Briatore's fury at reports of Renault's exit from F1

While the Renault team principal, Flavio Briatore, attacked the French media for suggesting that 2006 will be the team's last in Formula One, the company president, Carlos Ghosn, gave a cautious commitment to remain in the sport.

"As long as we perform at the top level there will not be so much question about our future in F1," said Ghosn. "There are questions about the format of the sport from 2008, but if we consider that the resolutions to these questions are good, and still receive a good return on our investment, then we should be there."

Briatore, dressed like a Butlins bluecoat, was more acerbic as he lambasted rumours in the French press of a withdrawal by Renault at the end of this season. These suggest that the company would sell their team and revert purely to being an engine supplier.

"I have heard what the French journalists have said and they need a new job," Briatore said. "It is false information that they have disseminated everywhere. Renault want to stay in F1 but only under certain conditions, like the other major manufacturers Mercedes-Benz, Honda, BMW and Toyota. They all want to see the same conditions."

If Renault are staying, however, it begs the question why Alonso preferred to jump ship by signing last December to drive for McLaren in 2007.

The champion dodged questions, and stuck to the stock response: "I do not think a driver can race all his career for the same team. I am still young and felt I needed a new challenge from 2007."

The Spaniard insists, like his predecessor as champion, Michael Schumacher, that winning last year has merely whetted his appetite. "I always race to win and will have the same motivation now, next year and when I am 50. I think to win in everything I do."

Alonso, and team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella, are enthused by the initial performance of their new R26. "It gives me very good feelings and we are confident of repeating our success of 2005," Alonso said.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea