Q and A with Fernando Alonso
At the Hungarian Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso brought good points to the Renault team thanks to his fourth place finish following a long battle behind Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari.
This week-end brings the European Grand Prix and its unknown challenges on the new Valencia street circuit, the second race this year in Alonso's Spanish homeland.
Fernando, the Renault F1 Team finished in the points with both cars in Hungary and moved up a place in the constructors' championship. That's an encouraging result for the rest of the year...
"We're certainly continuing to improve, which is very encouraging. We were on the pace in Hungary, the car felt good and we showed we are still moving forward and that we will fight hard to finish in fourth place in the championship. It was important also to get a solid result before the summer break: it's good for the mood in the team and means we can come back motivated for the rest of the year."
After Barcelona, we now head to Valencia for the second race in Spain this year. Is that something special for you?
"Yes, of course. I'm very happy to be driving at home for a second time: it's always a special feeling to race in front of my countrymen and I'm really looking forward to it. In Barcelona we were having a strong race when I had to retire, but I hope this time I can get a good result as the circuit will be new for all the drivers."
As you say, it's a brand new circuit. Is that an interesting challenge for you?
"Yes, it will be interesting for me and also for the team, who have been working hard in preparation for this race for the last couple of months. As a new circuit, I think it gives the drivers a chance to show what they can do, but I am not under any illusions as I expect all the drivers to be quick. We must do our best to find our reference points quicker than the others in order to spring a surprise."
It's a street circuit like Monaco, where you usually go well. Do you expect that to be the case in Valencia?
"It's true that I like street circuits: they are always an interesting challenge and the sensation of speed from inside the cockpit is incredible. I will do my best to improve the set-up of the car with my engineers over the weekend so that we can aim for a strong result. Whatever happens, I will give my maximum for this second Grand Prix in Spain."