Feb.29 (GMM) Flavio Briatore thinks Fernando Alonso was being "optimistic" when he declared a 30 per cent probability of emerging with a third drivers' title in 2008.
The Renault boss, despite earlier expecting that the new R28 single seater was the French team's ticket back to the front, was even more downbeat about Alonso's chances for the upcoming Australian grand prix."If Fernando says that we have a 30 per cent chance of winning, then he is optimistic. I see (our chances at) about 25 per cent," Briatore told La Gazzetta dello Sport.The flamboyant 57-year-old, interviewed by the national sports daily alongside his 27-year-old fiancee Elisabetta Gregoraci, says Renault's target for the first three 'flyaway' races of the season will be looking ahead to an improved showing when back in Europe."We must defend our position and take some points in the first three races," he explained, "because when we go back to Europe we have some important changes that should make us move forwards."Briatore also played down suggestions that Alonso might choose to exercise his 'out' clause at the end of 2008 if Renault do not show rapid signs of becoming a contender again."Is there a risk that he will leave if we are not competitive? At the moment I can not see those conditions," Briatore is quoted as saying.He also ruled out the possibility that Alonso will face the same sort of problems with his teammate in 2008 as he did alongside Lewis Hamilton at McLaren last year."I don't think Nelsinho (Piquet) is going to commit suicide in his first year," Briatore stated.