Alonso Didn't Expect to Fight for Title

Fernando Alonso has said that before the season started he never considered himself a serious threat for World Championship honours this year - but he has now warned his team that their unexpected competitiveness means they must now work even harder if they are to triumph this season

Alonso Didn't Expect to Fight for Title

Speaking in an interview with The Guardian on Monday, Alonso confessed that he is only now allowing himself to dream about becoming the youngest ever World Champion this year, but is not foolish enough to believe it will automatically come to him.

"At the beginning of the season it was not a real target for the team or me, but regarding how it's going now it's starting to be a dream getting close," he said about his world title hopes.
 
"With the 2003 car we had options to win points. With the car we had last year we had options to reach the podium. With the car we have now we have options to win the race.

"It's not because I'm pushing more or less. Obviously we would like to fight for the title this season and I think we're in a good position to do it. We have to work even harder now and take care about every single thing in the team, to be ready and to avoid having Ferrari or McLaren catch us very quickly."

Alonso has made it clear that he is pretty relaxed about the forthcoming fight for the title - a factor that he thinks has been helped by the fact that Renault only returned to F1 with their own team a few years ago.

"If you're in the best team in the world, you or your teammate have to win," he added.  "But we're a young team, it's only the fourth year of Renault's 100% involvement, we're doing huge steps with the car and we're surprising everybody. So if we win the Championship, OK. If not, I'm 23 years old and I have time enough."

Looking ahead to his home race in Barcelona this weekend, Alonso is well aware of the huge interest surrounding him - and believes the weekend will be one of the most memorable of his career.

"It will probably be the best race ever for me," he said. "But, you know, it's still 10 points for the winner and eight for the second place and six for the third. It will change nothing. The circuit should be good for us, and I hope to do a good race. But I'm not too stressed about it."

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