Sad Alonso declares business as usual

(GMM) Spaniard Fernando Alonso has revealed he will wear a black armband on his overalls at Valencia this weekend in tribute to the 153 people killed in the Madrid plane crash.

The Renault driver also said he will discuss with the other 19 drivers whether a minute's silence prior to the grand prix, the second in Spain this season, is appropriate.

Although saddened by the Spainair tragedy, 27-year-old Alonso declared business as usual for the European grand prix — including his former team McLaren's recent run of dominance.

He also said the British team would have "a further advantage" over Ferrari on the new circuit because of its superior simulation technologies, according to the sports newspaper Marca.

Between "fifth and eighth" fastest was the realistic hope for his own R28 car, however, Alonso explained.

Alonso would not be drawn on continuing speculation about the identity of his team for 2009.

"Now is the time to give our maximum, and in September or October I will think about next year and examine the best options," he said.

He said Renault is a candidate.

"Two years ago they were world champion, and it is not possible in that time to forget how to build championship winning cars," Alonso said.

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