Alonso more motivated than ever, says Briatore


Perhaps its the many thousands of fans in the grandstands, or maybe its simply the desire to get one over on his former employers (McLaren), but Renault boss Flavio Briatore believes that Fernando Alonso is more motivated than ever as he continues his preparations for the 2008 F1 season.

Despite an off that brought Tuesday's session to a premature end, albeit by a few minutes, Alonso continues to set an impressive pace at Valencia, spurred on by almost 40,000 of his adoring fans.

"Fernando has come to the team with a plenty of aggression and motivation," Briatore told Marca. "I think the McLaren experience has made him stronger. I think he is more responsible. He's changed for the better.

"Fernando is very committed," he continued, "I'm delighted to see Fernando so motivated and so professional. I want to see him smile again and when I see him in the factory I see the old Fernando.

"In a sport like Formula One where there is so much pressure and danger you need to feel part of the team and Fernando is part of the team," added the Italian. "We are delighted to have him back and we hope he will be happy. If he is, then the results will follow. The fact that Fernando is back with the team has been a great motivation for all of us. If the car is as good as we think it is we can be up there fighting to win races."

For the second successive season, the Spaniard will be teamed with a rookie. However, while not wanting to predict whether Nelson Piquet Jr would take F1 by storm in the same manner as Lewis Hamilton, Briatore took time to take a clear swipe at Alonso's former boss.

I won't be the new Ron Dennis," he said. "I know how to manage the team and I don't want any dispute. Each person directs the team in their own way but I can guarantee that there will be no problems this season."

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Published: 23/01/2008
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