Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Alonso could solve Renault woes

978 world champion Mario Andretti thinks part of Renault's problem this year is a poor driver lineup.The French squad soared to back-to-back drivers' andconstructors' titles until Fernando Alonso left forMcLaren at the end of last year. "I think they underestimated how important the talent of the driver is, and when they lost Alonso they weren't able toreplace him," the Italian born American, whose grandson Marco tested a Honda last winter, told the Indianapolis Motor Speedway website. Andretti suggested that Heikki Kovalainen alongsideGiancarlo Fisichella is not a championship winning combination."Kovalainen is probably a good rookie, but he hasn'tshown a hell of a lot yet, and Fisichella is, well,Fisichella!"No matter what you put him in, he will not give youconsistent performance. "He derided suggestions that Renault's struggle is allabout the switch from Michelin to standard Bridgestonetyres in 2007.Andretti said: "I think if you put Alonso back in thatcar, he'd have it up to speed in no time.""Flavio Briatore's a guy who's proud of not paying superstar money to a driver, but I'm sure if they'dbeen paying Alonso what he deserved, he might well have stayed there."Maybe they thought they had such a good car that theycould get by without a superstar driver."

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