Turkish GP - Alonso: "Hopefully, I can celebrate a hundred races with Ferrari!" Istanbul Park, 27 May -- Today's appointment for Fernando Alonso to meet the media took place in a more conventional paddock than the unusual arrangement in Monaco...
Turkish GP - Alonso: "Hopefully, I can celebrate a hundred races with Ferrari!"
Istanbul Park, 27 May -- Today's appointment for Fernando Alonso to meet the media took place in a more conventional paddock than the unusual arrangement in Monaco two weeks ago and the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver was asked to look back and give his view on Schumacher's penalty on the last lap of the race in the Principality. "I think it was the right penalty because it was in the rules," stated the Spaniard. "It was very clear to me, because always before a race, we go through the rules with our Sporting Director, particularly those concerning the Safety Car and on the last lap I asked on the radio and the team made it clear again that overtaking was not allowed."
The journalists main theme of questioning revolved around the current dominance of one team. "We expect Red Bull to be strong again, they are clearly ahead of everyone and I don't think this track will change that picture too much," was Fernando's view of the situation. "At the moment, I would expect them to be ahead here, with us fighting more with Mercedes and McLaren. But we will try and have a good weekend and get as close as possible to the quickest cars. Catching them is not impossible: we need to work hard to put more downforce on our car. We have a good development programme in place and if you look at last year, Brawn dominated the early part of the season but towards the end of the year they began to struggle as other teams caught up. So, I expect that Ferrari and some other teams will catch up the fastest ones soon, although maybe not here in Istanbul. Even with the problems I have had in four of the past six races, I am still only three points behind the leader, so maybe others are making more mistakes than us."
Whatever Sunday's result, this race will be remembered as a special one for the Scuderia. "It's a very important race for the team being its eight hundredth Grand Prix and I am very happy to be part of the team on this occasion," said Fernando. "Hopefully, I can celebrate a hundred races with Ferrari! When I joined the team it seemed even better than I had expected and I think it still has a huge potential in terms of the current car's performance, given that the facilities in Maranello are maybe the best. Also, the atmosphere in the team is very good, like a big family. The staff are not just workers for the team, they are part of its history."
And his realistic expectation for the weekend? "So far, we have not got all the potential out of the car in the past six races, but I feel we are even more concentrated now, so I hope we can deliver a result that comes from maximising that potential from now on."