The ING Renault F1 Team has announced an unchanged line-up next season with Fernando Alonso signing a two year extension for 2009 and 2010, and Nelson Piquet confirmed for a further season. The double world champion had been courted by Honda, and was looking for a Ferrari drive, but Renault's late-season uplift in form has convinced the Spaniard to stay put.He said: 'I have decided to stay with the ING Renault F1 team because, as I have often repeated this season, they have always been my first choice and I feel very happy and comfortable with them. It's a very close-knit team with a competitive and winning mentality, and also a relaxed and warm attitude, which suits me perfectly.'My back-to-back wins in Singapore and Japan, and my recent second place podium finish in Brazil, have proved how competitive we can be. In the past we have won championships together, as well as going through tough moments, but we are now determined to show that we can repeat that success together in the coming seasons." It was expected that sporadic form by Nelson Piquet would lead to him being dropped by Flavio Briatore, but continuity will be needed for 2009, when a raft of rule-changes will change the face of Formula One.
Piquet commented: 'Obviously I am delighted to have the opportunity to race for the ING Renault F1 Team for a second year. Although I have had a tough year, I have learned a lot from my rookie season and I will aim to put that experience to good use next season.'
Flavio Briatore added, 'This gives the ING Renault F1 Team one of the most exciting driver pairings with the perfect blend of youth and experience.'