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Alonso eyes further podium results after Japan.

A buoyant Fernando Alonso has claimed that there is no reason not to consider the Renault team as a contender for victory in each of the last two grands prix of the season.

Despite admitting that he was surprised to win the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday, the double world champion clearly believes that the regie has closed in on those teams ahead of it in the standings and, with the title fight still in full swing, that could see him take full advantage in China and Brazil.

"Again, it is difficult to believe," he said of the success at Fuji Speedway, "Obviously, the Singapore win was completely unexpected, because I started 15th and you never expect to win a race starting in that position. Of course, there were some special conditions with the safety car etc, but today we had nothing and we won again at a circuit that maybe is not particularly good for our characteristics.

"This one is still a surprise as, even if I started fourth, we [thought] that we don't have the pace to win the race. So, when I found myself second after turn one, I tried to be close enough to Robert [Kubica] and then maybe I'd fight with him for second, third or fourth place, maybe get a podium after a nice start or whatever. But I realised after the second stint that I had the possibility to win and, if I had no mistakes, this win will be for me.

"I cannot believe it right now but, obviously, back-to-back wins is a very nice feeling. The team did a great job to improve the car, and we are now maybe just behind Ferrari and McLaren - and that is completely amazing."

Although the bigger picture is very different to his title-winning years, Alonso compared the mood in the Renault camp to that of 2006, when he was battling Michael Schumacher for his second F1 crown.

"Obviously, in 2006, we had the championship battle, so everybody was maybe more concentrated on getting the points and pushing to the limit, but it is more or less similar," the Spaniard confirmed, "This year, we keep learning about the new regulations, the new electronics. Again, we improved the management of the tyres quite a lot in race pace, in the long runs. We've understood the problems at the beginning of the season and concentrated on working on those areas of the car, and now the results are coming, so I am very happy and very proud of my team. It is a great job from everybody in the factory and this is the result. These wins are for everybody."

Although Alonso insists that Renault continues to lag behind its frontrunning rivals in terms of horsepower - something attributed to the team's rigid adherence to the engine freeze rules - he insists that, with the way things are going at present, the team ought to be considered a factor for Shanghai and Interlagos.

"I think [the gap is] about four tenths, half a second," he suggested, "Okay, there are some circuits where we are a little bit closer, some circuits where it's a little bit more than half a second, but I think another four or five tenths would put us in a very strong position.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R28, Japanese F1, Fuji, 10th-12th, October, 2008
French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 off trach and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 spins
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 leads Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Luis Fernando Ramos (BRA), Journalist
27.11.2016 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16

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Vroom - Unregistered

October 13, 2008 10:47 AM

Alonso showed yesterday that he is the most complete driver today! No mistakes, and still with a inferior car, managed to win. Alonso IS the best. I totally agree with Sid.

Sid - Unregistered

October 13, 2008 10:18 AM

Alonso, has gone on to say he will help Massa if he can to win. Shows he really wants that Ferrari seat. I wish Ferrari hadnt signed Kimmi till 2010 since Alonso clearly showed yesterday with the right car he would have already won this year's championship. Please LUCA and co. open your damn eyes.



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