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Alonso looking for pyschological edge
July 25, 2006 12:14 IST
Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso is confident he can stop Michael Schumacher's winning run in his Ferrari rival's home German Grand Prix this weekend.
"I am feeling very optimistic. We had a strong first half of the season, and the key thing now is to keep going and finalise the job," the Spaniard said in a Renault team preview to Sunday's race at Hockenheim.
"The Renault team is ready, and I am ready. I think we can finish 2006 the same way we started it."
Seven times world champion Schumacher has won the last two races, including Renault's home French Grand Prix, to cut Alonso's overall lead to a still solid 17 points with seven races remaining.
"It's important to beat Michael at every race, not just Hockenheim," continued Alonso, winner of six of the 11 races so far this year.
"We know that at this stage of the season, we have to be finishing in front of the Ferraris. But I think that a win in Germany could be worth more than 10 points because of the psychological aspect.
"It would mean a lot to take the victory here."
Alonso, 24, won at Hockenheim last year on his way to becoming the sport's youngest champion. He is leaving Renault for Mercedes-powered McLaren at the end of the season.
Renault head of engineering Pat Symonds also sounded confident, despite Ferrari being now just 21 points adrift in the constructors' standings, but warned that much would depend on Alonso's team mate Giancarlo Fisichella.
"Fernando has done a fantastic job so far this year. He may be leaving the team at the end of the season, but his relationship is unchanged," he said.
"He has done extra testing for us, he is working hard, and I think he attaches real importance to the idea of winning a second title in a row.
"Giancarlo has a pivotal role to play in the outcome of the constructors' championship. That title is going to go down to the wire, and Fisi needs to be there at every race stealing points off Ferrari.
"His contribution will be fundamental in the next months."
Fisichella is third in the championship, 50 points behind Alonso and just three ahead of McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen.
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