Q & A with Renaults Fernando Alonso 28 Jul 2005
The championship leader talks about the state of play ahead of the 13th round of the 2005 season, the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Q: Fernando, after victory in Hockenheim, it seems you are sure to win the championship
Fernando Alonso: Nothing is sure - there are still seventy points to take this year.
Q: But people seem so be saying that is the case?
FA: I know, but what if we have two or three retirements? Then it will be very close again. We have seven races to go, and if we carry on doing the same job then it is possible with this car. But we need to avoid problems and I can't make any mistakes.
Q: How difficult is it not to think about the possibility of the championship?
FA: I think it is harder for the journalists to stop thinking about it, not me! I take the races one by one, because there is no other way. This circuit should be good for us, our car should be strong here, so we have a good opportunity this weekend. We need to take it.
Q: Will your tactics change?
FA: No - we have to attack. McLaren are quicker than us, but we know this should be a good track for the Renault. So we need to be aggressive and score lots of points.
Q: You got your first win here two years ago - do you have special memories?
FA: Yes, definitely. I finished P2 here in F3000, and have been on the podium every year with Renault. I just like driving here!
Q: It is hard physically though?
FA: Yes, I think it is the hardest along with Malaysia and Monaco. We have no time to relax - only one straight where we can breathe, then fourteen corners with no break. It is hot in the car, and a long race with many laps. It is tough for the drivers.
Q: What about qualifying - is it an advantage that your rival is running first?
FA: For sure, and for me it is best to be running last. But I walked the track today, and it was not as dirty as usual, so maybe the advantage is less. But I still think it will be a few tenths faster at the end of the session.
Q: People have started saying that you are taking lucky wins
FA: It is unfair to call it luck. Is it luck because the people at Renault have done a good job? We have designed an engine that lasts 1400 km, our mechanics did not sleep through the winter at the tests to prepare the car so we could test more, our guys in the wind tunnel are working 24 hours to improve the car, so I don't think you can say we are lucky. If the other teams have not done that, it is not our fault.
Q: But you are not winning with the quickest car?
FA: The R25 is not the quickest car at the moment, but it is the best. I think we have a different philosophy to some other teams. McLaren want to have the quickest car, but with some risk. We want a quick car, but with no risk. Maybe we have sacrificed some performance on the engine, or the chassis, but we are happy because the car is reliable. The only place where we took some risk was Imola, with my damaged engine, but even then we managed it the right way.
Q: You will turn 24 this weekend - what are your birthday wishes?
FA: I can't tell you!
So will you be having a party?
FA: No, I am focused on the weekend - the set-up, practice, the race. But maybe if I win, then we can have a double party!