Alonso prepares for Renault swansong 17 Oct 2006
Champion taking nothing for granted in final round
A single point in Brazil this weekend will be enough to make Fernando Alonso world champion for a second time. Whatever happens, it is sure to be emotional as the event also marks the Spaniards last race with Renault, before he moves to McLaren for 2007...
Q: Fernando, Brazil was the place where you won your world championship last year. It must hold fantastic memories for you?
Fernando Alonso: Yes of course. Brazil will always hold unique memories from winning the championship there in 2005 - and the fact we are fighting for it again in 2006 makes it even more important. It is a fantastic place, where you can really feel the emotion and the passion of Formula One. Brazil has a long tradition in the sport with many famous drivers, so you have the history too. It is great to be racing in this country, and especially with so much at stake at the end of the season.
Q: In terms of the circuit, what challenges does it hold for you and the engineers?
FA: The track surface is normally very bumpy, so we work a lot on the suspension to make the car comfortable to drive over the whole race distance. The other main area is the engine, because the main straight is very long and uphill, so you need good power and good acceleration out of the last corner. Those are the most important factors from my point of view.
Q: Michael Schumacher has said that the drivers' championship is over for him. What approach will you be taking?
FA: Firstly, I don't think it is over at all. Until the final lap, when you know you are champion, anything can still happen and we are taking nothing for granted. So we know that there is still a job to do, and we are focused on it. I think our aim has to be to do a normal weekend, to get the maximum from the car without any big risks, and to finish the job. If we have our usual performance, fighting at the front, then we will achieve our targets.
Q: Finally, the 2006 Brazilian Grand Prix will mark the end of an era for you, as your last race with Renault. What will be your thoughts?
FA: I think it makes this a very special weekend for me, and gives me extra motivation to do the maximum for all my friends and team mates. It is also the last race for Michelin in this period, and both Renault and Michelin have done so much for me in the six seasons since I started in F1. I think it is impossible to give back to them everything they have given to me since 2001. The only way I can try is to have a fantastic final race and to win the title so we can finish our relationship in the right way, with a celebration.