Renault look ahead to penultimate GP

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Renault have been preparing for the penultimate Grand Prix of the season in Japan.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:49 IST
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Renault have been preparing for the penultimate Grand Prix of the season in Japan, safe in the knowledge that their top driver has already claimed the world championship title. However the all-important constructors' championship remains undecided and there is still a great deal at stake in the final two races in Japan and China. Fernando Alonso was crowned the new world champion of Formula One Grand Prix racing in Brazil following his third place finish there two weeks ago. Great news for his team Renault, but the outfit will also be concerned that rivals McLaren dominated the race and were able to take the lead in the constructors' championship for the first time this season. Fond memories Juan Pablo Montoya took first with Kimi Raikkonen second, giving McLaren 164 points compared to Renault's 162. Alonso has stayed out of trouble for most of the year to keep intact his advantage in the drivers' championship. However now the title is in the bag, he is promising to be more aggressive in Suzuka, a circuit he has fond memories of. "Yes I always enjoy Japan. It is a very technical and very complex circuit and all the drivers will feel very good there with high speed corners. The setup is also very complex for the engineers, a challenge to set the car up there. And I think all the people, everyone in formula one enjoys it because the fans are always there supporting formula one and it is a great atmosphere in Suzuka," said Fernando Alonso, World Champion. Claiming the double The constructors' championship is important because it determines the amount of money each team receives from F1's governing body at the end of the season. Renault have yet to win the title, while McLaren have won it eight times, although they are looking for their first title since 1998. Giancarlo Fisichella also has an important role to play in Japan and China. The Italian driver, Renault's number two, needs to get in the points as well as Alonso if Renault are to claim the double. He believes his team has the strength to keep McLaren at bay. "McLaren looks a bit stronger than us but I think their other abilities are not as good as us. I am looking forward. I want to win somewhere and we have a good opportunity even because there is a new aero-package already in Brazil and maybe the new speck engine so we are a bit more aggressive over there," said Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault number two. Good results Ferrari have won the past six titles, but lie third in the standings with 98 points, 17 ahead of fourth-placed Toyota. They cannot claim a seventh title, but are hoping to finish the season with good results in Japan and China. Michael Schumacher has been going through final testing at the Paul Ricard circuit in France, saying the team is as motivated as ever, despite the season being so disappointing for the Italian outfit. Come next season Ferrari, with their new car, are highly likely to be one of the dominant forces again in Formula One. (AP)