Renault launch new car in Monte Carlo

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Formula One world champions Renault have launched their new car for the 2006 season, the RS26 V8.

updated: February 25, 2007 11:35 IST
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Monte Carlo:

Fernando Alonso intends to clinch another world championship as his parting gift to Renault. The Spaniard, the youngest world drivers' champion in Formula One history, shocked the sport in December when he announced his defection to McLaren for 2007. As Renault launched their 2006 car in Monte Carlo on Tuesday, Alonso brushed aside fears he could be distracted by McLaren. And Renault put on a united front to back Alonso, despite the shock of losing their newly crowned world champion to last year's bitter rivals. "This is a new championship coming and hopefully we can repeat the success we had last year. It will be difficult but to have the number one car we are extremely proud of it - I will fight again to win,” said Fernando Alonso, Renault driver. Much will depend on the performance of the team's new car - the RS26 V8. Both Alonso and his Renault teammate Giancarlo Fisichella were asked about the car and both seemed eager to begin competing in it. "It's a little bit different the V8, the style of driving and we have to get used to the amount of power we have now but the car seems quite good. We have very positive feelings with the car and we should have a competitive package again in 2006," said Alonso. "I had straightaway a good feeling, the feedback was great, I feel very comfortable in the car and it's a step forward. We need just some reliability because the performance is already good so we have very good potential,” said Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault driver. For Renault boss Flavio Briatore every new season brings new challenges. But in 2006 things will be a little different since the task for the team will be to maintain that precious number one position. As Briatore says, Renault have not rested on their laurels and much hard work has been undertaken through the winter months. So, a confident outlook from a team that took the F1 world by storm in 2005. However, with a new car and the imminent departure of the team's champion driver, there has to be a modicum of uncertainty. Over the next few months all will be revealed as Renault attempts to repeat it's successes of the past year. (AP)