Fernando Alonso enters the European GP with a positive attitude, qualifying on Pole position for the Hungarian GP has shown that the fire is still burning strong in the heart of the Spaniard.
Going into the summer break things didn't look great for Alonso, after the stewards handed the Renault team a 1-race ban for problems caused by the botched pit-stop on lap 12 resulting in the front-right wheel flying off. Thankfully the ban was resolved in a later appeal in court.
Last year wasn't the best, returning to Renault after an unsettled year with McLaren he finished 5th over-all and gained 2 winners trophies along the way. If 2008 was a year to forget then the European Grand prix was defiantly one of the low points as he was taken out on the first lap by Adrian Sutil in front of his home crowd.
“Last year my race there was very short – less than a lap – so I'm really determined to make up for that this weekend and hopefully we can fight for the podium.”
The summer break is now over and the Renault team heads in to the European Grand Prix with an up-beat Alonso and a brand new driver in the form of Romain Grosjean, a young French driver who has only tested the R29 in a straight line!
“I'm looking forward to working with Romain who I'm sure will do a good job for the team. I already have a good relationship with him and hopefully he can help us score some important points for the championship.”
With the qualifying performance in Hungary, which surprised even Alonso himself and the added bonus of racing in front of his home crowd, Valencia looks certain to host an interesting race for the 2-time World Champion, but he remains grounded and realistic as he approaches the race – “I know that there will be amazing support from the fans and I really want to reward them with a good result. As I've said, I would love to fight for the podium, but the main priority is to score points this weekend.”
It will be interesting to see if the replacement of Nelson Piquet Jr. has any effect of Alonso's pace as the young Romain Grosjean steps in to the boots of the Brazilian.