Faure Hails First Title in a Renault Car

Renault F1 team president Patrick Faure has hailed the 'exceptional talent' of Fernando Alonso and celebrated with his team the first Formula One World Championship for a full factory Renault driver

Faure Hails First Title in a Renault Car

As a team, Renault never won the World Championship for drivers or constructors before. The French maker powered many winners as engine supplier, but as a constructor Renault only came close in 1983, when Alain Prost lost the title to Nelson Piquet, in a BMW, by two points.

But with Alonso making history yesterday to become the youngest ever World Champion, Faure said the win benefits Renault's image as young and successful.

"It felt like a very, very long race; I think I went through the longest 90 minutes of my life!" Faure said on the official Renault website. "I am also pleased because this is the first title for a 100% Renault car. And we did it against tough opposition.

"Also, it's a real pleasure to see Fernando crowned as the youngest Champion in history. It fits Renault's image, which is all about human warmth and youth. I have been in charge of Renault's F1 operations for 21 years, and we have now won everything during this period."

Faure paid tribute to Alonso in particular, saying the 24-year-old has asserted himself as a worthy Champion and heir to Michael Schumacher, alongside the Spaniard's main rival this year, McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen.

"I think we are seeing a year of transition between the Schumacher era and a new generation of drivers," Faure said. "Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen are the stars of the future.

"The boy (Alonso) just amazes me. He is exceptional. When Flavio Briatore mentioned him to me for the first time four or five years ago, he mentioned some exceptional qualities: aggression and consistency. Fernando showed he had them when he arrived at Renault. This year, he has added another string to his bow. He has shown he is a subtle strategic thinker, and a mature guy.

"He knows how to attack, to start from the front and win a race. He knows how to defend his position like in Imola. He also knows how to manage a situation, and not go for broke when his car isn't good enough to run at the front. And he is only 24!

"We are witnessing the blossoming of an exceptional talent."

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