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Renault boss expects Alonso to stay next year

RENAULT chief executive Carlos Ghosn expects double world champion Fernando Alonso to stay with his Formula One team next year despite rumours linking the Spaniard to Ferrari.

"As far as I am concerned, he'll be driving a Renault next year," Ghosn told Europe 1 radio today.

The Italian and Spanish media have been full of stories about Alonso moving to Formula One's most successful team as a replacement for Finland's 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen.

Both Raikkonen and Brazilian Felipe Massa have contracts with the Maranello team until the end of next season, however, and Ferrari have dismissed the reports as mere speculation.

Alonso, who won both his titles with Renault, was also in dismissive mood when asked about the reports at the German Grand Prix.

"They are only rumours. They have been happening in the last four or five years," he said, denying he had a Ferrari contract or had been talking to the Italian team.

"We are not even at the halfway point of the season here. We are in the beginning of July and normally after the summer it is time to talk with people -- if you are interested in something outside of your team," he added.

"I am very happy with Renault. I think we will do a much better second half of the season than has been the first half, and we will see how is the evolution of the car and what we can do for next year.

"Obviously everything is open, but there is no hurry at the moment."

Ferrari's denials cut little ice in the Formula One paddock, those with long memories recalling a similar response from the team about Michael Schumacher in 1995 until the German joined from Benetton, Renault's predecessors, for 1996.


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