Renault F1's Fernando Alonso has predicted that he should be able to get 'close to a podium' this weekend in Singapore, but his real aim will be to try and help the squad put 'Crash-gate' behind them.
Renault appeared before the World Motor Sport Council earlier this week and the team was handed a two-year suspended ban [for more detail see separate stories including: 'FIA announces Renault verdict' - click here.
] All that controversy has tarnished the Regie's
image and now the team will just want to move on.
Last time out in Italy, Alonso finished fifth, equally what he achieved in Australia and Spain. However he will want to do better this Sunday - and he believes that should be possible in the 'Lion City'.
“The car is working well at most circuits so I believe we are competitive enough to get close to the podium, which has to be my target this weekend,” Alonso confirmed.
“At Monza, considering that I started eighth on the grid, I was happy to finish fifth, which was better than we predicted before the race. We used KERS all weekend, but I couldn't make the most of it at the start so we lost some of the advantage going into the first corner. For the rest of the race the car had a good balance and my one-stop strategy worked well so we could score some important points.
“Now we go to Singapore and I like the circuit there because it's quite challenging and there are some interesting corners like the high-speed chicane at turn 10 where you have to carry a lot of speed and use the curbs. Overtaking isn't easy, but there are some opportunities.
“Last year I decided it was better to remain on a European schedule rather than adjusting to local time so I will do the same this year as it's the best way to manage my energy levels.”
Alonso's team-mate Romain Grosjean meanwhile is looking forward to his first night race and he is eager to open his points account on what will be his fourth outing with the Regie
, having been drafted in to replace Nelson Piquet Jr for the European Grand Prix back in August.
“I enjoy street circuits and the track layout looks interesting,” Grosjean continued. “I saw the race on television last year and thought the cars looked great under the lights. This will be my first ever night race and I'm really looking forward to it.
“I've been doing a lot of work with my engineers and I've watched some videos to try and learn the track as much as I can before I arrive there. I already know the layout from studying the map, but it's only when you drive a lap and feel the grip that you start to understand the circuit.
“My aim is to put together a strong weekend to maximise practice, qualifying and the race. I will try and get close to Fernando in qualifying and hopefully race for some points.”