As the only Spaniard on the grid, naturally enough Fernando Alonso was called to attend today’s FIA press conference. The Ferrari man was keen to scotch any suggestions that a repeat of his Chinese podium three weeks ago could be on the cards.
“I would be lying if I said I could aim for a podium this weekend,” said the man from Oviedo.
“The result in China was a boost for the team, but it came about because of a set of circumstances: I was lucky not to damage my car in the accident after the start, the two Red Bulls got a bit delayed, my pit stops were quick, so many factors put me on the podium. We need very special weekends to do it again and a podium here would be unbelievable,” added the man, who unbelievably won here last year!
As to circumstances that could work in the Scuderia’s favour, Fernando reckoned the Catalunya track could play its part. “Here, we will have to wait and see if the characteristics of the track can help us a little bit,” he explained. “Because there are not many straights, just the main one past the pits.”
The Ferrari man also played down the importance of updates introduced on the F14 T for this race.
“There are some new parts, but nothing special,” he maintained. “We are realistic and we will improve step by step and not give up. There is a big gap to Mercedes, but the championship has a long way to go. We must use all the potential within Ferrari to do everything we can to close the gap and become more competitive. It will be a slow recovery and so when we have improved we must hope it is not too late by then to fight for the championship.” Alonso believes his home track will provide a useful assessment of the team’s situation.
“It’s a good place to check how competitive we are and it will give us some answers. Then we go to Monaco and Canada, two completely different tracks, so I believe this point of the championship will tell us many things.” (Ferrari)