Alonso: Eau Rouge still tough

Renault's Fernando Alonso is just a point behind team-mate Jarno Trulli going into this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, but although his focus will be on grabbing third place in the world drivers' championship, he knows his attention will be firmly fixed on conquering the challenge of the great Eau Rouge compression

Alonso: Eau Rouge still tough

Although the corner is taken flat-out in a contemporary Formula 1 car, Alonso says the sequence of bends still poses a stern test of ability.

"I hope they [the fans] don't think it is easy," said Alonso. "You come into the corner downhill, have a sudden change at the bottom and then go very steep uphill. From the cockpit, you cannot see the exit and as you come over the crest, you don't know where you will land.

"It is a crucial corner for the timed lap, and also in the race, because you have a long uphill straight afterwards where you can lose a lot of time if you make a mistake. But it is also an important corner for the driver's feeling. It makes a special impression every lap, because you also have a compression in your body as you go through the bottom of the corner. It is very strange, but good fun as well.

"The circuit is different to any other, it has a different character, and as drivers we need to step up to its challenge. It is very difficult to have a car that is perfect in all areas around Spa, because the lap is so long, so you need to be pragmatic and try and feel confident with the car.

Alonso has scored two successive third place finishes in the last two races, and hopes his run will continue into Spa.

"I was happy with the result in Hungary, and indeed all the results since Magny-Cours," he added. "I have not had any mechanical failures in the races, I have not made mistakes and things are going as we expected now. We are around the podium at every race, and sometimes we make it, sometimes not, but we are pushing in all areas.

"Looking to Spa, I don't think we go there as confident as we were before Hungary, but we have seen this year that our feelings about a weekend can change as it progresses. It will be a tough challenge to get on the podium in Spa, but it doesn't hold any fear for us. The team is working well and the car is quick, so we just need to perform to our maximum all weekend."

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