Fernando Alonso aims to give Renault a special send off at next week’s season finale in Abu Dhabi as he prepares for his final race with the French team before joining Ferrari in 2010.
“I would love to finish the season and my Renault career with a great result,” the double world champion said. “It will be an emotional race because I have enjoyed so many special memories with this team and I am leaving behind a lot of friends. Renault is one of the great teams in Formula One and I look forward to fighting with them on the track in the years ahead.”
Renault team principal Bob Bell, who was ushered into the post of team boss after Flavio Briatore was exiled from the sport for his involvment in the crash-gate saga, says Alonso will be missed the team.
“He’s made a huge contribution to the team, especially winning two world championships in 2005 and 2006 so he will be missed enormously,” Bell said. “It’s often said that he is the best driver on the grid and I wouldn’t disagree with that so we’re understandably sad to see the end of our very successful relationship.”
“But we’re also looking forward and we’re all delighted to be welcoming Robert Kubica to the team as I believe he will quickly show that he is of the same calibre as Fernando. He’s a strong team player, a great motivator and incredibly quick so we have plenty to look forward to as we enter a new era for the team.”
Alonso, who won both his world championships with Renault in 2005 and 2006, is also looking forward to the challenge posed by the stunning new Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi.
“I always enjoy the challenge of a new circuit and the track in Abu Dhabi looks very impressive. It will be a new experience for everyone so it’s important that we maximise all the sessions and learn as much as we can quickly to try and find an advantage.”
“I think the facility looks amazing and will be great for the people of Abu Dhabi. We went there a few years ago for the street demo and saw how much enthusiasm the fans have for Formula One.”