Monday, May 23, 2011

Barcelona GP : Alonso press conference

Question: How do you feel at home here?
Fernando Alonso: "Obviously it's good to be here where even in Valencia, which are two home races for me. Running is special here in Spain but as Alguersuari said, it's a good motivation there are additional pressures but this is positive because there are a lot of support in the stands, people and hotels, so it is a unique weekend.

Question: Nigel Mansell in the habit of saying that without the motivation of saving time on the track, your opinion?
Fernando Alonso: "We must be optimistic, but you try to do the best you can and the whole team is trying to support you so that everything is ready to find perfection in a weekend. Anything is possible, it can help them win one or two tenths."
Question: Is that all? Fernando Alonso: "Yes."

Question: After extending your contract, you said that is probably your last team, what to say?
Fernando Alonso: "Yes it is good news for me to extend my contract until 2016. As I already said last year, my intention is to finish my career at Ferrari, I can not imagine best team for a race car driver especially since I had the chance to come to Ferrari last year. I felt immediately comfortable, like home from day one and today I had the opportunity to extend my contract until 2016, a total of 7 seasons with the Reds. I feel privileged to be happy about that, and perhaps that in 2017 there will be another contract so I am not too old and if Ferrari still wants me."

Question: What does it mean for a driver so that stability of being in a team so long?
Fernando Alonso: "It does not really change my mind or in my head, because for me it was clear that I would stay long enough. Despite the contractual conditions things were clear and I felt it was the case for the team. This is just an official confirmation, but nothing has changed years the team and everything is stable and it is always a plus for a team of Formula 1. There are many exchanges in this type of partnership and we hope to bring great success in Maranello."

We made some new parts in Turkey and it seems to work well for us and we have closed the gap with Red Bull. Following the developments come here in Barcelona and I hope we can still grow and as some of the teams have said it will see tomorrow and Saturday afternoon to see who has done the best job and we are confident and optimistic we have worked hard and is expected to reduce the gap here to fight for victory very soon."

Question: Who had the idea to extend your contract, you or the team?

Question: Do you think Red Bull will be much dominating as last year here?
Fernando Alonso: "You talk of another car, so I can not answer ask Mark Webber. But the gap last year was regularly beyond a second and this year we saw the same thing so yes anything is possible, but we are working hard to address this, I think all the teams trying to catch up and the gap should theoretically be smaller and smaller with every race. Here I'll be disappointed if I am a second Red Bull, we must give them a hard time this weekend."

Question: Do you think Mark Webber may play a key role this season as he is the only one to have the same car as Vettel?
Fernando Alonso: "Yes, of course, Mark was strong last year just a few points of Sebastian, but we can not judge on four races In the figures there Vettel head and a group of six or eight cars one behind the other, and only Sebastian has quite a lead with his fantastic engine in these early races, he was fast, has not made mistakes and he deserves all these points. We must therefore make great efforts to address this and get back on the opponents, anything is possible because the championship is still long, it happened some years as in 2006 and I was 32 points ahead of Schumacher in Canada, so that there were 80 late at the start and end of the season we resolutions for the title, so it is difficult to judge which is why we work hard this year, but Mark and Red Bull can win just as Sebastian and they can also did not finish the race, so anything is possible."

Q: Fernando, you came to Turkey in thinking that the car would be two tenths quicker than before, compared to others. It proved to be much more than that: you have almost halved the gap to Sebastien in qualifying. Where did it come from and what do you expect this weekend? Fernando Alonso: "Well, he came to race pace and I think tire management. Because in qualifying in Malaysia was second. In China, it was 1.4s and Turkey that has was a second behind pole position, thus more or less the same distance. But the race pace depends on the tire management, you can have in the race, how easily fit your car in this race in particular, settings or you can find on Friday. It helps the performance on Sunday.
In Turkey, it seems that we went in the right direction in terms of car setup and in terms of tire. We were a little more competitive than expected in the race. So we want to bring this experience in the coming races and hopefully we can keep an edge with the tire and behavior. And here, I do not know. We'll see what the performance of the car, how the new parts, but as I said, the most important thing is how you approach the weekend and how you manage your tires."

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