Renault's world championship leader Fernando Alonso shares his thoughts ahead of the fourth race of the season, in San Marino. Q: Fernando, how do you think the R25 will perform in Imola? Fernando Alonso. Photo by xpb.cc. Fernando...
Renault's world championship leader Fernando Alonso shares his thoughts ahead of the fourth race of the season, in San Marino.
Q: Fernando, how do you think the R25 will perform in Imola?
Fernando Alonso: I am not sure yet, to be honest. I think it will be another big test for us. This is the first track we have visited this season with old, worn asphalt, and we have to use the kerbs a lot to get a good timed lap. But I am optimistic, because we know the car has been good everywhere so far.
Q: The car seems to be easy to drive and set-up -- is that an advantage in 2005?
FA: I think the reality is that with the new rules, you need to be on the pace straight away. If you don't have the right set-up at the start of the weekend, we do so few laps now in practice that you are going to have problems all the way through. You don't have enough time to catch up after mistakes.
Q: You are here in Imola, as the main opposition to Ferrari: is that intimidating, or an extra motivation for you?
FA: The latter, definitely. I want to come here and win, or at least finish on the podium. Of course, the Italians support Ferrari, but I have always had a lot of fans here in Italy as well, from when I raced with Minardi (in 2001).
Q: In recent races, your main rivals have also been your good friends, Giancarlo Fisichella and Jarno Trulli -- how does that feel?
FA: I like seeing the three of us at the front! Jarno has been really good this year, definitely it is the best start to a season he has had, and we did not expect his car to be so quick. As for Giancarlo, he was quick all the way through the winter, he won the first race and had he finished the last two Grands Prix, he would have been on the podium for sure. I would give them both ten out of ten so far this year, and now what we want to see is both Renaults at the finish together.
Q: What about your main rivals this weekend -- who will they be?
FA: McLaren have already been very quick, and they will be even more here I think. Everybody is expecting Ferrari to be winning again soon. The longer it takes them, the better it is for us, but we know it will happen at some point.
Q: In reality, Renault have dominated the first three races: could this be the start of something bigger?
FA: I certainly hope so, but it will certainly be very difficult. We need to work like we did through the winter, which allowed us to start the season so strongly. I think the next three of four races will show us whether we have only made a good start to the season, or if it will become something more.