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Alonso Stays Calm despite Position

World Champion Fernando Alonso has said he is not too worried about his 16th place on the grid for the Japanese Grand Prix, after experiencing the worst of the weather in qualifying

In a repeat of what happened at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, Alonso hit the track at the worst possible time - leaving him languishing at the wrong end of the grid.

But with his world title now sewn up, and rivals McLaren behind him in the starting line-up, Alonso says he is remaining calm in his approach to the race.

"Well, you would have to say that wet qualifying sessions haven't been my strong point this year," said Alonso, referring to what happened in Melbourne.

"But seriously, the circumstances were very similar to Australia where I qualified when the track was wettest, and I am not too stressed - I just hope to do a good job like we did in Melbourne, when I was able to come through the field.

"Obviously, it is good for the Constructors' Championship that both McLarens are behind us, but I will just do my race, push to the maximum and aim to get into the points. Hopefully we can do something good for the championship tomorrow."

Renault's executive director of engineering Pat Symonds was equally unflustered after the session - especially because Giancarlo Fisichella had managed to grab third and rivals McLaren were right at the back of the grid.

"It has made things very interesting for tomorrow, as our team is collectively in a better position than McLaren, with Fisico sat in a very promising third position," he said.

"I would like to congratulate him on his lap, which was truly exceptional in difficult and worsening conditions. Looking to the race, Fernando will have a tough afternoon, much like the two McLarens, as it can be difficult to make up positions here in Suzuka; as for Giancarlo, he will be looking for a very strong performance."

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