Archive for March 2013
ALONSO: "AN OPPORTUNITY MISSED"
Fernando Alonso: “Today, unfortunately, we were very unlucky. After making a good start, I touched with Vettel at the second corner: it was a surprise to find him there, almost stopped and I don’t know what speed he was doing. Despite the fact the car was damaged, it didn’t seem to be too bad and, together with the team, we decided to keep going, because if we’d stopped immediately and then again on lap 3 or 4 to fit dry tyres, we would have dropped too far back and definitely lost the chance to finish up the front. It’s easy to criticise this decision, but at the time it seemed like the right one. It was certainly a shame, because here we could have fought with the Red Bulls, but circumstances didn’t help and apart from the wisdom of the decisions we took, bad luck really played its part, when you think how many off-track excursions there were in Australia without any consequence and even here when the cars first went out on track. Now we are already focusing on the coming races in China and Bahrain, where we hope to do better than last year, so that we arrive in Europe with as many points as possible”.
ALONSO: "UNCERTAIN WEATHER"
Fernando Alonso: “I am very happy with this position as it’s been too long since I qualified in the top three! Something I have usually managed to achieve in the race has been missing for quite a while: maybe the rain helped us a bit as we were not the quickest in the dry, but starting in the top three gives us a realistic chance of a podium finish and we can even dream about winning. In Q3, when we had seen the track was drying quickly, we had a moment’s hesitation, because in the dry, the intermediates only last one or two laps before beginning to degrade. But in the end, it seemed the most sensible choice and it worked out well”.
“Of the past three years, this seems to be the moment when everything appears to be working for the best: performance, strategy, pit stops. Now we must see how tomorrow will turn out, because it’s always a lottery if it rains. Even if, in the current Formula 1, the start is not the most important thing, we will still try to make a good one in order to maintain position or even to try and get past Vettel at the first corner. Then we will see: our race pace in Australia and the long run here on Friday means we can be reasonably optimistic.”
ALONSO: "VERY GOOD NEWS"
Fernando Alonso: “Today, the car worked well in all conditions and that is very good news for us. This circuit is more representative than Australia for evaluating the car’s performance and so it was important to understand here today if the positive feelings from the winter were not just an illusion. On my lap on the Medium tyres, I did not have the right balance, otherwise I could have managed to improve, as I did on the Hards and I could probably have been on the “front row.”
“Now we must see how tomorrow goes, when it could rain at any moment and on a track where tyre degradation is much higher than in Melbourne. With a high number of pit stops likely, a car that works better in the race than in qualifying could be an advantage. However, tomorrow we will try and do our best to get a place on the front row, because, as usual, the start, strategy and pit stops will hold the key”.
FERNANDO ALONSO: "THIS WEEKEND IS A VERY REAL TEST FOR US"
Hard to believe, but Fernando Alonso drove his Ferrari F2012 to victory here in Malaysia last year. It was an unexpected result to put it mildly, given that last year’s car had left the Scuderia on the back foot right from the start of that year’s testing. So, although the Spaniard arrives here in good shape, in all senses of the word, on the back of a solid second place in Melbourne last Sunday, being the last winner here doesn’t necessarily make him favourite this time round. “I think there is no comparison with last year, as at the time we couldn’t even get into Q3 and we were nowhere near where we wanted to be. This year, from this aspect it is a little bit better and we have a more or less competitive car. In Australia, everything went fine for us and we showed we have a good potential. However, it’s true that the Australian circuit is strange and unusual. That means that this weekend we will be looking for a little bit of confirmation that the car is performing well. After experiencing positive feelings in winter testing and then in Australia, this weekend is a very real test for us. We want a clean weekend and hopefully a podium will again be a very good target for us and if we manage it, we can be very happy.”
In Melbourne, it’s fair to say the Lotus win was far from a foregone conclusion, but the Ferrari man sees Raikkonen’s victory as a straightforward result. “The pace of the Lotus was very good, but it was not something we could not do, it was not out of our reach,” affirmed Fernando. “They had a very clean race with no traffic, so I think we can fight a bit closer to them.” The Red Bulls – a front row on Saturday, then “only” third in the race – provided more difficult questions. “As I said, this race will be very interesting from many aspects: for us a confirmation to see if we are competitive, which in fact could be the case for other teams. Red Bull had a big difference in their pace between qualifying and the race and so for them too, this will be a very important weekend to understand what is happening. But that is not our problem: we will just try to do our best and then see what the others do.”
You can’t have a race near the Equator, without journalists asking about the effect of the weather on the drivers. “It’s not a big difference in this heat and humidity, because for us in the car it does not feel too much hotter,” explained the double world champion. “Whether it’s in Melbourne at 26 degrees or here at 32, when you are driving at 300 kilometres, the air coming in the cockpit is not too bad. You don’t feel the heat so much. In fact, it’s more of a problem when you stop in the garage because of all the heat soak in the car.”
ALONSO: "IMMEDIATELY IN THE FIGHT WITH THE BEST"
Fernando Alonso: “We can claim to have started this season on the right foot, immediately in the fight with the best. Along with the results from winter testing, it is a very encouraging sign that we managed to get the most out of a weekend that was full of unknown factors, both in qualifying and the race. I think the three stop strategy was the right one: with the degradation we had, it would have been impossible to manage on one less and bringing forward the second one by a few laps meant I was able to pass Vettel and Sutil.”
“Finishing ahead of the Red Bull tastes like a win, even if we know that despite today’s race result, they are still the quickest. Now we can expect another weekend with very changeable weather and one that also puts a lot of stress on the cars from a mechanical point of view and on the drivers, from a physical one. But we can tackle it calmly on the back of this good result”.
Australian GP – QUALIFYING POSTPONED
The starting grid for the Australian Grand Prix will not be decided until after 11 tomorrow morning. The Race Director took the decision to postpone Q2 and Q3 because of a violent storm that hit the Albert Park circuit. At the end of Q1, the only part of the proceedings that went ahead when the rain eased briefly, Fernando Alonso was second fastest in 1.43.850, behind the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg, (1.43.380.) In the other F138, Felipe Massa was sixth in 1.44.635, having survived a spin that saw him damage both wings against the barriers.
“It’s a shame that qualifying has been put back to tomorrow, “ commented Fernando following the announcement. “And that goes for the teams who were focussed on their preparations for the session, as well as the crowd who came to watch and the marshals who worked so hard on trying to dry the track. But it was the right decision given the track conditions, especially as the white lines were really too slippery. Now we must wait for tomorrow and see if the weather and the track improve.”
“The lines that mark out the edge of the track were very slippery,” agreed Felipe. “I ended up on one at the exit to a corner and lost control of the car, but I confess I was lucky. In my whole career, I’ve never managed to get back on track after such a heavy impact and I’m really happy to still be in the hunt for qualifying. Other drivers were in similarly risky positions, so I fully approve of the decision taken by the stewards. In the dry, we are up there with the best, now we must sort out fixing the damaged parts.”
ALONSO: "NO SURPRISES THIS FRIDAY"
Fernando Alonso: “Overall, this was a very productive Friday, as we did a lot of laps and got through an important initial analysis of the behaviour of the two types of Pirelli tyres available for this race. Our efforts were helped by particularly favourable weather with sunshine and summery temperatures. However, the weather is expected to change completely from tomorrow, with wind, rain and a significant drop in temperature, which could influence Sunday’s race. I’m not expecting any major surprises here, we already knew we were not the quickest and that was confirmed today. The car responds well, but we know there is still much to do if we want to fight with the very best”.
THE COMMUNITY OF MADRID WILL HOST THE "FIRST EXPOSITION OF FERNANDO ALONSO´S SPORTING CAREER"
The Fernando Alonso Foundation and Canal de Isabel II Management will organize together an exposition on the sporting career of the two-time Formula 1 World Champion. The showing, which will be exhibited at the Centro Arte Canal in Madrid towards the end of 2013 and that will be made up of karts, racing cars, trophies and other objects from Alonso’s private collection which are extremely valuable to the Spanish driver, will enable visitors to get a closer look into the exclusive world of Formula 1 and motor sport, whilst also attracting an important number of national and international tourists to Madrid. Apart from the exposition, which is the first to take place worldwide, different activities regarding road safety for children will take place, this being the main focus of the Foundation presided by Scuderia Ferrari’s Spanish driver.
Visitors of the exhibition will journey, via a route in the Centro Arte Canal hall in Plaza Castilla, through the sporting career of Fernando Alonso, starting off with his first overall which was hand sewn by his mother for his first competition at the age of 3, and finishing off with the last trophy that the driver will achieve from here to the end of 2013. Many of the cars that the Spanish driver has raced with throughout his career will be on display; from his first kart to his racing cars from 1999 to 2011, a period in which Fernando raced for Minardi, Renault, McLaren and Ferrari, his current team. Also, amongst cars, overalls, boots, helmets or gloves, visitors will have an opportunity to get to know other interesting aspects of the Spanish driver and the sport he lives in.
Besides this exclusive and unprecedented exhibition, which will join the many other attractives which Spain already offers and, more precisely, the Community of Madrid, in order to promote tourism kids will be able to test their knowledge regarding road safety thanks to the diverse activities programmed in the same exhibition hall. With this initiative, the Fernando Alonso Foundation will join forces with the Canal de Isabel II to continue with its work of raising awareness and educating younger people regarding this subject.
The fact that the Fernando Alonso Foundation has selected the Centro Arte Canal hall to exhibit this exclusive showing confirms the consolidation of this exposition area as a national and international reference.
Arte Canal exposition centre
Arte Canal, Canal de Isabel II Management’s exhibition hall, located next to the Plaza de Castilla in Madrid, was inaugurated in 2004 with the exposition “Xi’an Warriors” and more than 2.5 million people have visited in that time.
The hall takes up half of the first of the four modules of the Canal de Isabel II’s fourth buried deposit in Madrid, and it is a structure from the first half of the 20th century, with a capacity for 141,000 cubic metres of water. Located nine metres underground with regards to the Parque de Plaza de Castilla, and five metres in relation to the paseo de la Castellana, it has a surface area of over 4,700 square metres, distributed between the mezzanine, which is made up of 1,200 square metres, and the ground floor which covers 3,500 square metres, of which 2,000 square metres correspond to the exposition area.