Renault's world championship leader Fernando Alonso talks about his season so far. Q: Firstly, Fernando, you finished second in yesterday's race -- what are your plans for the coming week? Fernando Alonso. Photo by xpb.cc. Fernando...
Renault's world championship leader Fernando Alonso talks about his season so far.
Q: Firstly, Fernando, you finished second in yesterday's race -- what are your plans for the coming week?
Fernando Alonso: To take some time to relax! We have had a very busy few weeks with the races in North America, testing, and then the last two Grands Prix. The promotional schedule was also busy at our home races, so now I am taking some time to do some training, to relax and prepare for the races ahead.
The test team are in Jerez this week, and have done a great job so far this year, plus we have some new developments in Hockenheim. I am looking forward to arriving there refreshed, and ready to fight for the podium.
Q: You have had an extraordinary first half of the season -- what is the best memory?
FA:The win at the N?rburgring, because it was a completely different victory to any of the others. I didn't lead from start to finish -- instead, I led for the lap that counted, at the end. That was a huge surprise after a race where I had to push very hard all the way, and it was a very emotional moment for me.
Q: One of the keys for the second half of the year will be the rate at which the team can develop the car -- are you confident?
FA: I am not worried about it all -- but like with many things, we have to wait and see what happens. We know that we did not have fantastic performance in the last part of 2004, but I think we have learned the lesson and know the reasons. I know that the team is well prepared and working very hard on all the developments. We were very competitive at the last two races, and I believe we can do the job.
Q: After leading the championship for half the season, how would it feel if you lost the position at the end of the year?
FA: Frustrating! Mathematically, I know I will lead the championship even after the next two races, so to lose the position at the end of the year after leading for a long time would be difficult. But when you think back to the start of the year, nobody thought we would be in this position -- and even to be second this year, at 23 years old, would be a big, big achievement.
In reality though, the feeling would really depend on how things happened: if you lose the championship because of retirements, then that would be very difficult; if it was because our competitors did a better job, then there is nothing you can do. That is how it happens in sport.
Q: You have been racing for twenty years now. What do you love about Formula 1?
FA: It is very difficult to explain what you feel as a driver inside the car -- I don't think you can ever really make people understand if they have not done it themselves. From the outside, the noise and the braking are what surprise people when they see Formula 1 for the first time. But in the car, the amazing thing is the grip and the g-forces through the corner --you find it hard to believe the car will actually go round the corner at the speed you are doing.
There are so many different factors to make a quick car in F1, but sometimes everything is suddenly working perfectly -- maybe just two laps in a whole weekend. And when that happens it is an amazing feeling. It seems like there are no limits at all -- you almost feel invincible.
Continued in Part 2