Fernando Alonso speaks about his recently confirmed position as race driver for Renault next year. Q: This must be good news for you Fernando, how do you feel? A: Very happy, of course. This is a great opportunity for me. I have worked hard as...
Fernando Alonso speaks about his recently confirmed position as race driver for Renault next year.
Q: This must be good news for you Fernando, how do you feel?
A: Very happy, of course. This is a great opportunity for me. I have worked hard as a test driver all through this year, 2002, to prove myself within the team. I feel next year will really be the start of my career. It will be my first experience of racing for such a big team and it will be really good. I am very excited at the prospects.
Q: Were you confident you had done enough to secure the seat?
A: Yes, I was feeling confident in myself all year. But I was only thinking of the job, as a test driver. I was not working at the tests with my mind on trying to win a chance to race for the team in 2003. I knew that I had to concentrate on the testing job I had in 2002 - to test and develop the car and to improve it. I was confident that things would happen from there. I was working as professionally as possible to achieve my aim, which has been to be a race driver for the team.
Q: Has it been a help to you to spend a year as the test driver in order to learn how such a big operation as the Renault F1 Team works?
A: Yes, obviously, Renault is obviously very different from Minardi, where I raced last year. It is really important for me to have had a year to get to know the team, the car, the engineers and the mechanics and the way that a big team, with a corporation behind it, works. I have learned how the race weekend is tackled, in detail, and that been a big help. Renault has a very strong individual concept of how to work and I have learned this now. So, next year will be easier for me thanks to this experience.
Q: What are your personal ambitions for 2003?
A: It is difficult to predict where the team will start next year, but I think Renault has really strong potential for the future. For myself, I will try to score as many points as possible and hope also to realise my dream of gaining a podium finish, too. But I know we all have to work together as a team to achieve anything like that.
Q: How do you feel for Jenson now?
A: Well, we are friends and we know each other well. We went together to a lot training camps this year and our relationship is good. I feel sorry that it came down to a choice between the two of us but, you know, these things happen in this business. Everyone knows Jenson has the potential to become a great driver. I look forward to racing hard against him next year!