The Spaniard doesn't seem to think so. "Right now, it's crazy to think I can win the title with Renault," he says. "I'm not thinking about the championship, only about improving the car. We'd need to take an enormous step forward to fight for the world championship next year."
Of course, such modesty is typical winter season chatter: Alonso has already shown he has the determination to win at all costs. In many ways, however, it's not up to Alonso - it's Renault's responsibility to provide him with a competitive car, and of that it feels confident, having identified the R27's shortcomings at an early stage and begun development work on the R28 before both Ferrari and McLaren. Expect Renault to be back in the ballpark this season - and expect Alonso to once again be running near the front.
Ferrari technical director Aldo Costa has promised an uncompromising revision of the F2007 for '08, explaining that the new car will be "completely new" and feature a new front-end, sidepods and wing. It's a typically aggressive move from the Scuderia, which surprised the F1 firmament with the huge steps taken with last year's car. Given the Italian team's depth of technical expertise, expect the F2008 to be nothing less than a rocketship.