Alonso ready to retaliate 04 Aug 2006
Fernando Alonso is intent on winning this weekend on the circuit on which he scored his first victory three years ago. And yesterday he played down the role of Renaults controversial mass dampers while hitting the ball squarely into Michelins court in discussing the battle with Ferrari and Bridgestone.
The mass damper did not affect anything at Hockenheim in the race, said the world champion. The Renault engineers are working on it, whether we will use it here, and still talking and it will be their decision and it wont change anything. When you are driving, sometimes you notice it and sometimes you dont, depending on the circuit.
We saw very clearly (at Hockenheim) that we had a lot of rear problems with tyres that we didnt expect. We had some big blisters - and, you know, you can put as many mass dampers as you want but the rear blisters will be there anyway. So we did probably a bad compromise with rear end of the car and we had that mistake and it was unexpected. So we know what we can do for that and for here it will be much better.
The R26 featured a revised rear suspension, and the team have reverted to the old set-up here to cure the blistering problem. With the wet weather so far, that wont be a problem anyway.
Alonso continued, when asked about Renaults capacity to improve their car to Ferraris level, and whether the rest of the championship depends only on the tyres: I think mainly only on the tyres. I think Ferrari and Renault are at the maximum of the capacity of the car. I think car development has been constant all year and its difficult to get something more from them. It can be a tenth or something like that but no more than that. I think the tyres are making a big difference every weekend and I think we are probably in Michelins hands.
Every race is different and we saw in Canada we won the race and one week later in Indianapolis we were one second off so things change very quickly in Formula One. So I hope that things change that quickly again compared to last. Well see what happens. We have full confidence in the car again and it should be much better and hopefully we are back in the fight.
I only consider the victory at the end of the weekend and it is all we have to do and we are all optimistic and confident in ourselves so I think we can do it this time. I think we will fight, it will be close but I think the next three races especially will be difficult for us. We will have no time to react, from Hockenheim, this race we will be struggling here as well, also in Turkey because there is no testing. But after that, I think maybe Monza will be a good circuit for Ferrari, its high speed, but Im really confident for the last three races. We have time to react, we have the capacity so I put my money on me.