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Alonso's first appearance in the McLaren // Renault finally relinquish hold on defending champion

Published by Christine

Flavio Briatore has let go of Fernando Alonso. Apparently, the double world champion made a personal request of his ex-boss to release him early and let him join his new team for the last test of the year. Briatore wasn't keen, given that McLaren and Renault are arch-rivals, but because of everything he and Alonso went through to get their hands on all the trophys changed his mind.

Fernando asked me to test one day with his new team to acclimatise himself to the car. We enjoy a good relationship and considering his work and fabulous achievements these past two years, we decided to give him this opportunity.

- Flavio Briatore

I think that's nice. A team boss with a heart.

So, Fernando Alonso jetted into Jerez on the off-chance that Briatore might say yes, and when given the green light, he hot-footed down to the track and into his car. All the advertising stickers had to be taken off the car, Alonso had to wear a white set of overalls and helmet but managed to squeeze a Spanish flag on his belt.