Fernando Alonso

Team: Renault
Age: 27
Debut: Australia '01
Starts: 137
Wins: 21
Poles: 18
Fastest laps: 13
'08 position: 5th

Fernando Alonso will feel he cannot afford another year like 2008. If he's to regain the momentum those two world titles gave him, the R29 needs to be good enough to fight at the front. If it's not, it's difficult seeing him staying around - although there is not officially a Ferrari seat available until 2011, by which time the once-youngest grand prix and title winner will be 30.

But as usual Alonso is bullish about his chances this season and with his unequivocal status as team leader and double-world champion he has all the credentials to lead Renault back to the front.