renaultmotorhome.jpgI suspect you have been secretly wondering when I was going to mention the prospective pickle that former champions Renault seem to have found themselves in. If not I’m going to blather on anyway!

After winning successive championship titles in 2005 and 2006, everything seemed to rapidly go down the toilet for the Enstone based squad. Especially when their lead driver Fernando Alone-so made the strange decision to up sticks and head off for a new “challenge” at McLaren.

And what a challenge it turned out to be! With So Alone-so, Hamilton, Martin Whitmarsh and Ron Dennis involved in the mother of all four way duels to talk the most amount of nonsense to the waiting media in the shortest space of time, whilst single-handedly demonstrating to the rest of the pitlane McLaren’s unique style of team-work and championship winning ways.

Exhausted after all the high drama, Alonso has now decided to return to the Renault fold on the understanding that he will be their number 1, and not have to share his limelight with any snotty-nosed trophy hogging rookies. After all it worked for Michael Schumacher…and he didn’t even have to bribe and blackmail his team….

patandflav.jpgYou may recall recently both Renault Team Boss Flavio Briatore and his trusty side-kick Pat Symonds waxing lyrical publicly about the importance of having a clear and defined Number 1 and Number 2 driver in modern F1 teams.

Unfortunately it would seem the Management duo seemed to have accidentally forgotten their own advice (well they are getting on a bit – old age and all that) and signed young hot-shot and official Renault test Driver Nelson Piquet Jnr to the other racing seat.

(Heikki having contracted the same strange illness that Alonso previously caught in 2006, and having dementedly swanned off to Woking believing in fairytales, integrity, shiny-pots and what-have-you).

It may be worth pointing out that nobody seems to have told young Nelson that he is due to play the supporting cast to the sparky Spaniard. Comments in the media of late has seen Nelson Piquet’s old man wading in to insist Nelson Jnr will be firmly attempting to thrash the pants off said Double World Champion in 2008. What is it with ex-world champion fathers anyway? Nothing that a decent length of duct tape wouldn’t cure we are sure…

piquet-snr-and-jnr.jpgFollowing on from the tantrum throwing, door smashing and helmet chucking that went on against a certain rookie last year, here at FFN we just can’t wait for round 2 to begin!

But in all seriousness….Renault are hoping to return to the sharp end of the grid in 2008. A mysterious unnamed insider from the team mentioned to the Spanish media (is that a clue, then?) that predictions from wind tunnel simulations show the Renault R28 to be somewhere in the region of 1.6 seconds faster than the 2007 car. Presumably the 0.6-second part of that total coming from the unique leadership, team morale building and engineering skills only Fernando Alonso can bring to any team. Well that’s roughly what he said he took to McLaren…

Here at FFN we are fervently hoping the R28 is considerably faster than the 2007 car, if only to prevent the inevitable blood loss that would occur from our eyeballs if last year’s paint scheme is anything to go by.

Meanwhile all has been very quiet at Williams. Over the winter, Williams confirmed they had resigned their star driver Nico “Britney” Rosberg until 2010. Here at FFN we are presuming his nickname is Britney because of his long blond locks and hopefully nothing to do with his penchant for spells in rehab, driving with small children on his lap without a seat belt, or his involvement in dismal performances on MTV whilst off his face on anti-depressants.

britney.jpg Lining up alongside “Britney” for 2008 is young Japanese driver Kazuki Nakajima, whose father incidentally is another former F1 driver. Nakajima apparently raced in the GP2 series last year and sufficiently impressed the Williams team enough to land the race seat. Meanwhile a young rising German talent Nico Hulkenburg has landed himself the role of Williams’ test-driver for 2008.

Incidentally, it would seem Williams have decided against having a car launch this year…only time will tell if its because they have something cunning up their sleeve, or if they have finally succumbed to the ‘if you can’t beat them join them mentality’ and gone out shopping for a customer car (let’s hope they didn’t get a Honda). Is that Frank Williams I can hear gnashing his teeth?

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