw ourselves away though. Formual One is still a million times more enjoyable than NASCAR.

Source:, Motor Authority.

ING Renault F1 Team announces 2008 driver line-up

The ING Renault F1 Team is pleased to announce a competitive driver duo for the 2008 Formula 1 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.

"Fernando and Nelsinho will form one of the most exciting driver line up of 2008," commented Renault F1 Team Managing Director Flavio Briatore. "We are delighted to be welcoming Fernando back home to the team where he enjoyed his greatest success. His abilities as a driver and a team leader are well known, and we look forward to forging another strong partnership. What's more, he knows the team well and how we operate; he will feel comfortable straight away in this environment. Nelsinho is one of the most promising young talents in motorsport. After his success in GP2, he has spent a year learning the ropes as our test driver and getting to know the team ; he is now ready to step up to the next level."

ING Renault F1 Team President Bernard Rey commented: "The entire team has been working flat out over the past months to return to the front of the field, and a top-line driver line-up is essential to achieving our targets. Our recent technology investments, the return of Fernando Alonso to the team, and the promotion of Nelsinho Piquet, all signal our intent to return to winning ways next year. Renault is also delighted to welcome a talented, young Frenchman to the team as test driver."

Fernando Alonso rejoins the Renault F1 Team after spending the 2007 season at McLaren-Mercedes. Alonso drove for the Renault F1 Team between 2003 and 2006, during which time he scored 15 Grand Prix victories and won two world championships, in 2005 and 2006. He will play a key role in the team's efforts to return to the front of the field in 2008.

"I am delighted to be returning to Renault," commented the 26 year-old Spaniard. "This is the team where I grew up as a driver in Formula 1. Now it is time for us to begin a new chapter together. I am very excited about working with this great team once more, and confident that together we can move back to the front of the field. Renault had a difficult year in 2007, but I know that the team has real strength in depth. I am confident they can produce a fast and competitive car and be back at the top in 2008."

Nelson Piquet Jr will complete the team's race driver line-up. The 22 year-old Brazilian spent 2007 as the Renault F1 Team's test and reserve driver, after finishing runner-up in the 2006 GP2 series championship. He will make his F1 debut at the 2008 Australian Grand Prix.

"First of all, I want to thank Flavio and Renault for putting their confidence in me for 2008,"commented Nelsinho. "It is a fantastic opportunity to make my Formula 1 debut with one of the top teams on the grid, and alongside one of the very best drivers in the sport. This drive is something I have been working towards since the end of 2006, and I am proud that my performances as test driver have earned me this position. I am looking forward to teaming up with Fernando, and learning from him. As a rookie, there is no better way to start your career than to have a double world champion as your reference point."

The team's 2008 challenger, the Renault R28, will run for the first time at a three-day teams test in Valencia, Spain from 22 – 24 January. The car will be officially launched at Renault's corporate communications headquarters in Paris, France on Thursday 31 January 2008.