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Not a lucky winner: Alonso
Alan Baldwin |
July 29, 2005 13:37 IST
Renault's Formula One leader Fernando Alonso refuses to be considered a lucky winner, even if Kimi Raikkonen has handed him three victories on a plate.
"It is unfair to call it luck," said the Spaniard at the Hungaroring, the Hungarian Grand Prix venue where two years ago he became the sport's youngest winner.
"Is it luck because the people at Renault have done a good job?" asked Alonso, who celebrated his 24th birthday at the circuit on Friday.
"We have designed an engine that lasts 1,400 km, our mechanics did not sleep through the winter at the tests to prepare the car so we could test more, our guys in the wind tunnel are working 24 hours to improve the car, so I don't think you can say we are lucky.
"If the other teams have not done that, it is not our fault."
Alonso is on course to become Formula One's youngest champion after six wins in 12 races, with seven remaining including Sunday's grand prix.
He has a 36 point lead over McLaren rival Raikkonen, whose challenge has been hobbled by poor reliability.
The Finn led in San Marino, at the Nuerburgring and again at Hockenheim last weekend only to suffer mechanical failures that handed victory to Alonso.
By contrast, the Spaniard's only lapse has been to hit the wall while leading in Canada.
Alonso recognised that the McLaren have had the quicker car for some while but he also said that was not the be-all and end-all.
"The (Renault) R25 is not the quickest car at the moment, but it is the best," he said.
"I think we have a different philosophy to some other teams. McLaren want to have the quickest car, but with some risk. We want a quick car, but with no risk.
"Maybe we have sacrificed some performance on the engine, or the chassis, but we are happy because the car is reliable," added the Spaniard.
Alonso is now knows that he need not win another race this season to win the championship and both Raikkonen and Ferrari's seven times world champion Michael Schumacher have conceded that the title race is effectively over.
The Spaniard is still taking nothing for granted, however, putting even his birthday celebration on hold in the hope of an potential double celebration on Sunday.
He should do well at the Hungaroring, even if the race is usually a gruelling combination of a slow and twisty track with soaring temperatures.
"Nothing is sure -- there are still 70 points to take this year," said Alonso. "What if we have two or three retirements? Then it will be very close again.
"We have seven races to go, and if we carry on doing the same job then it is possible with this car. But we need to avoid problems and I can't make any mistakes."