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Briatore: All new line-up in 2008

NEWS STORY
19/11/2007

Following our revelation that Giancarlo Fisichella has "no chance" of retaining his Renault drive for 2008, having already removed his kit from the team's Enstone HQ, it appears that Heikki Kovalainen is also surplus to requirements as far as the French team is concerned.

Speaking on Italian radio, Renault boss Flavio Briatore said that his team would have "different drivers" next season, and went on to claim that Fernando Alonso could be confirmed within the next 48 hours. Therefore, it appears that Nelson Piquet will be named as his teammate.

"We will definitely have different drivers next year," said the Italian. "There is a 60 per cent chance Alonso will be with us"

"If his desires coincide with ours, it can happen," he added. "I know how much he can still give Renault. But an agreement for one year would have no sense with an outlook projected for a period of time."

"We have an advantage because we know him," Briatore continued. "Between today and the day after tomorrow it will be decided."

Following a tempestuous season with McLaren, the two-time world Champion and the Woking team finally parted company at the beginning of the month. Briatore admits that his team's relationship with the Spaniard was not without its problems, however, he is adamant that the French outfit is more sensitive to Alonso's needs than the Woking outfit.

"When you marry, split up and get back together it is not easy," he said. "We and he have the intention of finding a solution. This week will be decisive for the marriage. He can choose and he knows us.

"Last year he chose McLaren and made a mistake," the Italian continued. "We often forget these are 25-year-olds who have never lived their youths. They'd prefer to stay at home with their auntie than to go doing promotional work in Bangladesh or in Tokyo. Alonso knows us from a human point of view and that is important. The last season has been difficult for him. It may have even changed his personality. We'll talk, I want to see where he wants to go.

"At McLaren he arrived as the World Champion and he was put in competition against a rookie driver: that way the relationship inside a team is put in danger. You can't have two Prima Donnas inside a team. You need to get behind one of the drivers.

"In this phase he is not thinking of the money," said Briatore. "He is thinking of everything except money."

Despite Briatore's claims however, there are many who believe that Alonso is waiting to see the outcome of the forthcoming spy case involving the French outfit.

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