Alonso: Mercedes has surprised everybody

Fernando Alonso with fans in Budapest

Fernando Alonso with fans in Budapest

Just four days after talking to the press about his crowd-pleasing duel with Daniel Ricciardo in Hockenheim, Fernando Alonso was back in front of the media for his customary meeting to kick start the Hungarian GP weekend, and informed them that he (and the F1 world) were surprised by how Mercedes emerged as front runners this season.

As the sport heads into the summer break, Alonso was asked what had surprised him most so far this season, “Probably Mercedes has surprised everybody. When we were at the Jerez and Bahrain tests with these new cars and very complex technology that we were all struggling with, they were straightaway quite OK and obviously in nine races, they won eight and they’ve always been on the front row so probably that is the biggest surprise in this year.

It’s also motivation for us because we can do a much better job. We’re making some progress, but we need to get on top of the problems and try to [get on] their level.”

The Spaniard’s view on the upcoming weekend was as analytical as usual, “Obviously the car will be identical to Hockeinhem with only four days between the races and the circuit layout is not particularly good for us with a traction-demanding circuit.”

Fernando Alonso leads Nico Rosberg during the Chinese GP

Fernando Alonso leads Nico Rosberg during the Chinese GP

“On the other hand, every race has been a bit of a surprise. Some circuits we thought we’d be more competitive and we were less and vice versa so we just go into the weekend with a positive mood and see what the final result is.”

As for how his relationship works with Kimi, Alonso explained that it was more or less the same as with any other team-mate, “Definitely Kimi and I work together a lot and all the meetings are quite long this year because we have a lot of things to sort out after the races.”

“We’ve been constantly making our suggestions and comments from what we see on the track and try to help the engineers to transfer that to Maranello and translate those comments into ideas for the car. It’s not a big change compared to the work I did with Felipe or other teammates,” explained the double world champion who has won the Hungarian Grand Prix once, back in 2003 – his maiden victory in F1. (GP247-Ferrari)