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Alonso losing no sleep over title

Fernando Alonso said he is not losing sleep worrying about Brazilian Grand Prix but admitted his personal hygiene could suffer as he chases down the world title this weekend.

india Updated: Sep 23, 2005 18:58 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

Fernando Alonso said he is not losing sleep worrying about Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix but admitted his personal hygiene could suffer as he chases down the world title this weekend.

Spaniard Alonso is within touching distance of the trophy and needs just one podium finish, no matter what happens to closest rival Kimi Raikkonen, to finally wrestle the crown from reigning champion Michael Schumacher.

But he knows, as suggested by Raikkonen's McLaren team chief Ron Dennis, that even a slip-up in the bathroom could ruin his chances so he admitted he could take some unusual precautions in the build-up to the race at Interlagos.

"I will not have a shower all weekend now," laughed Alonso when reminded of the comments made by Dennis at the end of the last race in Belgium. "I think it is an important race but we have to approach the weekend in the same way.

"It is all okay so far. On the first night I didn't sleep too well because I was on a plane but after that I was in the hotel and I slept okay.

"We have been on the podium many times this year and the target for the last three races is to be on the podium for all three and score as many points as I can for me and for the team for both championships."

Even Alonso let slip that it seems now a matter of when and not if he wins this year's title, because his 25-point lead over Raikkonen is a massive gap to close down with just three races, and a total of 30 points, left available.

He remained super-cool as he faced the media ahead of this weekend's race here at Interlagos, despite admitting that it has already been a busy one with people clamouring for a word with the man viewed as the champion elect.

And as he prepares to go out on track for opening practice here Friday he knows that easing to the title is the best plan of attack, despite insisting he will go all out for a race victory from the start.

"At the moment I race for fun and we have to think of the victory and attack the weekend," he said. "But if at the middle of the race we see we are in a good position for the championship I will try to race as intelligently as I can.

"It is the same as in the last races, I need to try to make sure I have enough points to have my goal. But at the moment it is a good weekend for me and I am very confident with the car."

Renault acknowledge they have been slower than McLaren since the fourth race of the season in San Marino but Alonso's early wins, season-long reliability and a fair share of good luck have put him on the verge of the title.

This weekend could see a step up in pace for the Anglo-French team with a new engine specification and aerodynamic modifications coming on stream in time for the final three Grands Prix of the year.

And Alonso added: "We did some tests at Silverstone with the new parts and everything went well so we are in a good position to have a competitive car here and to fight for the podium.

"We have had a good competition with McLaren all this year and I have enjoyed so much fighting for the drivers' and constructors' championship with them, it is very close now and anything can happen in both."

But it is behind McLaren and Raikkonen where Alonso will look if he wins the title this weekend and his thoughts will be on finally beating reigning champion Michael Schumacher, who has not lost his crown since winning it in 2000.

Bettering Schumacher, fair and square, on the track, is important for Alonso and he said: "It is much better to win a title with Michael on the track because if not it is the same as (Lance) Armstrong in the Tour de France.

"The first winner will maybe be because he is not there and with Michael it is the same, if Michael retired and someone wins then everyone would think that with Michael on the track it would be different.

"For Kimi and me we have had the possibility this year to win with Michael on the track and that is better for everyone."

First Published: Sep 23, 2005 18:58 IST