Fernando Alonso Q&A

Fernando Alonso has reached the halfway point of the season with 34 points to his name, and in third place in the championship. His three immediate pursuers are covered by only another three points, but nevertheless it's an impressive achievement, and a credit to both his consistency and the reliability of the Renault.

Fernando Alonso Q&A

Montreal was not expected to be a great race for the team, but with two laps to go the Spaniard had closed to within 1.7sec of leader Michael Schumacher, although that wasn't reflected in the final results after he backed off. Upcoming races at Nurburgring and Magny-Cours, with sections of fast and flowing corners, should favour the Anglo-French car a little more. Adam Cooper spoke to the young star about Canada and the season so far.

"It's a surprise for me. We are doing much better than we expected. For me to have this many points in eight races is a dream. I was thinking of scoring maybe 10 points all year or something like that. But the car is going well, and we have very good reliability, we finish the races always in the points, and at the end of the day we've got a good position in the championship and a lot of points. At circuits like Montreal, which are not the best for our car, we manage to be fighting with the top teams. So at the moment we're doing a good job I think."

"Yes, it was OK fighting with them. We didn't get a podium, but anyway, I'm happy with my personal performance."

"I was constant in my laps, and then they slowed down a little bit at the end, and I caught them. But overtaking was impossible."

"Yes, but it was interesting for the spectators. It was a good race, and I enjoyed it. It was a fantastic weekend for us. The car seemed always well balanced, with no big problems. All weekend we were very competitive, wet, dry, Friday, Saturday. We were heavier than the others in qualifying, and we reached fourth place."

"It was difficult, but we had the dry test session, and I think for the race it was even more of an advantage, because we were able to test the tyres, and to do a lot of comparisons on the set-up. But it was difficult - it was very wet on Saturday morning, then at the end of the morning it started to be dry, then in qualifying there was a dry line but the kerbs were a little bit damp... so it was really tough for the drivers. We took some downforce out for the warm-up and qualifying, and it seemed to work a little bit better. The more wing you take off it's worse in the corners, and more critical, and a little bit worse for the feeling of the driver. I was thinking also of the race. We have a long straight, and if you have a long straight it's better to have a little wing, and if you have the opportunity to overtake someone you cannot carry too much wing."

"Yes, I think so. Also in the dry conditions maybe we had an advantage. If you see the positions there are a lot of Michelin cars in the front. Sometimes you have an advantage, sometimes no."

"Yes, they should be a little bit better for us. But in F1, you never know. It's always a surprise."

"Monza should be not perfect for us, although not as bad as Montreal. I don't know really. I think we will be quite the same level all through the season. I don't think we are going to have too many ups and downs."

"Well, for us regarding last year's results Monte Carlo was one of he best races for us, and Canada one of the worst. I never thought to win there. It was more the press and some people of the team that were talking about winning in Monte Carlo. For me personally I knew that Monte Carlo was very tough."

"I don't know. I didn't lose too much time I think. They were at least as fast as I was, so there wouldn't have been a huge difference."

"Well, in the first stop I lost time, because we had traffic in front of us, and they called Jarno first, because he was in a better position. I was in traffic and I lost a position to Coulthard. In the second pit stops the luck was opposite. They had a little bit of traffic and I did two or three laps alone, and was able to overtake both of them. Sometimes you have luck, and sometimes not. At the end it was good for me and made me gain some positions."

"It's better, but I don't know how much!"

"Yes, I was surprised. The winter test was pretty good, and we knew the car was quite fast, but in the races we fight with all the top teams, we don't have any problems with reliability, we finish the races, all the season we were quite strong - it's a surprise for the whole team."

"Maybe Austria. I was a little disappointed. Not too much, but it was maybe the most disappointing of the year, because everywhere else was fantastic. Starting from the pitlane there I was doing a fantastic race, fighting for fifth place, and then the engine blew up. To have started last and finished in the top five would have been a good feeling, but in the end I didn't finish."

"It was a very special weekend for me, starting from Thursday, with the people there, with the fans. All weekend I was quite competitive, always in the top five, third in the warm-up, third in the second qualifying, always in top positions. I did enjoy that race. I was fighting all 70 laps with Michael and Rubens, pushing to the limit always at the pitstops. When I finished the race I was really, really happy for the whole weekend, not only for the race."

"I think it's going more and more, even if after Spain I haven't got any podiums. The races and the results and qualifying have always been quite good for me, and people are talking more and more about F1 in Spain, and it's a good thing."

"It was not really a target at the beginning. I was always thinking to do my maximum, to get all the chances that I had. At the end maybe it was a number I was thinking, 10 points or 15, I don't now, but now I'm doing the same thing - do always the maximum, and work as hard as I can with the engineers to have always the most competitive car on the track. And then after that, when the green light is on, fight from the start to finish like qualifying, and then at the end of the race, see where you are."

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