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Alonso confident of title repeat

Written by: Staff
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TOKYO, Mar 28 (Reuters) World champion Fernando Alonso today said that he was confident of winning back-to-back Formula One titles with Renault.

''I feel no pressure,'' the 24-year-old Spaniard told reporters in Tokyo before this weekend's Australian Grand Prix.

''After winning the title last year I can focus on the championship and races with no worries in my mind, no pressure from anybody. I can now be really confident to win the championship again.'' Alonso won the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix and came second behind Italian team mate Giancarlo Fisichella in round two in Malaysia.

''Last year they looked at me like a young talented driver,'' said Alonso, who won seven grands prix last season on his way to becoming the youngest champion in Formula One history.

''Now they look at me like the world champion. I don't need to prove anything any more.'' Alonso said his haul of 18 points from this year's first two races had already given a vital edge in his final season with Renault before joining McLaren from 2007.

''I think it was a dream come true after winning last year,'' he said. ''I had some doubts in 2006 with the new rules, new cars, engines, Scoring 18 of 20 points is a fantastic start.'' Melbourne is the last of the three long-haul races that open the season before the championship returns to Europe next month with the San Marino Grand Prix.

REUTERS DH BST1730

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