Fernando Alonso Q&A: Spa is one of those exceptional circuits 01 Sep 2008
The Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps is one of the few races that double world champion Fernando Alonso has not won. Given Renaults recent form, that situation is unlikely to change this weekend, but that doesnt mean the Spaniard is not looking forward to the race. After the disappointment of retiring in front of his home crowd on lap one in Valencia, Alonso is out to make amends at Spa, as Renault chase fourth in the constructors championship
Q: Fernando, you had to retire early from your second home Grand Prix in Valencia. You must have been extremely disappointed
Fernando Alonso: I knew that my weekend would be difficult after qualifying - starting so far down the field on a street circuit is never where you want to be. I was hit on the first lap and lost my rear wing. My mechanics did everything to try and get me back out, but my race was already compromised. I'm disappointed not to have been able to drive in front of my supporters as I wanted to give them a special race, but that's in the past now and I am looking forward to the race in Belgium.
Q: As you say, this weekend is the Belgian Grand Prix in Spa. Is it a circuit that you enjoy?
FA: Spa is one of those exceptional circuits on the Formula One calendar. Like all the older circuits, there is always a very special and warm atmosphere. For the drivers, Spa is an unbelievable challenge and is a very enjoyable place to drive a Formula One car. I have never won at Spa and hope that one day I can add a win here to my list of achievements.
Q: What are the demands of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit?
FA: It's a very long circuit, which generally emphasises the gaps between the cars. It requires a very complete car and so we will have to work hard on the set-up to make sure we are competitive in the quick sections as well as in the slower corners. The compression in Eau Rouge is still an impressive part of the circuit.
Q: Do you think you can have a strong race in Spa as the team chases fourth position in the constructors' championship?
FA: Even though the European Grand Prix turned out to be a race to forget, we should not lower our aims. I am sure that the team is giving 100 percent to achieve our objective and I will also give my maximum to try and get a strong result and score some points. At the beginning of the season things were not easy, but we have improved and we are determined to continue in this direction.