Renault's Fernando Alonso aims to defend his title in 2006 Q: Fernando, you enjoyed a fantastic season in 2005 with Renault. How can you go any better in 2006? Fernando Alonso. Photo by xpb.cc. Fernando Alonso: For me, 2006 is a...
Renault's Fernando Alonso aims to defend his title in 2006
Q: Fernando, you enjoyed a fantastic season in 2005 with Renault. How can you go any better in 2006?
Fernando Alonso: For me, 2006 is a new challenge. My character is very competitive, and I want to win no matter what. OK, I was champion last year, but that is finished now. When we get to the first race, it is a new competition. Everything begins again. I am in a top team that is very competitive, so that brings with it a level of expectation; plus the I now have the responsibility to maintain my level of performance to defend the title of world champion.
Q: You have driven the R26 extensively already. What were you hoping for from the car?
FA: My hope was to find a car that was similar to the R25 we used last year, which meant I wanted it to be easy to drive, and to handle in a consistent way. That was what I felt the R26. It looks and feels like a very good evolution of last year's car, with plenty of potential. To be fighting for the title, you need a car that can be quick at every type of circuit, and that can finish races -- as we saw last year. That is what we will concentrate on.
Q: The 2006 season also sees the introduction of V8 engines. What are your impressions of the new RS26 V8?
FA: I believe we are in a good position but it is an opportunity for all the teams, because everybody starts from zero. The team at Viry has done a fantastic job on the dyno, and the performance so far on the track has been very encouraging. With the first tests, the real concern is reliability. We have not had any mechanical problems, so there is a solid foundation. Once you are reliable, pushing more on the performance is not a big problem.
Q: Finally, what is your goal for this season?
FA: At this time of year, it doesn't mean anything to say you can win the title -- but I certainly want to be fighting for it. Renault has the potential, the team has the confidence that we can do it from last year, and the form of the car seems competitive. My goal is to defend the number 1 on the nose of the R26.