Fernando Alonso Q&A - home win is possible, with help 21 Aug 2009
Until last Tuesday, Fernando Alonsos chances of racing at the European Grand Prix were in the limbo. Then Renaults suspension from Hungary was overturned and here he is, in front of ahome crowd eager to cheer on their local hero. With a new team mate in rookie Romain Grosjean and a car thats on the up, the vibes at Renault are good. Now Alonsos Spanish fans would love to see their home boy win
Q: How do you see your chances to have a home victory here in Valencia?
Fernando Alonso: I think we need some help from the others. It is the same as last year in Singapore, where we had some help from the safety car and I took the benefits from a lucky moment in the race. And also in Fuji, where some cars went off track in Turn One. Without those things I would not have been able to win any races also in the last season. This year is more or less the same. We still need a couple of tenths to be able to win a race, maybe three or four tenths to be competitive enough to win. At the moment we are just behind that first group.
Q: How was the performance of your car in todays practice?
FA: I was really positively surprised by the performance of the car. It is not only the last lap that we have been quick. Sometimes we dropped fuel at the end and you are able to do a very quick lap, but this afternoon it was a little bit better than that. We were always amongst the top three, top two, with any conditions, with any tyre and also with any fuel load. This was the best thing for us this afternoon. So the car seems competitive, and this is good news at the moment for us. But it is only Friday and we need to keep working very hard.
Q: How was your meeting with the stewards?
FA: After P1 the reason was that Romain and I had missed an autograph session yesterday, because of a sponsorship commitment that we had. After P2 it was because of the collision with Nick Heidfeld. From my point of view it was just a normal racing incident, and these kind of things do happen in racing. I thought he was coming into the pits because he was going very wide in the last corner to take the pit lane entry. Then he suddenly turned in and crossed the circuit like he was on an out-lap, to start the next lap a little bit quicker. That surprised me completely. We touched each other, as he didn't see me. But, there is nothing more than that. The stewards asked for an explanation from him and for an explanation from me, and that was all.
Q: How do you feel about your new team mate Romain Grosjean?
FA: He did no mistakes and completed many laps today, which was his main priority. It is only his first Grand Prix, but he is learning very fast, which is a good start to get used to the F1 car. He knows that I am here for anything that he wants to know, like things with the car, ratios, which gears on which corner, or how to use the kerbs. For the moment he did not ask me.