Alonso's Blog

A win down to hard work from the team

July 27, 2010 · Posted by Fernando Alonso
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All wins are special. Winning is a great feeling and that was the case in Hockenheim, especially when I think of the huge workload undertaken by everyone at Maranello to achieve this fantastic one-two finish. No one ever gave up and I know how pleased they were to see two Ferraris cross the line ahead of all our rivals. For over a month now we have been saying that we had to get back to winning at least once before the summer break and finally, we did it. We did not have much luck in some races and, because of unusual incidents, we did not pick up the points we deserved. There was a slight feeling of frustration with this lack of results, but at last in Germany, for once we had a normal race on a weekend when he had no problems whatsoever and the result was there for all to see.

However, the win does not change my approach to the rest of the season. We knew full before Hockenheim that our car was much more competitive and that was what made me so confident. Now we must continue in this direction, starting this coming weekend in Budapest. The Hungaroring is a special circuit for me. It was here in 2003 that I scored my first Formula 1 win and I was on pole here last year. Returning to that 24th August seven years ago, I don’t remember much about the events of the day, because it was so emotional I had the impression that everything happened incredibly quickly: it would be nice to relive that experience this weekend at the wheel of a Ferrari.

The track can almost be described as a go-kart track for Formula 1 cars. The corners follow on, one from the other, so there is nowhere for a driver to pause for breath and it is vital to have a car that deals with the many bumps in the track surface and handles riding the kerbs. From the physical and mental point of view it is a pretty demanding race, so it is important not to get impetuous and overcook things, because any mistake is heavily penalised, especially in qualifying. It’s best to stay focussed and concentrate on your own work, trying to put together the perfect weekend, one step at a time. That is what we plan to do, starting on Thursday. I have already said it many times before: there is still a long way to go in the championship and the maths will only be done at the end.


“I remain confident because the car has improved”

July 21, 2010 · Posted by Fernando Alonso
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We’re about to begin a very important period for our season: in the next two races, in Germany and Hungary, it will be crucial to pick up a lot of points to stay in the race for the title. There’s no point in looking back and crying about it: we know that we will have to get everything right. Then we will bring home the results that we want, I have no doubt about that.

Last week I spent several days at Maranello. It was important to be close to the team in such a unique moment and we were also able to prepare for these two race weekends down to the smallest detail. I also took part in some events for the company and our main partners of Philip Morris – including the chance to drive a three-seater Formula 1 car, a really enjoyable experience.

Returning to the championship, I want to stress that my continued confidence isn’t unfounded but it’s based on fact. Our car has noticeably improved in recent weeks, as we even showed at Silverstone, a track that should have theoretically been hard for us. This year’s points system increases the value of the gaps but, at the same time, it allows you to make important gains: it’s clear that you have to get results. I assure you that I’ve sensed a great determination among the people who work at Maranello: we all want the same thing, which is to return to winning ways as soon as possible.

At Hockenheim we will have more new parts on the F10, in particular a new version of the diffuser. In Friday free practice we’ll see if it brings the effects we hope for. But I’m very confident, given that all the new parts we’ve introduced recently have worked as expected. The German track is one of the shortest in the calendar, which means that the gaps in qualifying will be smaller than elsewhere. So we will have to avoid even the slightest error on Saturday because two tenths more or less can be worth two rows on the starting grid.


It’s a hot time for Spanish sport

July 5, 2010 · Posted by Fernando Alonso
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We Spanish are going through a hot time at the moment. Last Saturday, in beating Paraguay, the country’s football team made it to the last four of the World Cup for the first time in sixty years and on Wednesday, we play Germany for a place in the final. I can’t wait to watch this match, in which there is no clear favourite, but that’s as it should be in a semi-final. Anyone who has made it to this stage of the tournament is definitely strong and deserves its place, so it is impossible to say who will have the edge. I think the key player for us will be Iniesta. Whichever way it goes, this has already been a great contest for us. The Tour of France has also got underway, the most intriguing stage race of the year. I will try and watch as much of it as possible, cheering on my friend Alberto Contador. I think he is favourite for outright victory and I’m not just saying that because of our relationship, but because I think everything is in place for him to get a hat-trick in the ‘Grande Boucle.’

It really is a great time for Spanish sport. In June, Pau Gasol picked up his second NBA title, yesterday, Rafa Nadal won Wimbledon for the second time, having already come out on top at Roland Garros, while Jorge Lorenzo looks to be flying towards the MotoGP crown. It is no coincidence that a generation of amazing athletes has grown up in a country that has changed so much over the past twenty years: starting at the end of the Eighties and then into the next decade, the number of sports facilities has increased by an incredible amount – you only need to look round even the smallest town to find football pitches, tennis and basketball courts everywhere and all open to the public – and the approach to sport has changed completely. What we are seeing now is the result of that investment and I think it is a strong enough basis for this success to keep on coming for a long time.

So now let’s turn to my job, which is also my passion: Formula 1. Currently, I am in Maranello to spend time with the team prior to the British Grand Prix. It is a crucial moment in the season, with three races coming up in the space of four weeks. We are ready, both on the technical front and physically. In Valencia, we introduced significant updates on the F10 and there will be more in Silverstone and the races after that. The development programme is intensive and I think we will see it produce results. We have also prepared very carefully from the physical point of view, given that the next events are all very close and one needs to be at a hundred percent all the time.

At Silverstone, we will discover a circuit whose final section has been modified. Along with the engineers, we have spent these few days studying all the characteristics of the new track layout, analysing the available information, including watching the motorcycle races held there a few weeks ago. On Thursday morning, again with my engineers, we will inspect the track to see everything in detail, looking especially for bumps on the racing line. The track seems reasonably similar to the way it was, with a lot of very fast corners, which will not suit us that much. However, it’s a fact that the configuration of the F10 seen in Valencia should give us a boost in these quick corners, so it is best to wait and see where we will be: I remain optimistic. Then, there is always a chance of rain playing its part at Silverstone. I would be very surprised to have a completely dry weekend and we will be ready to tackle any situation that comes our way.


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