F1: Alonso keen for clean battle in Brazil after run of DNFs
By Chris Medland | RACER magazine and RACER.com F1 correspondent
Fernando Alonso is targeting a clean battle in the Brazilian Grand Prix after consecutive early retirements in the United States and Mexico.
With just two rounds remaining before he retires from Formula 1, Alonso has completed a total of four racing laps in the last two events, with first-lap contact eliminating him in Austin before he picked up debris and his car overheated in Mexico.
“I’m excited to return to Interlagos because it’s an incredible circuit and I’ve always enjoyed racing there,” Alonso said. “It’s a track where many great races have taken place and it’s always a little bit unpredictable.
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“I’m also looking forward to putting the last two race weekends behind me and focussing on extracting the performance we have been working hard to maximize in our car, but haven’t been able to show. I haven’t had the chance to fight for a couple of grands prix now, so I hope we can have a clean battle and show what’s possible.”
McLaren’s sporting director Gil de Ferran will be involved in racing on home soil for the first time since joining the team, and while it will be a special weekend for him he admits Alonso’s recent run of bad luck is also on his mind.
“I’m looking forward to returning to my hometown for the first time with McLaren for the Brazilian Grand Prix,” de Ferran said. “It’s a race that has been an important part of Formula 1 history for many years and has an incredible fan base of passionate Brazilian aficionados of the sport.
“It’s a track on which legends of the sport have won and lost grands prix in the most dramatic circumstances, and unpredictable weather has played its part in influencing the outcome, too. This all adds to the magic of Interlagos and I hope we can see another weekend of great racing this year.
“As we enter the penultimate grand prix of the season, we are as focused as ever on getting the most out of our car’s performance in the final two races, and bringing home as many points as we can. Fernando, in particular, has had an unlucky run of late, so we’ll be working hard to bring both cars home across the finish line at what is traditionally a grueling race for both car and driver.”
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ABOUT CHRIS MEDLAND
While studying Sports Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, Chris managed to talk his way into working at the British Grand Prix in 2008 and was retained for three years before joining ESPN F1 as Assistant Editor. After three years at ESPN, a spell as F1 Editor at Crash Media Group was followed by the major task of launching F1i.com’s English-language website and running it as Editor. Present at every race since the start of 2014, he has continued building his freelance portfolio, working with international titles. As well as writing for RACER, he contributes to BBC 5Live and Sky Sports in the UK as well as working with titles in Japan and the Middle East.