Fernando Alonso has urged Ferrari not to 'change its approach' off the back of the team's maiden success of the F1 2011 World Championship campaign in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone last time out – and as he heads to the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring this weekend, the Spaniard is hoping that a certain old adage may just ring true.
With the FIA's farcical off-throttle blown-exhaust ban palpably benefitting Ferrari more than most in Britain, Alonso pushed the hitherto dominant Red Bulls in qualifying around a circuit that had not been tipped to be one of the Scuderia's
strongest. From there, the double F1 World Champion stayed firmly in the hunt throughout the grand prix, leapfrogged Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber when the pair both suffered tardy second pit-stops mid-race and subsequently proceeded to stretch his advantage out all the way to the chequered flag.
The victory was as well-deserved as it was unexpected, and whilst the Prancing Horse will arguably not benefit from the same performance boost in Germany – with the exhaust situation reverting back to the Valencia regulations – Alonso is nonetheless confident that by dint of a sensible attitude and plenty of hard work, the growing momentum can be maintained. The 29-year-old has triumphed at the Nürburgring twice before – in 2005 with Renault and in 2007 with McLaren – and they do, after all, say 'never two without three'...
“The German Grand Prix is bang in the middle of the 2011 championship,” reflected the 27-time grand prix-winner, who has spent the period since Silverstone catching up with family and friends and recharging his batteries at home before heading to Maranello for some simulator work and discussions with team engineers in preparation for the final two back-to-back outings ahead of F1's annual summer break.
“We have had nine races so far and, after the one at the Nürburgring, we will face the same number again. Some might say that makes it a time to assess what's gone before, but I prefer not to look too closely at the standings. We had a difficult start, but from a few races ago up until now, we have got back to being competitive. It cannot be denied that we have made progress, up to the point where we have actually taken a fully-deserved win on one of the tracks – Silverstone – that on paper was least-suited to our car.
“However, that great victory must not change our approach; we must continue to tackle one race after another, without looking at the classification and then, at the end, we will do the maths. We head off for Germany in the same spirit we demonstrated in England, but with the additional awareness that we are now more competitive.
“After the German Grand Prix, I will travel back to Maranello with the team and stay another three days before we all head off together for Budapest. The [August] factory shutdown established by FOTA means we will have to prepare for the Spa race, one of the most interesting of the year, well ahead of time. That's why I think this will be a very busy time, but I have to say I am really getting to like feeling part of this world.
“Now might not be the time to think too much about all that, though, because as from tomorrow, a race weekend gets underway at the historic venue that is the Nürburgring, where I have already won twice. There's a saying about something happening twice, but I don't want to jinx my chances by saying it...”