Fernando Alonso Q&A: It's not too late to fight for the title 22 Jul 2010
It would be easy for Ferraris Fernando Alonso to feel downhearted at the moment. After two trying races in Valencia and Silverstone, Alonso is currently fifth in the standings, 47 points adrift of leader Lewis Hamilton. But with the F10 responding well to its updates, the determined Spaniard has not given up hope of clinching the title
Q: Fernando, you have endured a tough couple of races. Is the title still within your grasp?
Fernando Alonso: I think it's not too late, as there are nine races to go, with many points still on the table. We will try to do the maximum possible and take points more regularly. To leave Valencia and Silverstone with so few points didnt show our real potential, and we are definitely in a better position than the championship standings suggests.
Q: In you experience, is it possible for a team to treat two drivers equally when they are fighting for the championship?
FA: It is possible. You just need to find the best way to manage the situation.
Q: Has this season been harder than you expected it to be?
FA: No, not harder but more or less what we expected. There is tough competition with Red Bull, McLaren and Mercedes. Renault was a surprise at many races too. We were talking all winter long that four teams would be winning races and fighting for the championship. And this is the case, with two Red Bulls, two McLarens, two Ferraris, one Mercedes and one Renault all fighting.
Q: You have had some ups and downs during your career. How frustrated are you feeling?
FA: There have been some frustrating moments in the last two races. We had a good weekend in Valencia and left Valencia with four points. We had a very good weekend in Silverstone and ended the race with zero points. I am quite frustrated that Ive not been able to stay out of trouble and avoid certain problems. But I am very confident that I am still able to fight for the championship, as the car has improved a lot. I'm very happy with the car now. Im even more motivated and more confident than before. Sure the gap between me and the leader has increased, but the car is improving race by race and now there is the possibility to be on the podium regularly. I think we are very strong so I have more confidence now.
Q: Are there any updates on the car for this weekends race?
FA: Yes, there will be new developments on the car. Getting pole position or winning the race will be difficult as Red Bull still has an advantage, but we will work to close the gap so that we finally can fight with them. My prediction is that this weekend will be very tricky, as we will have a totally different tyre situation from what we have had all season long. So it will be more difficult to manage the balance of the car. There are many factors that will decide who wins this weekend.
Q: Did you think that Mercedes GPs Michael Schumacher would be stronger than he is at the moment?
FA: I think we all expected more competition from Michael. It is true that Mercedes is performing as well as we all thought. They had some problems at some races, but even so Nico is doing a really good job and taking a lot of points. But it is only the first half of the season and I expect Michael to be stronger in the second half. I dont think that Michael has any problems - hes just adapting to the car.
Q: How angry were you in the car at Silverstone? You told your engineer not to talk to you anymore. Do you feel that the drive-through penalty was a fair punishment?
FA: In Silverstone I was not angry. The race was basically over. I was in P18 with 15 laps to go so there was no chance of recovering and therefore no reason to be angry. I had switched off from that race and had begun to think about Germany when I said that on the radio. I started to take care of the gearbox and the engine. There was nothing more to do. The penalties are always fair. They decide what they see and there's nothing we can do. We just have to do better next time. This is in the past and hopefully here in Germany we'll have a trouble-free weekend and take more points than at the previous races.
Q: Your missed opportunities at the last two races benefited others. To catch up in the standings do you need the others to miss opportunities, or can you do it on your own?
FA: I think we can do it our own. We just need to have consistent races. If wed had a normal race in Valencia and a normal race in Silverstone, I wouldnt be 47 points behind. I would probably be leading the championship now.