Alonso will not be released early

Flavio Briatore has said he is unlikely to let Alonso break his contract early, despite attempts by McLaren to get him into their new car last week. McLaren F1 CEO Martin Whitmarsh said “We would like Renault to recognise everything that he has done for them and release him to come and test for us. We have requested it, and if they said yes, we could do it.”

However, Briatore claims that noone in McLaren spoke to him about releasing Alonso early, and has made it clear that early release is not an option. “I think McLaren got the wrong address,” he said. “If they wanted Alonso, they should have spoken with Renault, not with the journalists. In any case I haven’t yet thought about this possibility, I don’t think it’s so important for the fate of the world. I send my wishes to Fernando to spend a merry Christmas and a relaxing winter, because when spring comes we’ll beat him soundly!”.

Meanwhile, Alonso’s race engineer Rod Nelson has parted company with Renault and will be working for Williams in 2007. Nelson joined Benetton in 1997 and has slowly worked his way up. Nelson had the option of working with either Fisichella or Kovalainen during 2007, but has decided to swap teams to Williams and work with either Rosberg or Wurz.