Alonso at home in Valencia

The Valencia Media Centre provided some welcome respite from the incredible heat today in Valencia, as Fernando Alonso attended the official FIA press conference this afternoon. Prompted by recent comments from Felipe Massa about his car set-up in recent races, Fernando began by praising his team-mate. “Felipe has good confidence in the car now, thanks to the changes the team has introduced and to set-up tweaks,” began the Spaniard. “That means from now on, we should both be competitive. Within the team, we have always supported Felipe and now I expect we can both be near the front for the second half of the season.”As for progress with the F2012, Fernando said he was “extremely happy” with recent work in this area. “We did not have the best start, which meant it was actually easier to improve a bad car than a good one, so that in some ways, our problems have been easier to fix. We now have good correlation from the wind tunnel data and the track, so we can trust the wind tunnel more now, not just in the short term, but also for the future.” As one of the journalists pointed out in the conference, the “silly season” the time when rumours start about where drivers will go in the future, seems even to be looking past 2013, with suggestions Vettel could go to Ferrari in the next couple of years. “The rumours are always the same at Ferrari,” responded Fernando with a smile. “After I won the title in ’05 with Renault, people were already saying I was going to Ferrari and it took me five years to do so, as I arrived in 2010. So maybe Sebastian will come in five years time. But I am not concerned about it. At Ferrari the key is for two drivers to make one car quick. That is always their way and Luca di Montezemolo made it clear to me on my first day with the team.”As for next month, one of the busiest on the F1 calendar, Alonso stressed that the key to the championship situation would be consistency. “It would be nice to win here in Spain, but in a championship as tight as this, second place would also be good, although today, on a Thursday, you are always aiming for the win.” Alonso maintains that he enjoys everything about this event: “On the track, I particularly like the final sector while off the circuit, I would say the atmosphere is one of the best with plenty of activities for the public, with concerts and so on and of course the beach is only one hundred metres from the paddock!”Formula 1 often lives in something of a bubble, but clearly in Spain, it is hard to ignore the fact that this country, like many others around the world, is going through economic difficulties. As a racing driver, the Ferrari man did not have an instant solution. “This is not an ideal situation of course,” he admitted. “However, as sportsmen there is only so much we can do. As I see it, this weekend, there is a great sporting event taking place in this city, which will be the centre of worldwide attention on Sunday as the race is watched by millions of TV viewers around the world and that has to be a good thing.”

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