Alonso fitter than ever,ready for third title
Championship leader Fernando Alonso said that he is in the best shape of his career and determined to fight for his third win of the season in this weekend’s German Grand Prix.
The two-time champion added that, though he felt confident he and Ferrari will be competitive, he was aware that Red Bull had a faster car and were likely to be a major threat in tomorrow’s race and the scrap for the world title.
Spaniard Alonso said: “I think this year is my best for my condition in my career.
“You are a better driver every year because you improve from mistakes – that is the way it is, you always learn constantly in Formula One and you have to go with it.
“Physically it’s my best season so far because in previous years, you didn’t know, but all the leg and the shoulders, something always had some pain or I didn’t have good preparation.
“This year so far, and hopefully it stays like this, I have arrived 100 per cent at every race, so it’s good. I’m quite pleased with my performance.
“I am feeling good, very good and I am ahead in the championship and this weekend it is an important race so I hope to fight hard and to do well again.”
Alonso leads this year’s title race by 13 points from Mark Webber and was the first driver to win two races in this most open season in Formula One history. He agreed that he has been lucky.
“It’s true that the factors that play around this championship so far have been good for us,” he admitted. “I made a mistake in Q2 in Australia.
“Apart from that mistake, I probably wouldn’t change too many things that I’ve done so far, so this is good news, because you always have mistakes here and there.
“I think Red Bull has been a little bit quicker than everybody else, not for just the last two or three Grands Prix, but I think since Bahrain.
“They lost pole position in Barcelona and at Silverstone, but the rest (of the poles) were all Red Bull. This shows you how fast they are.
“In the last six races, they have had pole position in four, so they are definitely a little bit ahead in terms of performance and we need to catch up and find the speed.
“I know everyone at Ferrari, everyone in the team, is working so hard to do that so we can stay competitive for the rest of the season and, of course, this weekend.”
Pastor Maldonado finished fastest for Williams during yesterday’s rain-affected second free practice session for the German Grand Prix.
The Venezuelan, who was ninth fastest in the morning’s opening session, topped the times with a lap of the Hockenheim circuit in one minute 27.476 seconds.
A heavy downpour preceded the session and effectively suspended proceedings for 20 minutes as drivers elected not to go out on the track until conditions had improved.
Track times steadily got quicker and Spanish GP winner Maldonado edged out German Nico Rosberg, of Mercedes, with defending champion Sebastian Vettel third fastest for Red Bull.
The session was red-flagged for the final four minutes after Michael Schumacher destroyed the rear end of his Mercedes car during a high-speed crash at the exit of turn 12.
Despite extensive damage to his car, his home fans were relieved to see the seven-times champion walk away unhurt.