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Alonso, Piquet Sign Renault Extension

It is now official! Fernando Alonso and Nelsinho Piquet will be racing for Renault for at least one more season. The French team issued a statement earlier today, confirming the drivers' lineup for 2009. Moreover, 2-time world champion Alonso extended his deal with Flavio Briatore's team for yet two more seasons, until 2010, while Nelsinho was signed for one further year.

“Fernando's commitment for the next two seasons confirms the faith he has in the team and we are delighted to continue working with him. He has been a big asset throughout this difficult season and his leadership and talent, matched with the team's hard work and determination, have paid off with our recent performances, which have placed the ING Renault F1 Team back among the top competitors of Formula 1,” stated Briatore after Renault's announcement.

Alonso was also delighted with his choice, pointing out that his team has recovered well from a poor start this season and will be battling for the top spots in the years to come.

“After a difficult start to the season, we have overcome our difficulties and constantly improved our performances. 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,” added Alonso.

Piquet, who wasn't sure if he'll continue in the Great Circle for another season – as Romain Grosjean and Lucas di Grassi were also in contention for a racing seat with Renault F1 – also expressed his delight to have been given a second shot at Renault in 2009.

“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. I want to thank the team for their support this year and for the trust they have shown in me for the future. I'm already excited about 2009 and looking forward to working with the team over the winter so that we can start next season strongly,” concluded Piquet.
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