Briatore confirms Alonso offer
|By Michele Lostia and Matt Beer||Monday, October 1st 2007, 11:47 GMT|
Renault boss Flavio Briatore has confirmed that he has invited Fernando Alonso to rejoin the team whenever he leaves McLaren.
Alonso's former team have been at the forefront of rumours about the world champion's future, especially as Renault have not yet announced their 2008 driver line-up.
Briatore admitted that he had told Alonso there would be a place available for him at Renault if he wanted it.
"I told Fernando that the moment he is free from McLaren, we would be pleased to have him back," Briatore was quoted as saying by Gazzetta dello Sport. "It would be stupid to deny that."
Last weekend Ferrari team principal Jean Todt dismissed rumours that Alonso could join Ferrari in place of Felipe Massa next season, and Briatore agreed that Ferrari were right to keep the Brazilian and Kimi Raikkonen.
He said pairing Alonso with Raikkonen would potentially create the same driver hierarchy problems that have caused tension at McLaren this year.
"First of all, after this experience at McLaren, Alonso will think 27 times before facing new adventures in other teams, and besides Todt already has two good drivers," said Briatore.
"And lastly I wonder: would it be positive to team up Alonso and Raikkonen? The time when you could have two strong drivers in the team are over. Now it's important that the roles, number one and two, are clear, otherwise you risk to destabilise the team."
Briatore believes Alonso would not have joined McLaren if he had known that he would have to fight on equal terms with Lewis Hamilton.
"If before signing the contract they told Fernando: 'come with us but you won't have any sort of advantage', he wouldn't have gone," the Renault boss suggested.
"If you hire a world champion, then you must give him the number one status."
The Italian admitted that Renault's relationship with Alonso had not always been harmonious but felt the team had always successfully smoothed any issues.
"There had been tensions also when he was at Renault, but we got over them because we were always transparent with him," Briatore said.
He also joked about McLaren boss Ron Dennis's record with Latin drivers.
"Dennis has often reiterated to be very good at managing drivers, especially the Latin ones," said Briatore.
"With the problems he's had with (Ayrton) Senna, (Juan Pablo) Montoya and Alonso, he must have lost the instructions manual... Maybe he did not study Latin at school..."