Q & A with Fernando Alonso
|By Simon Strang||Thursday, June 18th 2009, 15:03 GMT|
Q. If you don't come back here will you miss the track?
Fernando Alonso: Yes, of course I think we will all miss Silverstone. It is a great circuit with a lot of Formula 1 history here, and with legends winning here. So we all will miss it because it is a nice track and we like driving here, but it is the way it is. We lost Imola, Magny-Cours, Montreal, and now we are going to new countries like Abu Dhabi, China, Singapore, so it is the way Formula 1 has been going, in that direction, for the last couple of years, so it is a shame. We will miss it for sure but Donington will be a new challenge for everybody and hopefully we will enjoy that as well.
Q. Will you have some new parts on the car this weekend and will you see an improvement?
FA: We have new parts but I don't expect a big step. To be honest I think we will introduce a new rear diffuser with some modifications. Also some modifications also in the front wing, we brought to Turkey and they didn't work there, so hopefully it works here. But we expect half a tenth, or one tenth, so that will not change dramatically the decision, we will remain more-or-less the same anyway. We will keep working and I think in the next two or three grands prix we can make a bigger step than this one.
Q. How does what is going on off the track impact on a driver?
FA: When you are in the car nothing. When you close the visor and out of the pitlane you are completely focussed on the grand prix, the adrenaline is going up, the motivation and you only think of the race and you only concentrate on the driving. All your energy is going there. But it is true that when you are at dinner or at the hotel you are always thinking that hopefully they will find a solution. We all want to race in Formula 1 next year, we all want to hear tomorrow that they have found a solution in the last moment and that we will race next year. But we need to wait 24 hours.
Q. Do you think they will find a solution?
FA: I'm always optimistic and I really hope they find a solution, but I know that it is difficult times. It is a critical position and moment for Formula 1 and we have to be ready for tomorrow.
Q. If there isn't a decision tomorrow will it play on your mind for the rest of the weekend?
FA: Yes I think so. If we do not race in Formula 1 next year it changes many things. It will not be the same. We know we will race but it will be different.
Q. Will it mean that the season will be over if there is no decision tomorrow?
FA: For some of us the season is over already because we are not fighting for the championship, there is always the hope to score a podium or win a race but obviously it is not enough. If you are not fighting for the world championship it is hard to keep going. We will see, I really hope tomorrow there is good news. In my opinion, I support the FOTA teams, they did a great job in the last couple of years, when there is something very big for Formula 1. We have contracts with our teams so we will go close to them until the end.
Q. So you are saying you would drive in a FOTA championship next year, if there was a split?
FA: Of course. At least for me it is not attractive at all the new Formula 1, with the small teams and no drivers. We want to compete with the best teams in the world, with the maximum technology, we all want to compete with the best drivers, and this is all about F1 and competition. So if this is not what Formula 1 is about next year, then for sure it will be another category with that.
Q. Do you think you could be coming back to Silverstone with FOTA even?
FA: I don't know.
Q. If FOTA doesn't settle its differences and there is no breakaway series and we end up with the F1 you have just described would you retire?
FA: No I will not retire, I will drive for another championship. If it is not a new series, I will not join the new Formula 1 as I said with this small teams. Because for me this is not technology, this is not F1, this is not the category we loved for the last 60 years. So, there are more categories and hopefully I will find an attractive one outside F1, or outside Europe, and I will keep racing. I am 27-years-old only.
Q. This time last year you weren't competitive, but five races later you won at Singapore. Can the same thing happen this year?
FA: Yes it is possible and it is the hope we all have in the team. After seeing what happened last year with the recovery and the strong performance we saw at the end of the championship, it gives us the hope to have something similar this year. We know we are not competitive now, but we also know we are one of the best teams in Formula 1. So if there is one team that is able to recover and win races it is Renault and we will fight until the end.
Q. Why with all the technology and money they have, can the big teams not close the gap to Red Bull and Brawn?
FA: Well we have only had seven races, so I think sooner or later we will see Ferrari winning races, or at least putting some more pressure on Brawn. One of the problems this year has been the diffuser thing. The top teams we developed a car for six or seven months with a different regulation than some others, so this six months we need to recover now and this is not easy. You need to completely redesign the car and totally re-work the aerodynamics and this takes time. But sooner or later I see the top teams winning races.
Q. Could you race at Le Mans next year.
FA: I didn't go to Le Mans in the end, at the last moment I had a problem. But as I said there are many other categories not only in Europe but in other places like the US. There is some nice competition as well, there is Le Mans, there is some others.
Q. Indy too?
FA: Well yes. I am not closing any doors but as I said hopefully tomorrow there will be good news and all these things will not matter anymore.