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Alonso: WEC win changes nothing

NEWS STORY
10/05/2018

Though delighted to have won on his WEC debut last weekend, as a hectic schedule of alternating between Sportscars and F1 gets underway, speaking ahead of his home Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso refused to confirm whether he will remain in F1 next season.

In many ways this is a make or break weekend for the Spaniard and his team. Many see the Barcelona event as the true litmus test in terms of the 2018 pecking order, and while the Woking outfit is currently fourth in the standings, both Renault and Force India are now breathing down its neck.

Earlier in the week, former McLaren driver Jenson Button suggested his old team had over-estimated its abilities this season, and this weekend is when it could be found out.

Much rests on this weekend and the races that follow, not only in terms of Alonso's F1 career but the future of the Woking outfit itself, with some believing that under its current leadership the team has lost its way, losing focus on its raison detre, F1, while allowing Alonso too much freedom, in terms of his desire to race in other series, not to mention the amount of valuable space given over to advertising for his leisurewear company Kimora... not that there appears to be queue of sponsors looking to fill said space.

"I'm attempting two world championships at the same time," he told reporters at today's press conference. "I'm happy with the progress we did here at McLaren and the direction things are going so I'm happy here. But it's quite demanding, especially the F1 calendar.

Asked if success in WEC will influence his thinking in terms of his F1 future, he said. "It doesn't matter, the results we're achieving in both championships don't matter. Last week's win won't change anything for me as they are two different series and two different worlds. It won't change anything for me. Any time I'll have a car close to victory, I'll go for it."

Reminded that this weekend marks five years since his last F1 win, he was asked how he remains motivated during such a long, lean period.

"I keep my motivation because I'm a competitive man," he replied, "I love to race and I love to win.

"We won here in 2013," he continued, referring to that win with Ferrari, "the tyres were degrading a lot that and we made an extra stop and we won the race without having the quickest car as Nico was on pole by 0.6s so it was a good call by the team at the time.

"In 2014 we had quite a difficult season and in the last three years you know we struggled a lot and the whole project was difficult but we tried to give hope for the following year and it is the same here. I think the start has not been too bad in terms of results with a number of points."

Never one to give up, the Spaniard believes that Baku, where he was forced to pit after just one lap having incurred two punctures in a clash, was one of his best performances.

"I've done better races here in the last five years, better than when I won here five years ago, even if I've not been able to win the race. Even in Baku race, I will never probably do a race as I did in Baku, and I could only finish seventh. It is difficult to see from the outside but I am extremely proud and motivated when you do a 100% performance."

Check out our Thursday gallery from Barcelona, here.

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