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Monday, May 15, 2006

Money no problem for Renault

Seeking a star to replace Alonso
Renault want a top-line replacement for world champion Fernando Alonso, and are prepared to pay whatever it takes to get one, team President Alain Dassas said today in Spain.
Alonso, who won his home Spanish Grand Prix, will join rivals McLaren Mercedesnext year, leaving Renault without an established number one driver for 2007. And Dassas made it clear that the French manufacturer will stop at nothing to continue
their run of success, after earlier confirming the team's commitment to Formula One until at least 2012.

"Flavio will make proposals and selections but we are ready as Renault to do what is necessary to have a good driver," said Dassas. "We are committed for a long period of time. We have stated clearly that next year we want to have a driver who is able to give a top performance."

With only three truly front-line drivers on the Formula One grid, and one of those leaving the team at the end of the year, Renault appear to have narrowed their focus to Kimi Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher.
Both are out of contract at the end of the year, as is Renault's current Italian driver Giancarlo Fisichella, who has been told that a decision on his future will be made before the end of June.

Renault earlier confirmed that they would remain in Formula 1 until at least 2012 after signing a contract with Formula One's commercial rights holders CVC to continue in Formula One.

Speculation had mounted over the past months that Renault would leave Formula One at the end of 2007, which Dassas believed may have been a factor in Alonso's decision to leave. "I was not there half a year ago but I guess Alonso has left the team for several reasons," said Dassas.


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