F1: Alonso has to scale a new peak

Fernando Alonso believes he has a shot at winning a hat-trick of Formula One titles next season providing new team McLaren can rediscover their consistency.

Fernando Alonso believes he has a shot at winning a hat-trick of Formula One titles next season providing new team McLaren can rediscover their consistency.

After five years with Renault, Alonso departs as the sport's youngest ever double world champion, retaining his title on Sunday with a second-place finish in the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.

There is no doubt Renault's reliability has proved the bedrock for Alonso to become one of only eight men to win successive titles.

Now he heads to a McLaren team that for the first time in a decade failed to win a race during the season, and were a long way behind Renault and Ferrari in the constructors' championship.

McLaren and boss Ron Dennis face a long, hard winter if they are to ensure Alonso has a chance of challenging next year.

The Spaniard is acutely aware McLaren had a poor season by their high standards, but given the vagaries of Formula One, there is every chance they will be at the front again.

With Alonso replacing Kimi Raikkonen, who is off to Ferrari, the 25-year-old Alonso said: "Hopefully we will find some consistency. If we are regularly on the podium, why not fight for the championship?"

It was noticeable Alonso was already referring to McLaren as "we" with the title-winning champagne barely dried on his racing overalls.

No wonder Renault team boss Flavio Briatore was so dismissive when asked whether he was sorry to see Alonso leave, curtly replying: "I don't want to talk about that."

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