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Australian GP wide open - Alonso; FOCUS ON NEW F1 SEASON.

FERNANDO ALONSO believes victory in this weekend's Australian Grand Prix could fall into the hands of any driver.

Unsurprisingly, Ferrari and McLaren have dominated, winning 10 of the last 12 races at Melbourne's Albert Park.

Yet Alonso, who took the chequered flag in 2006 with Renault, feels it is a tough call this season given the new rule changes.

"I think the order of the teams will probably be different from the last few years," said the 27-year-old. "We have got used to Ferrari and McLaren dominating, but with the new rules I think there will be lots of cars fighting for the win.

"Hopefully we will be in that fight."

This year's Renault, at least with Alonso at the wheel compared to team-mate Nelson Piquet, appears to be in the running.

Alonso finished last season strongly, winning in Singapore and Japan to enable him to come fifth in the final drivers' standings.

The Spaniard is now looking to carry that form into the new campaign, adding: "That is certainly our intention.

"We finished in a strong position last year and this year our goal is to fight for the championship. But we have lots of new regulations this year and nobody really knows what will happen in Melbourne.

"From what we have seen in testing it seems all the teams are very close and so we will certainly have a fight on our hands."

Renault, though, are understood to be one of the teams opting not to use the new kinetic energy recovery system - which releases a burst of stored power normally lost under braking - on Sunday.

CAPTION(S):

Renault ace Fernando Alonso
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 25, 2009
Words:274
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