Alonso will “never forget” his time with Renault

Fernando Alonso was sad not to finish his final race for Renault on a high, after admitting that the team did not have the pace of the other competitors.

The Spaniard finished in fourteenth and later paid tribute to his Renault team for the years they spent together.

Romain Grosjean finished in sixteenth.

Fernando Alonso – 14th: “The result today is disappointing as we were not able to produce the performance we wanted. I would have liked to finish the season on a high, especially as this was my last race with Renault. I would like to thank the entire team for everything that we have achieved together over the years. We had some great victories and won championships together. It has been the most amazing seven years of my career and something I will never forget.”

Romain Grosjean – 16th: “The race today was disappointing. I made a good start but I was blocked several times. I also suffered with some brake problems during the race. Towards the end I unfortunately lost a place to Fisichella, which was a shame, but the performance of the car didn’t really allow me to show what I was capable of today. It’s now the end of the season and I can say that I have learnt an enormous amount this year, especially being teammate to Fernando.”

Jean-François Caubet, Managing Director: “We have to recognise that this has been a difficult year for Renault. From a technical standpoint the year started with confusion, and on the human side we will miss Fernando who is leaving the team. From the political perspective, all the problems that we have encountered this year have been negative for us and for Formula One. But next season is full of hope; we have turned the page and the future is ahead of us. The strategy is well underway, the choice of drivers is close and the technical changes being overseen by Bob [Bell] for the chassis and Rob [White] for the engine are promising. The sponsors are coming back and even though we are disappointed with our performance in the final race of the season, we know that changes are underway and we are confident for the future. The team is united and full of optimism.”

Bob Bell, Team Principal: “In terms of performance it was a disappointing race for us. Going into the weekend, we had slightly higher expectations, but in the end we just didn’t have the pace. In terms of the event itself, it has been fantastic and Abu Dhabi deserves real credit for providing the facilities and for staging a great event, which has been great for Formula One. As a team we are obviously disappointed as we had hoped to end the season on a high, but we are upbeat for next year. We will move on from here and will be back fighting next year.”

Remi Taffin, Head of Engine Operations: “The story of the year overall is that we have not been competitive enough. Today’s race was difficult again and unfortunately we couldn’t fight for points. In terms of the engines, we have not had any issues this year but we are missing overall performance with the car. We will work hard over the winter to come back stronger in 2010.”

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