Alonso: Renault the Team to Beat

Malaysian Grand Prix winner Fernando Alonso believes Renault are already the team to beat in Formula One this season

Alonso: Renault the Team to Beat

The Spaniard made it two wins out of two for the French team in Sepang on Sunday after teammate Giancarlo Fisichella clinched victory in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Renault, who finished a distant third to Ferrari in last season's Constructors' Championship, have 26 points from two races as the Italian team struggle in fourth place 16 points behind.

"We have shown we are the team to beat," Alonso told sports daily L'Equipe on Monday. "We seem to be good on any type of track, that's why I think we still can be the reference in Bahrain (on April 3). I'm confident."

Italy's Jarno Trulli came home second more than 20 seconds off the pace to give Toyota their first podium finish, with Williams driver Nick Heidfeld in third.

Ferrari, who won 15 of last year's 18 races, failed to make the podium for the first time since Hungary in August 2003. World Champion Michael Schumacher was seventh while Rubens Barrichello retired. Alonso said Renault had to do everything to ram the point home while Ferrari were experiencing problems.

"We have to take profit from their momentary flagging to score more points, because it is going to get harder and harder," the 23-year-old said. "Toyota and Williams have shown we will have to deal with them and McLaren, as well as Ferrari, will always be there."

Asked if he could be crowned World Champion this season, Alonso said: "We are only two races into the season, it is too soon to talk about it. But I have to admit I have never been in such a good position to win. If we go on like this, everything is possible."

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