Bring home as many points as possible - Alonso
Selection for the FIA conference on a Thursday at a Grand Prix is based on a number of factors, such as nationality and current performance and today, Fernando Alonso qualified to be on the panel based on two of the usual criteria: the Ferrari man won the British Grand Prix twelve months ago and he is also the winner of the last round, in Valencia.
The first question centred on the highs and lows of Spanish sport at the moment and how it impacted on his preparation for the ninth round of the World Championship. “I can’t say it affects me in any way,” Alonso began. “I watch it on TV and am happy that Spain won the European football and I would have preferred Nadal not to be out of Wimbledon, but it does not affect the preparation or approach, you just concentrate on the job. With the other sports, it just means you go to bed a bit more happy or more sad.”
The Ferrari man believes there is a reasonable chance he could go to bed a happy man this coming Sunday. “I think the characteristics of the track will suit the F2012,” reckoned Fernando. “Therefore Silverstone should be a little bit better for us. We saw that these faster tracks suited us earlier in the year and also at the Mugello test. Therefore I expect to see a good Ferrari with me and Felipe this weekend. However, a lot will depend on the weather and it seems there is likely to be more rain than dry conditions. So we will have to be ready for everything. We will be hoping for a smooth qualifying, choosing the right moment to go on track and then, in the race, bring home as many points as possible.”
As far as the current championship situation is concerned, the Spaniard has mixed feelings: “Of course we are happy in terms of our points position, but not yet in terms of the car’s performance,” pronounced the man currently topping the points table. “The team has done an amazing job to recover the 1.5 second deficit we had in Australia, but there are still some cars quicker than ours. There is a lot to come on the car in the next couple of races and also in the next couple of months. The progress we have made is not only good in the short term, but also, because we now have a better understanding of data from the wind tunnel, it is good for future projects. However, we need to close the car performance gap because unless we do, the teams with faster cars will overtake us as we have only had eight of the twenty races so far.”
Lewis Hamilton was in the same conference and he and Fernando were asked why they always seemed to go well in the wet conditions that are expected to affect this weekend. “It’s a combination of factors, starting with how competitive is your car,” said the Spaniard. “Lewis and me have been lucky to drive good, winning cars in wet and dry conditions. Then, experience counts for a lot and in my part of Spain, where I started racing, it rains often. But when I started in F1, I made a lot of mistakes in the wet, which I now know how to avoid.”