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Bell backs Alonso to succeed at Ferrari

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Acting Renault team principal Bob Bell admits he will be sad to see Fernando Alonso depart the team at the end of the season and believes the Spanish star will do “a fine job” at Ferrari.

Although Alonso’s move to Ferrari for 2010 had been widely expected for some
time, it was only officially confirmed on Wednesday with the Scuderia announcing it had secured the two-time champion’s services for an initial period of three years.

Bell, who has worked alongside Alonso in the Spaniard’s two spells at the team in his long-time capacity as Renault’s technical director and in more recent weeks as temporary team boss – says he is sorry the team’s fruitful relationship with its star driver is coming to an end, but is optimistic it will be able to put a strong driver line-up in place to try and compensate for his departure.

“Fernando has been such a huge part of our team for many years. It is sad to see him go but we wish him well,” Bell said in Suzuka on Friday. “People move on at all levels of the sport and we have to deal with it and we will hopefully put together a good driver line-up for next year that will see us not suffer too badly for his departure.”

After capping his first hugely successful five-year stint at the Enstone-based squad with a second successive world title in 2006, Alonso joined McLaren on a three-year deal only to return to Renault a year later after enduring a turbulent single season at Woking. Asked to predict how Alonso would do at Ferrari, Bell said: “I don't honestly know.

“There is no doubting his driving abilities. I think he will get on alright there. I think they will accommodate him as an individual and I think he will do a fine job. I think it will work well there for him.”

While Renault has said it will name Alonso’s replacement – set to be BMW’s Robert Kubica – next week, it has yet to make a decision over the future management structure of the team following the departures of Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds over the race-fixing scandal.

Bell, who has been put in temporary charge of the team for the remainder of the season, says neither he nor Renault have yet any made any concrete decisions as to the best way forward.

“Quite honestly, it is not a job I am considering whether I do long term or not at the minute,” he said. “I think actually Renault are probably in the same position. We need to get through these next four [sic] races in good shape and do some restructuring in team and sort out some major issues in good time for next year. I think once we have done that we will take stock of the situation and decide what is best for the team in the long term.”

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