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Thursday press conference - European GP - Pt.2

Fernando, you know Romain Grosjean pretty well from your experiences at Renault in 2009. In your opinion, what are his best qualities for this season and in which area could he still improve?

Fernando Alonso:
Yeah, I know him. We were teammates first as a test driver for us and then racing with us as well. He's a very talented driver. He won GP2 easily and in 2009 in Formula One I think the car was not so easy to drive and he found it tough, but now he's showing his potential. He's young, talented, very quick. He can keep up a very good pace with few mistakes over a whole race. Things to improve? Experience for sure because this is something that you never stop learning and the more races you do, the more championships you do, you improve little things and little tricks at different circuits. A little bit of consistency will only come from experience. I'm happy with his performance, happy for him. I think he will have a very interesting season from now on, after the podium in Canada and the toughest time will only come on Saturday with the football, I think.

Q: (Ignacio Naya - DPA).
Fernando, Pedro and Lewis, I know you are football fans. You are probably following the European Cup. I would like to know what you think about the Spanish team. Are you enjoying them, what do you expect from them, how are you going to follow the match on Saturday, and have you talked to Romain Grosjean?

Pedro de la Rosa:
Well, I'm enjoying it massively, because we are the best, it's simple, having a great time watching our team – a lot of Barcelona players in the Spanish national team which also helps. It's great to see us doing so well. Actually, I also quite liked what the Spanish coach said the other day, that we go from poor to rich too quickly. I think it's a great competition and we should never forget that all Spain is behind the team and we are all very proud. I don't know who is unhappy about it: no one. Not me.

Fernando Alonso:
Yes, same thing. I enjoy it, I watch all of Euro. I will watch Saturday here in the motorhome with some friends. I haven't spoken yet with Grosjean at the moment but I will. Yeah, I'm enjoying it as well, like Pedro. I think we are very privileged to have this national team, this generation of players. Probably, as Pedro and the coach said, we will remember this generation in a few years' time, but now it's very easy to criticise, but we will regret this soon.

Q: (David Croft – Sky TV).
I think you're sitting on the fence a bit with your football punditry here folks. What we want to know is who has got the best chance of winning this weekend, Spanish or the English football teams or Lewis or Fernando out on the track? Pedro, you get the casting vote on this one.

Pedro de la Rosa:
I don't know what you want.

Heikki Kovalainen:
Pedro, you need to talk after this press conference and ask for some money and then you make the comment.

Fernando Alonso:
I will not give you money. You can tell Lewis, no problem.

Lewis Hamilton:
I don't even know when the game is, if I'm honest. Hopefully I will be able to watch it then. They've been playing pretty well recently. I hope that we have a better shot this year than we have in the past, but there are other great teams out there. Spain, of course, is obviously one of the best teams there so it will be interesting. I'm not going to pay Pedro either.

Q: (David Croft – Sky TV).
You'll be rooting for Italy, I suppose.

Fernando Alonso:
Yes. Sorry but I prefer Italy in this game.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport).
Lewis, you said in Canada after the race that you weren't able to make a one pit stop strategy. With these hot conditions, do you believe that your car can react well or will it be too hard on the tyres? And regarding your pit stops: you had a problem with your pit stops again in the last Grand Prix and you had to push a lot. Did you work on the pit stops in the last ten days?

Lewis Hamilton:
On the tyre side of things, I anticipate it could be another very very tough weekend, trying to look after them. I think it will be very interesting to see how the teams vary as they did in the last race. You have to expect teams like Lotus and Sauber doing very very well on their long runs and Ferrari are also very very good on their long runs. So I definitely don't anticipate even doing a one stop strategy this weekend, but I will obviously try to look after the tyres as best we can.

In terms of our pit stops, we are constantly altering and improving race by race, and the guys go back to the factory after every race with footage of the pit stop to understand and analyse exactly what went wrong, so that next time we go out we don't have those problems. I think this weekend we will have an even better set of pit stops again. I think at the last race the first pit stop – if we didn't have the problem with the pull away – I think it would have maybe been the fastest of the whole season so far. I think it was 2.8s or 2.9s. The stationary time was 2.9s, I think, or something like that, so quite quick, but I lost a second as I pulled away. We are just going to keep working on it.

Q: (Olaf Mol – RTL7).

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
21.06.2012- Press conference, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F2012 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
21.06.2012- Press conference, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F2012
21.06.2012- Press conference, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F2012
21.06.2012- Press conference, Pedro de la Rosa (ESP) HRT Formula 1 Team F112
21.06.2012- Press conference, Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Caterham F1 Team CT01
21.06.2012- Press conference, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F2012 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27

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