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Alonso To Step Up Game

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Fernando Alonso, French Grand Prix

Alonso To Step Up Game

Anthony Fontanelle
June 29, 2007

Going into the French Grand Prix, double world champion Fernando Alonso trails his rookie teammate Lewis Hamilton by ten points. Alonso has two wins so far this season - the first one in Malaysia and the other one in Monaco. Lewis Hamilton also has had two wins to his credit with both coming at the North American leg of the season - in Canada and in the United States. Hamilton leads the Spaniard because of his consistency by finishing in the top three spots in all his seven races.

At the upcoming French Grand Prix, Hamilton will be chasing his third straight victory but Alonso claimed that he will step up his game and will be ready to contend toe to toe with Hamilton for the driver’s championship. Although it has been rumored that the two McLaren drivers has a sort of falling out, the two claimed that they have a good relationship as teammates.

Alonso though is defending his crown as the world champion in the fastest motorsport. In order to take his third straight championship, he has to contend with his rookie teammate who has been performing well in every race this season.

The Spaniard is confident that the move back to Europe will be good for him in his quest for his third championship. “I think I’m going to benefit from coming back to Europe,” Alonso said. “The championship starts now. We have done just seven races and now I’m more comfortable and full of confidence.”

The Spaniard though would have to contend with a very important issue. At the Canadian and the United States Grands Prix, he has the advantage over Hamilton in terms of familiarity with the track. But even with that advantage, the British driver still managed to take pole position against him.

At the Circuit de Nevers in Magny-Cours, Alonso will not have the same advantage since the British Formula One driver has raced at the tracks in his days as a junior formula driver. Alonso though would have the upper hand in terms of their last race at the course. Last year, the Spaniard finished second at Magny-Cours while Hamilton’s last outing at the track is disappointing. Now that they will be driving the same car, the MP4-22 powered by a Mercedes-Benz engine but without a Mercedes-Benz taillight - it is possible that Hamilton will have a better race at the Circuit de Nevers.

Hamilton has this to say about the course: “It’s not been one of my best circuits. The French round of the GP2 Championship last season was not my best weekend as I had a coming together in the first race that had me starting race two from nineteenth.” The Briton though charged from nineteenth to fifth at the said race. “It is possible to score points here, although you always want to be on pole,” added Hamilton.

Hamilton currently has 58 points to his credit after taking podium finishes in all his seven races so far. Fernando Alonso has 48 points so far. The Spaniard has five podium finishes so far. He finished fifth in Bahrain where Hamilton finished second behind Felipe Massa of Ferrari. Alonso again failed to get a podium finish at the Canadian Grand Prix where he finished seventh. At the said race, the Spaniard was even overtaken by Super Aguri’s Takuma Sato.

Source:  Amazines.com

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