Alonso asks Renault not to quit

While Renault are currently considering whether to buy a team or quit rather than being an engine provider to others, their former driver Fernando Alonso wants the French outfit to stay to bolster the sport.

Fernando Alonso... "Renault and Formula One are quite linked together in the history of this sport, so hopefully they stay."   -  AP

Fernando Alonso's glory days with Renault. The Spaniard won both his World Championships with the French outfit.   -  AP

Fernando Alonso has urged Renault to stay in Formula One, saying the French manufacturer is an integral part of the sport’s history.

Renault are currently considering whether to buy a team or quit rather than being an engine provider to others.

The French company currently powers former champions Red Bull and their sister team Toro Rosso, and there are contracts with both until 2016, although Red Bull are reportedly pushing for an early release.

Renault, who have been involved in Formula One since 1977, have been in negotiations with the financially-troubled Lotus team that they previously owned under their own name.

“It’s a very big manufacturer with a lot of history behind Renault in Formula One,” said Alonso, who won both his two World Championships with Renault, on Thursday, ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix.

“So I think, if they stay as an official team or whatever, if they decide this is best for them, I think this is also good for Formula One.

“Renault and Formula One are quite linked together in the history of this sport, so hopefully they stay,” added the Spaniard.

Alonso, who is now with the Honda-powered McLaren team, was previously with Ferrari. Before that, he had spent six of his early seasons in Formula One driving for Renault, winning the World Championship in 2005 and 2006.

Alonso has not won a title since leaving Renault, finishing runner-up on three occasions, and is currently 15th in this year’s standings, putting him on course for his worst season since he was a rookie in 2001.

He has scored points in just two of 12 races this season but remains optimistic about his chances in Singapore, a circuit where he won in 2008 and 2010.

“(If) we try to be as professional as we can, we can have a trouble-free weekend hopefully and that will put us in the points,” he said.

Alonso joked that the night-time races in Singapore helped him because staying out late and sleeping in until the early afternoon were part of his regular routine.

“This is what I do in the normal life, so no big change here,” he quipped.