Fernando: "everybody is still a contender"
Sepang, 1 April -- When Fernando Alonso
faced the media this afternoon at the Sepang circuit, the questions began with a look back at what had been a spectacular drive to fourth place in Melbourne: "It was a great show for everybody,
a good race to watch and also enjoyable from inside the cockpit," commented the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver. "The car was quick enough for me to be able to overtake, after going to the back of the field and in the end, fourth place was a good reward for the team and I am extremely happy about it. Maybe with the spin at the first corner I lost the opportunity to win, but these things happen. It was very good for our championship situation."
The double world champion heads the classification, but he is aware of the very strong opposition he faces. "The McLarens, Red Bulls and Mercedes are our main rivals and only later in the year, will we see which of the eight drivers are in contention for the Drivers' championship. After just two races, everybody is still a contender and in the fight, even if currently the Red Bull is probably the quickest and they are the guys to watch at the moment, even if they have not put together the perfect weekend. When they do, they could finish a race first and second, so we cannot relax and must keep working to improve the car, especially as I expect McLaren and Mercedes to be more in the fight very soon."
Even though the Melbourne race was a truly exciting one, some elements of the press are still pursuing the argument that F1 needs more overtaking. Alonso is not so sure. "As I said after Bahrain, Formula 1 might not be the best sport when it comes to overtaking, but it is about other things also, like technology, precise driving, with everything under control on the track, in the garage, in the factory, where margins are counted in millimetres or less in the way cars are built," said the Spaniard. "This formula is about watching the cars that have the maximum performance of any form of motor sport and the best drivers putting on a good show. Of course, when it rains the races can be more entertaining. The arguments have been the same for many years and there have been many fantastic championships, for example last year and I'm sure we did not see so much overtaking, so I believe the current situation is not linked to the new rules regarding no refuelling."