Q & A with Fernando Alonso

Q. How confident are you?

Q & A with Fernando Alonso

FA: I am very confident, as always. But sometimes things go well, sometimes not, but it is true that I think for the last three races we should be very competitive in all three, and the car is really maximum performance now with no problems. We should be very quick. Now it is up to us, and now it is up to Ferrari who is quickest.

Q. How difficult is it mentally to forget the fact that you had a 25-point lead at one point this season?

FA: It is not too difficult. I think you forget very quickly and when I was 25 points ahead after Canada I approached Indianapolis thinking to win the race and to beat the others and to enjoy the race. And now that I have two points advantage it is exactly the same approach - to win the race, beat the others and enjoy.

You are never comfortable with any gaps and you never think about the gap you have in the championship - it is always about beating the others. To win and win - that is the only thing that matters.

Q. What is the news on the engine?

FA: It is perfectly okay. We had a problem in Monza and we had some thoughts and some guesses about what was exactly wrong with the engine and then we confirm in Jerez because it was exactly the same engine in the tests and it blew up again. So in a way we were happy that the engines blew up in Jerez because like this we can change that part, go back to the previous set up we had in the engine and forget all the problems.

Q. Are you confident that all the stuff that went on at Monza is gone now and there will be no more political interference?

FA: I am confident, as always. But let's see. I think this race will be quite good for everybody, it is not any difficult circuit for lapping or traffic, it is very wide so it is easy to avoid accidents or strange manoeuvres. So it will be I think a smooth race and no big problems.

Q. Is it difficult to forget everything that happened at Monza?

FA: Yeah I put it out of my head for this race and the rest of the championship, but I will not put it out of my head in my career or in my life - never. All my career I will have some memories and some feelings that happened in go karts, in many races I did in 20 years, and what happened in Monza will always be there. But for sure not now in the fight in this championship. You forget and you beat the others in the track.

Q. Do you still feel f1 is no longer a sport?

FA: Yes. I feel the same and when I say something it is because I think that. It is not because I am angry, but because I feel that. Many people feel that but nobody says it. It is my job, my life, F1. I enjoy so much driving the car but when I came here I still think in the same. In other categories there is sport, but here there is a little bit of everything.

Q. If it is not a sport, what is it?

FA: It is a big show, no? For everybody. A lot of television coverage, a lot of money involved in F1, with television rights and sponsors, everything. And the driver is part of the show. When you arrive in the sport with a Minardi or Super Aguri like I did I was 19 th or 20th in all the races and then the following year I won in the Renault. It is difficult always to manage to know which one is good, which one is not good. It is the same for the sponsors and same for everybody because there are many differences.

Q. Does money dictate the championship?

FA: No, I don't think so. The championship will be decided now, there are three races to go. The one who wins the most races will win the championship, so it is up to us. If Renault and me do a good job then we will be champion and if Ferrari and Michael do a better job than us they will be the champion. It is quite simple. We have a great possibility, many chances to be champion, and now we have to take this possibility.

Q. Why do you think Michael has always struggled here in China?

FA: Well I think first year something happened to him, I don't remember, but he had a difficult race. Last year he crashed on the lap to the grid and then started from the pit lane. Without those problems I think Michael's race last year was not so bad, so I think Michael will be very, very competitive tomorrow and all weekend. IT will be an interesting weekend.

Q. After your move on Michael at Suzuka last year, do you think you might have a psychological advantage?

FA: No, I don't think. We forget very quickly the previous race so the year before is completely forgotten for everybody. Suzuka is one of the more technical circuits, very difficult, and hopefully we will have a good race. I think I have been very good in the last few years, and it is the race of the last three that we are looking forward to.

Q. You had a lot of anger in Monza on Sunday morning. How much of that did you carry into the car?

FA: Not much. I was angry there and disappointed and frustrated for sure, but I still have the same feeling now. Frustration and disappointment. I don't carry anything in my normal day and I don't carry anything in the car. At Monza I went into the car with confidence and relaxed, because I knew the final target was to be on the podium. We were in a good way.

I was third when we blew up so this was quite interesting but in a calm way. I had Jenson for 20 laps in front of me, waiting for the pit stop opportunity, there was no chance risking or putting stress in the car. You had to drive as you always do.

Q. Would you have preferred to have tested in the last two weeks rather than your teammates?

FA: No. AT Jerez I planned to go but I had some pain in the knee. We decided to not risk anything, also was a tyre test that Fisichella and Kovalainen could do okay. The test in Silverstone there was no plan to go, either Fisichella or me, because it was a boring test in a way. It was a sensor test and an electronic test. I missed those two tests and I was happy to miss them because there was not much to try.

Q. How will what happened at Monza affect you and the team?

FA: Nothing at all. There are things that you never forget. When you arrive to the car and to the next Grand Prix. You set up the car, you approach the weekend and you go into the programme about the test, set-up tests you will do, tyre selection, qualifying, fuel load - there are too many things going on to remember anything from the last race.

It will not affect anything. Everyone has different feelings going in and different problems and when you drive the car you forget everything.

Q. What did you say to Charlie Whiting on Sunday morning at Monza?

FA: Nothing. My view...

Q. You said on Spanish radio some quite hard things about Michael...

FA: That is not true. The Spanish press always talk too much. The question was what I thought about the retirement of Zinedine Zidane and Michael. I only said Zidane for me was better at fair play and a better sportsman at the end.

Firstly because Zidane is my favourite sportsman in the last couple of years, so not very fair that question. Michael still has three races to go, we will talk about him when he retires and at the moment he is still an F1 driver.

Q. You suggested in your views that F1 is not a sport that other factors influence results other than your input in the car...

FA: Not the result but there are always things happening that never happen in other categories of racing.

Q. What do you think about being fourth in the FIA survey for most popular driver?

FA: It is good. I don't want to be popular at all. I want only to drive the car and win.

Williams retain Karthikeyan for 2007

Previous article

Williams retain Karthikeyan for 2007

Next article

Thursday's press conference - China

Thursday's press conference - China
Load comments
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. On the 50th anniversary of his death, Autosport recalls the career of an F1 and sportscar ace gone before his time

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021