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Renault confirm Alonso, Piquet for 2008

The Renault team have confirmed Fernando Alonso and Nelsinho Piquet as their racing drivers for the 2008 season

Alonso, who announced his move on his website on Monday, returns to the French squad after one season at the McLaren team, which he left two years before the end of his contract after a turbulent season.

Alonso will have Piquet, a test driver for the team in 2007, as teammate next year, after Renault confirmed an all-new line-up for 2008.

"Fernando and Nelsinho will form one of the most exciting driver line up of 2008," said Renault's managing director Flavio Briatore.

"We are delighted to be welcoming Fernando back home to the team where he enjoyed his greatest success. His abilities as a driver and a team leader are well known, and we look forward to forging another strong partnership.

"What's more, he knows the team well and how we operate; he will feel comfortable straight away in this environment.

"Nelsinho is one of the most promising young talents in motorsport. After his success in GP2, he has spent a year learning the ropes as our test driver and getting to know the team ; he is now ready to step up to the next level."

Alonso, 26, won two titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006 and the Spaniard is now hoping for another successful chapter.

"I am delighted to be returning to Renault," said Alonso. "This is the team where I grew up as a driver in Formula One. Now it is time for us to begin a new chapter together.

"I am very excited about working with this great team once more, and confident that together we can move back to the front of the field. Renault had a difficult year in 2007, but I know that the team has real strength in depth. I am confident they can produce a fast and competitive car and be back at the top in 2008."

Piquet, son of three-time champion Nelson, will make his Grand Prix debut at the age of 22.

"First of all, I want to thank Flavio and Renault for putting their confidence in me for 2008," said Piquet. "It is a fantastic opportunity to make my Formula One debut with one of the top teams on the grid, and alongside one of the very best drivers in the sport.

"This drive is something I have been working towards since the end of 2006, and I am proud that my performances as test driver have earned me this position. I am looking forward to teaming up with Fernando, and learning from him. As a rookie, there is no better way to start your career than to have a double world champion as your reference point."

Frenchman Romain Grosjean, reigning 2007 F3 Euro Series champion, will be the team's test driver.

The announcement leaves Giancarlo Fisichella and Heikki Kovalainen currently without a drive for next year.

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