After two races in Europe, the F1 circus leaves the ‘Old Continent’ and heads west for the first time this year to take in one of the most popular events on the calendar, the Canadian Grand Prix.
Before crossing the Atlantic, Fernando Alonso spent a few days in the factory at Maranello, helping the team prepare for the race, while team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was involved in sponsor work in Scandinavia.
“After Monaco I felt a good atmosphere in the factory,” said Fernando. “Everyone is very motivated and hungry for good results. We are realistic and well aware of where we are at the moment, but from now on, we want to be in a position to get better results and enjoy our race weekends a bit more and everyone is working in one direction to improve the car”.
The Spaniard has always enjoyed being in the factory and he feels it can provide tangible results, “It is important to spend time with the engineers, the mechanics and other team personnel away from the race weekend, because there are always new ideas or things that spring to mind.”
“It can happen that even while you are just having lunch together, you remember something that you would like to try at the next grand prix or even in the simulator. That’s why it’s good for me to spend time here in a unique family environment”.
In the short term, the focus has naturally been on the upcoming grand prix, “We have been improving the car on the aero side, while in the simulator, we have done a lot of work on the set-up with the aim of arriving in Canada with a better car.”
“We can’t make any predictions because our improvement has to be seen in relation to what our competitors come up with. We need to match them and then find a plus”.
As a past winner at the Gilles Villeneuve track, Alonso is a fan of the place, “It has only six or seven corners, but each one has something special. They have an element of danger and getting them right brings you a lot of lap time. There is definitely no room for error, as all the walls are very very close. You can feel the city of Montreal has a lot of passion for the race and everyone gets involved in some way.”
“I won here which definitely provides good memories and I also remember that big storm a couple of years back which meant the race was stopped for hours and we were waiting on the grid. There have been ups and downs in terms of results and hopefully this year will be a good one.” (GP247-Ferrari)