Fernando Alonso was finally confirmed as a Renault driver for 2008 just four days after the team escaped any censure from the WMSC in the spy affair.
Team and driver had been unable to commit to each other until it was clear whether the Anglo-French outfit would suffer a penalty.
Alonso seems also to have capitulated on his demand for a one-year deal that would free him up to join Ferrari in 2009, should the opportunity arise. The Renault main board had been demanding a three-year arrangement, but a compromise of two years has been reached.
The Spaniard had also talked to Red Bull Racing and Toyota among others, and was reported by some sources to be getting a little desperate until the Renault deal was finally concluded in mid-December. Afterwards he said:
“I chose Renault in the end considering the commitment to the sport and because of the strong track record.”
He will be partnered by Nelson Piquet Jr, who has been promoted from the role of third driver. The departing Heikki Kovalainen, who is managed by team boss Flavio Briatore, has been linked with drives at McLaren and Toyota.