Alonso future still uncertain

Fernando Alonso remained silent on his future after claiming his first victory of the season at an incident-packed Singapore Grand Prix yesterday.

The Spaniard has been unwilling to confirm whether he will remain at Renault for 2009.

And despite his first success with the team this year at Formula One’s historic inaugural night race he was still reluctant to issue a positive commitment to stay.

Asked whether he is now preparing for the future with the team, Alonso said: “I didn’t say that.

“It’s not changing the decision for next year. As I’ve always said, Renault will be my first priority because I feel I’m at home in this team.”

Alonso started yesterday’s race in 15th place on the grid but, helped by some pit-lane drama involving Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, the two-time world champion sparkled under the lights to secure victory in an otherwise frustrating season.

“It was a great weekend for everyone in Formula One, the first night race,” he added.

“We all had a new challenge in front of us and we will all be part of history.

“We (Renault) have had a tough season but now we are fighting for fourth place in the constructor standings.

“This victory is well deserved as the guys worked extremely hard all season.”

Team boss Flavio Briatore hailed the victory as an important one for Renault as they look to move forward after disappointing performances over the last two years.

“This is an amazing victory for Renault and for Fernando,” he said..

“We knew the car was very competitive and we were very disappointed at the end of qualifying.

“The car was extremely quick and stronger than the Ferrari and McLaren and although we had some luck when the safety car came out, we deserved this victory.

“It is a very important result for Renault after two difficult seasons and helps us prepare for 2009 in the best way possible.”

The outcome could have been different but for some incredible misfortune for Massa.

He had started on pole but that changed when he entered the pit lane after the safety car had been deployed following Nelson Piquet’s crash in his Renault.

Massa was shown the green light to leave the pits but attempted to drive off with the fuel hose still attached and he eventually rejoined the race last.

That allowed world championship leader Lewis Hamilton the opportunity to gain a crucial lead in the driver standings as the McLaren driver finished third.

Hamilton has 84 points while Massa has 77 with just three races remaining of the season.

“It was a positive end to a difficult weekend at this fantastic new venue,” said Hamilton.

“This is not a great circuit to overtake but I really enjoyed driving the track.

“I anticipated it being probably the hardest circuit to drive on but it was nowhere near so I was feeling pretty happy.

“It was a good result to come here for the first time and score points.”

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