Alonso plays down press version of stormy year at McLaren

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Former Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso played down negative reports of his time at McLaren on Monday night.

19 December 2007

MADRID - Former Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso played down negative reports of his time at McLaren on Monday night, claiming that the year had not been as bad as the press had made out.

In an interview conducted from a 600-meter deep mine in Asturias, the region the 26-year-old driver hails from, Alonso told radio station Cadena Ser that "too much was written about those things," in reference to coverage of the tempestuous relationship the driver had with team boss Ron Dennis, which saw the two reach a mutual agreement at the end of the 2007 season to tear up the driver's three-year contract after just one campaign.

Speaking about his return to Renault, where he won his two championships in 2005 and 2006, he described the move as a "hard decision," revealing that he was approached by every single team with the offer of a drive - except for Ferrari.

Alonso was realistic about his chances with the French team for the 2008 season, saying: "Right now it's crazy to think I can win the title with Renault. I'm not thinking about the championship right now, I'm only thinking about improving the car. We'd need to take an enormous step forward to be able to fight for the world championship next year."

Alonso's comments echo those made at the weekend by former McLaren driver Juan Pablo Montoya, who said that "not even [Ayrton] Senna would win with this Renault."

[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL./ Santiago Hernández Galán 2007]

Subject: Spanish news

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