Renault R23 takes to the road

This weekend, Fernando Alonso drove down the Paseo de la Castellana, the most famous avenue in Madrid, in the car that has won him three podium-finishes this season. It was a very important occasion for the Renault F1 driver. "The support from...

This weekend, Fernando Alonso drove down the Paseo de la Castellana, the most famous avenue in Madrid, in the car that has won him three podium-finishes this season.

It was a very important occasion for the Renault F1 driver. "The support from all the fans at the Spanish Grand Prix was amazing," he explains. "I remember on the formation lap seeing all the cameras flashing as I went past, the caps with my name on them, and all the flags. It was unforgettable. I wanted to thank them all."

Fernando has always said that it is a great honour for him to drive for Spain. Before he took to the car, Fernando held a press conference attended by representatives from nearly 350 publications!

Thousands of spectators gathered along almost a mile and a half of this famous avenue in Madrid. Fernando delighted the crowd by making his engine roar, and spinning his car round 180°, having disengaged the traction control. "It was weird to go down this road that I know so well while being in my working environment," said Fernando. "I am glad I have been able to do this and I thank everyone who made it possible."

The Spanish Minister for Culture, Pilar del Castillo, the Mayor of Madrid, José María Alvarez del Manzano, the Head Police, Santiago López-Valdivielso and the president of the Spanish Federation for motor sport, Carlos Gracia, also attended the event. They were not disappointed; although Fernando could not get the maximum out of the R23, he did reach 250 km/h! He ended up doing two more laps than the planned programme of five laps.

The Renault F1 driver will fly out to Austria on Thursday. "We are quite confident," he says. "On paper, Spielberg will not be the best circuit for the R23, but we will be using significant developments which might enable us to get on the podium again."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Fernando Alonso