Fernando Alonso: “The circuit is up there with the most exciting tracks on the calendar”

With McLaren-Honda scoring their first points of the season in Monaco two weeks ago with Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso is looking forward to racing in Montreal this weekend for the Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Alonso enjoys coming back to Canada very year and enjoys the atmosphere and the history that is in the country and also at the circuit which have enjoyed some great races in recent years since appearing on the Formula One calendar in 1978. Alonso feels that his teammate’s points in Monaco two weeks ago were much-needed for the team and shows that they are making small and steady progress; even though he hasn’t had luck in his side for the last two races and is hoping that this weekend will be better for him.

“It’s great to be going back to North America,” said Alonso. “Montreal is a great city and the circuit is up there with the most exciting tracks on the calendar. It has so much history and some great battles have happened there between legendary drivers, so it’s always special to get in the car and experience this circuit and all the unpredictable elements that go with it – it’s a really exhilarating place.

“Jenson’s points in Monaco were a great boost for the whole team and more proof of the progress we are making race by race. On my side of the garage, it’s disappointing to have had two technical issues in a row, but as usual we’re working extremely hard to understand these problems. Reliability is always the most important factor, so before performance we must focus on making sure we start the weekend positively and maximise the practice sessions to get our car properly set up for this track.”

Alonso further added that the even though the circuit is very challenging and demanding; it always provides great racing. With the circuit showing different characteristics than Monaco; Alonso believes that having a good balance, downforce and brakes in the car will be essential to a successful weekend; even though reliability issues are still lurking in the background for him.

“The circuit itself is tricky – that’s what makes it so special – and always provides great racing,” added Alonso. “It’s obviously very different from Monaco because it’s so high-speed, but, like Monaco, there are lots of technical corners that mean you need to focus on having good balance and downforce in the car, especially under braking. Despite the reliability issues I’ve had in the last two races, the car has felt good, so our priority is to have a trouble-free weekend and get the maximum performance out of our package.”