Alonso rules out podium finish in Spain

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Spain, Circuit de Catalunyaes

As the Spanish Grand Prix weekend is set to kick off, Fernando Alonso is looking forward to driving in front of his home fans but at the same time downplays expectations.

“I would be lying if I said I could aim for a podium this weekend,” said Alonso, currently the only Spaniard on the grid. “The result in China was a boost for the team, but it came about because of a set of circumstances: I was lucky not to damage my car in the accident after the start, the two Red Bulls got a bit delayed, my pit stops were quick, so many factors put me on the podium. We need very special weekends to do it again and a podium here would be unbelievable.”

Alonso won last year's Spanish Grand Prix here at Circuit de Catalunya following a race that was dominated by pit stop strategy and tyre management. Current Ferrari team mate Kimi Raikkonen ended the 2013 event in second place.

This year though he hopes the circuit's characteristics could help his chances, knowing that the Ferrari isn't the strongest car on straight line acceleration and top speed.

“Here, we will have to wait and see if the characteristics of the track can help us a little bit. Because there are not many straights, just the main one past the pits.”

With all teams introducing updates to their cars, Alonso, similar to Ferrari's technical director James Allison says the team does not have much but aims to make a step forward at each single race.

“There are some new parts, but nothing special. We are realistic and we will improve step by step and not give up. There is a big gap to Mercedes, but the championship has a long way to go. We must use all the potential within Ferrari to do everything we can to close the gap and become more competitive. It will be a slow recovery and so when we have improved we must hope it is not too late by then to fight for the championship.”