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Fernando Alonso Q&A: I'm not giving up on podiums 09 Jul 2009

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, German Grand Prix, Preparations, Nurburgring, Germany, Thursday, 9 July 2009 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R29.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, British Grand Prix, Race, Silverstone, England, Sunday, 21 June 2009 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, British Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Silverstone, England, Saturday, 20 June 2009 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R29.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, British Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Silverstone, England, Saturday, 20 June 2009

Improvement is the key word for Renault’s Fernando Alonso at the moment - to raise the team’s game in qualifying and hence provide a realistic chance of scoring points on Sunday. And citing last year’s trend, he is not ruling out podiums, or more, later in 2009. As for talk of driving a red car in 2010 - merely rumours says the Spaniard…

Q: What is your outlook for his race, compared to the last few races?
Fernando Alonso:
During the last couple of races we had the opportunity to score some point, but we didn’t. So during the last weeks we were trying to maximize the performance of the car. Hopefully here in Germany we can do a perfect qualifying, to have the chance to start from a good position on the grid and then be able to push all through the race. The clear goal is to score some points. Also there is the weather factor, as it might rain, and these are the situations where we have to take the opportunities and get the best out of it.

Q: So what would be a perfect qualifying for you at this moment?
FA:
We have to start from better positions as we did throughout the last couple of races. Between P8 and P10 is not good enough, we need to be in the top six in qualifying if we want to be able to score points on Sunday. So the target is to improve the Saturday afternoon.

Q: Are there any improvements on the car for this weekend?
FA:
Yes there are. We have some new aerodynamic parts, especially the front wing and the wheel fairings. We hope to gain some tenths of a second, although the other teams will have some improvements as well. Hopefully we can do a little better than our competitors.

Q: There are some rumours about your future. Can you give us any comment?
FA:
These are only rumours.

Q: You are not on the podium and you are not winning races - how much of a frustration is this to you?
FA:
Unfortunately I am getting used to this. It is a very similar situation to the beginning of last year. We have not been competitive, and at the end we were able to get three podiums with two wins. For this year there is the hope that we are able to get on the podium as well. We know that we are not on a good level now, but we will not think of giving up. If we find something good on the car, that we are able to develop even more, then we can probably be on the podium very soon. We will keep on working.

Q: How do you see your overall situation, as having been world champion twice and not being able to win races or compete for the championship?
FA:
I think this is normal in every sport, and even more so in Formula One. We have a very good example with one of the greatest drivers, with Michael Schumacher. He has won two championship titles with Benetton, and then five years of not being able to win the title. You have to keep calm, and know that during your career you will have good moments, and also not-so-good moments. And now I am at the phase of some bad moments. I am only 27 years old, so I need to keep improving and learning, so that I am prepared when I have a competitive car again. And then I need to be better than ever.

Q: At Silverstone you were for the first time not amongst the top ten. This will not be something you will want to get used to…
FA:
Silverstone was a very unlucky race. In the first place we have not been competitive at all. P12 is not the position that reflects our current status; maybe P7 or P8, but definitely closer to the points. We have to learn from the mistakes and hopefully will be able to do much better here.

Q: Do you still compete with your team mate - for the first time (at Silverstone) you finished behind Nelson Piquet?
FA:
You always compete against your team mate, but in the end, if you do not score any points it does not matter whether you finish P12 or P16. For me the target is to be able to score points, and hopefully I will be able to do so on Sunday.

Q: Do you think that the championship is already decided in favour of Brawn GP and Jenson Button?
FA:
No, not really. Especially after the result of Silverstone, where we have seen Red Bull Racing improve. For sure Brawn GP is still the favourite, but Red Bull Racing is in a good position too.

Q: So just a little outlook for the next race, in Budapest?
FA:
I won my first race in Hungary and this is a feeling that I will never forget, so I have a special connection with the track. Of course I love the podium in Budapest, but also it is a great city with a great atmosphere.