Fernando, it was a disappointing weekend in Spa - tell us about your race…
Fernando Alonso: It was very frustrating as we missed another good opportunity to fight for a podium and score important points. It's true that we were missing pace in qualifying, but the car was more competitive in the race and things were looking good until my first pitstop when it became clear that the car was damaged.
Do you think your luck will change in Monza?
FA: I hope so because we have a competitive car but we haven't been able to show the true potential so far. We saw how quick the car was at the Nurburgring, Budapest and Valencia, but for various reasons we haven't scored the points that we should have. However, I always look forward, try to stay positive and will approach the rest of the season believing that we can finish the year strongly. At least we know that we have a car that is fast enough to get close to the podium, which will be my aim this weekend in Monza.
Tell us about the challenge of racing at Monza?
FA: It's a special track and the fastest of the year so we run the car with a special low downforce package which means the car feels very strange and light because you miss a bit of grip in the corners. In the past we used to test at Monza before the race as you need a special set-up with the car, but obviously we can't do that now which means we have a lot of work to do on Friday to find a good balance. You need a car that has good straight-line speed, is stable under braking and can use the curbs in the chicanes.
Romain, Spa was only your second Grand Prix, but it was short-lived…
Romain Grosjean: Yes, my race was very disappointing. I had some problems in qualifying so I started at the back of the grid, but at the start of the race things were looking good as I made up five or six places on the first lap. Then I got caught up in the incident at turn five. It was frustrating to retire so early as I need as much time in the car as possible and I really wanted to finish my first race at Spa, which is a circuit that I love.
What do you think of Monza?
RG: It's another classic track and I'm really looking forward to driving there. I've had good results there in the past and I know the track well so I can concentrate on finding a good balance with the car with low downforce. We will be using KERS this weekend so I will need to get used to that during free practice on Friday as I've not used it before, but it should give us an advantage, especially at the start of the race.
Have you set an objective for this weekend?
RG: My aim is to do better than I did in Spa so I need to make it through to at least Q2, get a good grid position and finish the race. At the moment I am still learning about Formula One and I will continue to use every opportunity and every lap to improve as a driver and help the team. I'm continuing to build a good relationship with my engineers, which of course plays an important role in getting the most from the car.