Alonso drops down the field in misfiring Renault
On another worrying day for team Renault and fans of former Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso, the Spanish driver could only manage the 11th-fastest time in testing at Barcelona's Montmeló circuit on Tuesday.27 February 2008
BARCELONA - On another worrying day for team Renault and fans of former Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso, the Spanish driver could only manage the 11th-fastest time in testing at Barcelona's Montmeló circuit on Tuesday. After finishing seventh the previous day, the result was especially disappointing, even though Alonso has been at pains to play down his chances of winning a third world title for Renault in 2008.
In yesterday's testing, as on the previous day, British driver Lewis Hamilton clocked the fastest time in his McLaren, with team mate Heikki Kovalainen second quickest. Alonso was almost two seconds slower than Hamilton, his great rival of last season when they both drove for McLaren. Additional proof that the R28 car is not yet performing well with just over two weeks to go before the opening Grand Prix of the new season was provided by Renault's second driver, Nelson Piquet Jr., finishing next to last in 17th place.
Former Renault driver and team mate of Alonso during his successful campaigns of 2005 and 2006, Giancarlo Fisichella, wasted little time in rubbing in the bad news for the Spaniard. "At best [Alonso] might be able to fight for a podium finish in the odd race, but right now he's got no chance of winning any races," the Italian said.
Driving for Formula 1 newcomer, Force India, Fisichella yesterday managed a creditable sixth-fastest time behind the two McLarens, world champion Kimi Raikkonen in his Ferrari, Williams' Niko Rosberg and Felipe Massa, also Ferrari.
[Copyright El Pais 2008]