Q&A with Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso's plans for 2009 remain a source of feverish paddock speculation – but he is playing a long game and at Spa on Thursday he again batted away questions on the subject.
Instead, the former champion told ITV Sport's pit lane reporter Ted Kravitz why he expects a close battle at the front this weekend, and why he feels Kimi Raikkonen cannot be written out of the title script.
Ted Kravitz: Would you prefer a dry or a wet race at Spa on Sunday?
Fernando Alonso: When I have no chance to win in the dry, I prefer that it rains; if I’m in the top three I prefer a dry race.
Ted: What about the temperature here – will that suit you, or do you think it will suit McLaren, as they seem to go well in the colder conditions, and not suit Ferrari?
FA: We’ll see. For us I think it will not make a huge difference [whether] it’s a hot or cold circuit.
For the championship fight, we saw some advantage for the McLaren car when it’s cold, but also Spa is a good track for Ferrari, to [exploit] the benefits of the aerodynamics of their car.
So I think it will be a good battle.
Ted: I’m sure you’d be disappointed if I didn’t ask you about where you’re going to be driving next year – any news on that?
FA: No news.
Ted: Luca di Montezemolo seemed to say that there’s no place for you at Ferrari next year…
FA: No, next year, for sure I knew about; it’s not a surprise, because both Ferrari drivers have contracts – that was 100% [clear].
But I need to keep thinking not only for next year but also for the near future, so we will see.
Ted: So Ferrari is still a possibility for 2010? That’s what we were always talking about, wasn’t it?
FA: I don’t know.
Ted: And what about what’s going on at Ferrari? We think of you and Kimi Raikkonen as the best drivers in Formula 1 – why do you think Kimi is having so much trouble getting beaten by Massa?
FA: Well, I think Massa has improved this year, especially his consistency.
[In the past] we saw Massa quick sometimes, but overall in the championship he had always some bad races; this year he seems a little bit more consistent.
I think Kimi has been a little bit unlucky sometimes.
I remember in Magny-Cours he was going to win the race but he had an exhaust failure. Also there was the accident with Hamilton in the pit lane in Canada.
So there were two or three races where Kimi had the possibility to win, but because of bad luck he didn’t manage to take the 10 points.
So I think Kimi is still very strong probably for the championship at the end.