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Alonso defiant heading to China 26 Sep 2006

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Turkish Grand Prix, Race Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, 27 August 2006

Within a month either Fernando Alonso or Michael Schumacher will be crowned 2006 champion. But while Alonso has taken just 12 points from the last four Grands Prix, Schumacher has racked up 27. In spite of this, Alonso believes he and Renault have what it takes to overcome the Ferrari threat...

Q: Fernando, there has been a lot of talk about pressure in recent weeks. How are you feeling ahead of the final races of the season?
Fernando Alonso:
I have the opinion that stress is not useful. We have to do our job, and I must do 100 percent with the team. If we do that job well and we deserve the title, then we will win. The important thing in the next races is to give the maximum to the team.

Q: You last won a race three months ago in Canada. Is that a worry?
We always knew that it would be very tight at the end of the championship, and I was prepared for this. At Renault we were ready for the opening races, and totally competitive: maybe we started at 95 percent of our maximum, while the others were at 70 percent. Now, everybody is at 98 percent or 99 percent and the performance is very, very close. We know we have the performance to win races, and we need to make it happen.

Q: What is the motivation like in the team?
Well, we have been leading all year, and we want to finish in the same position! Honestly, I think the motivation is greater than ever. These are the last three races for me with this fantastic Renault team, and also the last races for Michelin in this era of Formula One. So our motivation to win is enormous, and I think we can do it.

Q: How do you view the Shanghai circuit?
It's one of the circuits that I enjoy. I have fantastic memories from last year, when we won the constructors' championship there. It has been designed to give overtaking opportunities, especially at the end of the long back straight, and that helps make the races spectacular. I think we can expect an exciting race.

Q: And what outcome to you expect?
We have been saying all year that you cannot predict what will happen on track, with the competition being so close. Instead, we are focused on our objectives, and that means qualifying at the front and winning the race. That will be the target.