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Alonso: Improved car made the difference - not diffuser changes 14 Jul 2011

Race winner Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari (Centre) on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, British Grand Prix, Race, Silverstone, England, Sunday, 10 July 2011 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari 150 Italia.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, British Grand Prix, Race, Silverstone, England, Sunday, 10 July 2011 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari celebrates with his team. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, British Grand Prix, Race, Silverstone, England, Sunday, 10 July 2011 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari 150 Italia. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, British Grand Prix, Race, Silverstone, England, Sunday, 10 July 2011 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing in parc ferme. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, British Grand Prix, Race, Silverstone, England, Sunday, 10 July 2011

Fernando Alonso is confident that his win at Silverstone last weekend had more to do with downforce-boosting improvements made to his Ferrari, than changes to the off-throttle blown diffuser regulations. Alonso took a dominant victory in Britain, leading the Red Bull of championship leader Sebastian Vettel across the line with a 16.5-second advantage.

Off-track activity at Silverstone had been dominated by a row over the introduction of new diffuser rules, which some teams believed hurt their chances, whilst simultaneously boosting those of rivals. Although it was agreed to retain the new regulations for the race, a consensus was sought - and is believed to have been reached - to drop the restrictions for the rest of the season.

“I haven’t spent too much time thinking about the technical reasons behind the win in the British Grand Prix,” explained Alonso in his blog on Ferrari’s official site. “There were definitely some major improvements on the car, which mean it feels much easier to drive now and you can feel it much more stuck to the ground than before, especially in the fast corners.”

As well as claiming his first win of 2011, Alonso posted his first fastest lap of the season, outpacing the third-fastest Red Bull of Vettel by over six-tenths of a second. And despite the rules almost certainly set to revert to their pre-Silverstone form, the Spaniard doesn’t seem concerned that we will also see a reversal in Ferrari’s fortunes.

“(The car) has got more aerodynamic downforce, which was the area where we trailed our main rivals the most. I don’t think the changes to the engine mapping were a factor: we were quicker specifically at the part of the track where you practically don’t have to brake, which means it is the actual car that is going well.”

Indeed a far greater concern for the 30 year-old is that he is trailing Vettel in the standings by almost 100 points - he has 112 to Vettel’s cache of 204.

“This win won’t change our approach to the coming races. We have to be realistic, because we are 92 points behind in the classification and that is a very big gap! We will tackle the races one at a time, trying to win as many as possible. This will also involve taking a few more risks and maybe it will happen that we pay a high price for that, but there is no alternative. We are definitely not giving up, but we must not think about the championship.”

But for now at least, Alonso is happy to bask in the afterglow of his British win.

“I’m revelling in it all the more now I’m back home in Oviedo,” he concluded. “When a Grand Prix is over, there is a rush of emotion, but then there are so many things to do, what with press conferences and the debrief, so you have to stay very focussed. But the following morning, you wake up happy and there’s a truly special feeling that goes with it.”

Alonso will be back in action at the Nurburgring from July 22-24 for the calendar’s German round.

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