Fernando Alonso, winner yesterday, explained the finer details of his weekend, and explains why Renault was able to aim for the top step of the podium this weekend. Podium: race winner Fernando Alonso. Photo by LAT Photographic. When...
Fernando Alonso, winner yesterday, explained the finer details of his weekend, and explains why Renault was able to aim for the top step of the podium this weekend.
As soon as Friday testing began, Renault was out front. "The session in the morning did not provide us with that much information because the track was very dirty, but we managed to get round the problem. I also set fastest lap in the Heathrow session," continued Fernando. "When free practice finished, I was tenth, but I had an engine problem which stopped me from running. I couldn't fine-tune my set-up as I had wished, and that penalised me a little during first qualifying, where I finished sixth."
The balance of the R23B was still not at its best then. "We did a lot of work and came up with a better compromise. OK, I was seventh in the final practice session, but I was confident for the rest of the weekend," he said. "I was right: the flying lap was mistake-free and very quick. I set the fastest provisional time… but there were still five drivers to go. It was a nightmare! In the end, I held my position and that was key for the race."
On Sunday, Fernando made an excellent start and kept the lead into the first corner. "After that, there was only one thing to do: attack," smiled the Spaniard. "During ten laps, I gave it everything… and then I couldn't see anybody in the mirrors. The keep then told me that I had a fifteen second lead. It was good news! I could then control the gap as I wanted."
At the end, Alonso crossed the line to win and thanked his team over the radio. "Paul, my engineer, replied that I wasn't too bad either!" concluded the Spaniard. "I hope this win is the first of many with Renault. This team feels like one big family, and I want to thank everybody in it."