It’s been a busy day for Fernando Alonso who, after attending the opening of Spain’s first Ferrari Store in downtown Barcelona this morning, was naturally enough called to the official FIA press conference this afternoon.
The moderator began by mentioning Nigel Mansell’s view that racing in your home Grand Prix was worth half a second a lap. “That’s a bit optimistic,” replied the man from Oviedo. “At this type of weekend, everyone in the team is trying to find perfection and if you do, then being at home might be worth one tenth of a second, but no more.”
The big news of the day in F1 terms was the announcement that the double world champion will be staying with the Maranello team until at least the end of the 2016 season, having renewed his contract with the Scuderia. “I always said it was my intention to end my career at Ferrari, as I felt at home here since day one. By the end of 2016, I will have been with Ferrari for seven years and maybe for 2017 I can sign another contract with Ferrari if I am not too old and if they are still happy with me!” Alonso went on to explain the main reason behind his decision, when asked how many titles he hoped to win before 2016: “It is impossible to predict what will happen in Formula 1 and therefore I don’t know how many I can win. My intention is to keep on enjoying my racing and this is the best team to be with, because with other teams, their form can go up and down a lot, but with Ferrari, a bad year can mean finishing second or third in the championship.” He also revealed how the extension to his contract was managed. “It was very easy, very simple,” said Fernando. “I guess we began talking one or two weeks ago about the future. I am very happy at the team and they seem happy with me and from there we had discussions and decided on 2016. There was never any doubt in my mind, but the confirmation makes it clear for everyone and those in the team.”
Alonso was not prepared to answer the big question as to whether he can win at home for the first time since 2006. “I think everyone will have brought new updates here, so we must wait and see who has done the best job,” he said. “In Turkey we made a step forward, getting closer to the Red Bulls, so I hope that will continue here, but we will not have a clear picture until qualifying.”Source Ferrari