Fernando Alonso’s brief visit to New York ended with him being the guest of honour at today’s closing ceremony at the New York Stock Exchange. The Scuderia Ferrari driver pressed the button that activates the traditional ring of the bell as part of a ceremony instigated by the Santander Bank, which donated the considerable sum of 250,000 dollars to the American Red Cross to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

“It’s a privilege for me to be here for an occasion like this: it’s strange to be part of something that I’d only seen on television before!” said Fernando to the media who were present. “It’s a good day for Santander and the Red Cross, who can do something really useful to help those who suffered in this storm. I am happy to have spent this week in the States, first in Austin and now in New York: Formula 1 needs this country but it is not yet that popular so it is important for teams and drivers to do all they can to promote our sport. Would I race in an American series like Nascar? I’ve never tried it out or even thought about it, but who knows in the future… When I’ve finished my Formula 1 career, sooner or later this could be a possibility.”

Many of the questions even on Wall Street, concerned the imminent Brazilian Grand Prix, which will decide the outcome of the 2012 Championship. “We know it will be difficult for us, but we are confident,” said Fernando. “We must do our utmost, concentrating on ourselves and making no mistakes and then we can see what Vettel has done. It’s been a championship of highs and lows for everyone, but now we can only be perfect. However, I think we can sleep more easily than our rivals: we have a lot to gain and little to lose and for them it’s the opposite. In 2010 the situation was reversed so I hope that once again the outcome goes in favour of the one who is behind at the moment. I don’t think the track will condition the result: we have seen that Red Bull is strong on all types of track so that should also be the case in Interlagos. But Formula 1 is strange and anything can happen: the important thing is not to be caught out unprepared.” Fernando flies off to Sao Paolo tonight: from Thursday morning, with an FIA press conference at 11, the key weekend of one of the most fascinating championships in recent years will get underway.

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