Friday November 2nd, 2001
Fernando Alonso has left the Minardi Formula One team to become a test driver for Renault from next season.
Alonso, who is managed by the Renault team's managing director Flavio Briatore, made his debut in the sport this season at Minardi. Despite failing to score a point, the 20-year-old driver impressed Briatore who decided to call-up his driver for Renault, who are the re-branded Benetton team.
"We have followed Fernando's performance very closely this season," said Briatore. "He did an excellent job and we therefore decided that it was important to integrate him quickly into the Renault F1 programme.
"As our test driver next year, Fernando will have the opportunity to fully develop his talent and, in the seasons to come, I'm sure that he will be a strong asset in the team's challenge for the Championship."
Published at 18:29:17 GMT