Alonso: Hopefully our new people can find extra horsepower!

Fernando Alonso prepares to drive one of the Shell Eco-Marathon cars at their unveiling on the eve of the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps

Fernando Alonso prepares to drive one of the Shell Eco-Marathon cars at their unveiling on the eve of the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps

The first part of Fernando Alonso’s usual Thursday press meeting, this time on the eve of thew Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, was taken up discussing a 16 year old Dutch boy!

The news that Max Verstappen will be 17 years old when he makes his debut with Toro Rosso next year has been making all the headlines in the week heading to Spa.

“We will have to see how he gets on next year,” was Alonso’s view. “For now, I welcome him and wish him the best. Probably I wasn’t ready at 17. Maybe I felt I was at the time, but now, after 14 years in Formula 1 you can see areas where you improved a lot. But today, Formula 1 cars are a lot easier to drive, not so demanding physically, so that can help the new arrivals.”

Team Principal Marco Mattiacci recently declared that the Maranello team has to adopt a more aggressive approach in how it goes racing, and the Spaniard agreed that this was the right way to move forward.

“Actually, I think we have already been quite aggressive in recent years, with such examples as running pull-rod suspension on the front of the cars since 2012 and a new concept for the exhausts at the rear,” he observed.

Fernando Alonso speaks with media at Spa

Fernando Alonso speaks with media at Spa

“Now, we just need to keep improving the car and our facilities in the factory in order to be a stronger team, with new ideas.”

The Ferrari driver then had this to say about Luca Marmorini being replaced by Mattia Binotto, “All the changes made recently are aimed at making us more competitive and stronger. So if the team decides to replace someone, it’s because it feels a new person can do better.”

“The power unit development was frozen but from next year, we need to unlock some more of the potential from the power unit, because we are not at the performance level of some of our opponents. Hopefully, the new people can find the extra horsepower!”

As for the rest of the season, Alonso restated his aim to help the team finish as high up the Constructors’ classification as possible.

“I think the fight with Williams will go right to the end,”predicted the double F1 world champion. “These two races in Spa and Monza should favour them more, so we must try and score good points. As for the Drivers’ championship, I would like to finish third, fighting Ricciardo, but that’s quite an ambitious target.” (GP247) Ferrari)