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Alonso transforms anger into energy 30 Jun 2010

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, European Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Valencia Spain, Saturday, 26 June 2010 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F10 leads Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB6 at the start of the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, European Grand Prix, Race, Valencia Spain, Sunday, 27 June 2010 Ferrari F10 of Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F10.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, European Grand Prix, Race, Valencia Spain, Sunday, 27 June 2010 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/25 overtakes the safety car as it deploys due to Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing suffering a large crash. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, European Grand Prix, Race, Valencia Spain, Sunday, 27 June 2010 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F10.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, European Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Valencia Spain, Saturday, 26 June 2010

Back on home soil and with a heavily upgraded car, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was convinced he would get his title campaign back on course at last weekend’s European Grand Prix, but things didn’t quite go to plan. Alonso left Valencia frustrated and disappointed with his eighth-place result. However, after some reflection, the Spaniard is ready to refocus his energies on the forthcoming British race.

“I was very angry about everything that happened, but now that anger has been transformed into positive energy driving a desire to fight back,” he explained in his Ferrari post-race diary. “Right from yesterday morning, my mind was already focused on the next Grand Prix at Silverstone, where we will try and channel all that accumulated energy into the car to try and make up for what escaped us, for one reason or another, in Valencia.”

Up until the safety car following Mark Webber’s vicious accident in the Red Bull on Lap Nine, everything had been going swimmingly for the double world champion. From fourth on the grid he was racing in third and applying pressure to the second-placed McLaren of Lewis Hamilton. As the medical car for Webber emerged from the pit lane, Hamilton edged past and sped away to his pit stop.

Alonso, meanwhile, stayed behind and made much slower progress to the pit lane. He eventually emerged from his tyre change down in tenth, whilst his team mate Felipe Massa came out a lowly 17th. Although Hamilton was eventually handed a drive-through penalty for overtaking the safety car, he still managed to retain his second place.

During and following the race Alonso couldn’t hide his frustration with the stewards and the British driver, but following a night’s sleep he was determined to push the thoughts from his mind and refocus on the forthcoming British Grand Prix.

“The safety car appeared at the worst possible moment for us and completely ruined our race,” he said. “It would have only needed a few seconds more or less to totally change our race. It does not achieve much going over the events that followed on. Obviously, in the clear light of day, I am much calmer than I was in the moments immediately following the race.

“At the time, I reacted emotionally and in that situation, it is all too easy to adopt a tone and say things that can be interpreted wrongly, giving rise to suspicions, something which I had no intention of doing. Sure, I understand that the stewards have a difficult job to do and they have to take decisions that are not easy.

“What I meant was that those drivers who, like us, respected the regulations, unfortunately, in this situation, suffered much more than those who broke them, even though they were given a penalty. And I am not referring to any of the drivers in particular. It’s a general matter and I think we should talk about it together in a calm way, to ensure that things like this do not happen again.”

In terms of the championship too, Alonso is positive. He’s currently fifth in the standings (29 points adrift of leader Hamilton), but with the F10 responding well to its updates and another 10 Grands Prix left to run, the Spaniard has not given up hope of clinching the title.

“Even if the Valencia result was not what we wanted, it has not done irreparable damage,” he concluded. “It’s true that the gap to the leader has now jumped to 29 points, but we have not even reached the halfway point of the season. We trail by just over one win, so the situation is still very open.

“The updates we brought to Spain saw us make a step forward and get closer to the front runners. I am satisfied with that, but also aware that we must continue to push on with the development of the F10, because we need to have a car capable of fighting for pole and to give us the edge over our rivals as soon as possible.”