Fernando Alonso says he's not the favourite to win at Spa while Felipe Massa is hoping to bounce back with a solid result...
Fernando Alonso: "I don't think the summer break has changed anything. Obviously when you stop for a few weeks and look at the points and the classification, you can see there is a good advantage for us, but two or three bad races and you can lose everything. In terms of performance, of the guys that are up the front, we are clearly the slowest. We have a points advantage and a performance disadvantage, so we are in no way the favourites.
"Nine races in thirteen weeks is challenging for everyone, from the team's side because most of the races, seven of them, will be outside Europe. And that makes it a little bit more difficult to bring upgrades for the car. For the drivers and team members it will also not be easy as we have three races every month now, with time zone changes and a lot of travelling. From my own point of view, during this summer break, I tackled my physical preparation as though it was the winter, training very hard. It's as though we had one championship that ended in July with another one starting now in September. So I start from zero on full batteries and I think we can arrive in great shape at the end.
"It's difficult to know exactly where we are in the hierarchy as the performance has changed race by race, with the gap to pole position varying. The last time, it was around 8 tenths of a second, which is a bit too much, so we need to improve that situation. We will see what happens here and in Monza, which are special tracks as we run the cars with very low downforce, so anything can happen in these next two Grands Prix, when we need to score some really good points. Maybe the next true reference point will come in Singapore and Japan and by that point we really must close that 8 tenths gap down, if we want to fight with the others."
Felipe Massa: "I spent the time with family and friends and I did not go anywhere, because we do enough travelling in the season!. Actually, it's winter in Brazil right now, but even so the weather was lovely and I was able to recharge my batteries for the last part of the year, which will be very important. My objective? To have a second part of the season that is completely different to the first part. That's the target and I am convinced it can be done, because we have a more competitive car and in the most recent races, I have felt more comfortable with it. But we still need to improve the car, because if we stall on development, then we will no longer be on the pace. As things stand now, I see a much better chance of always being competitive. We continue to bring updates and the important thing is to ensure they work well on the car, because sometimes we have had new elements that have not performed as expected.
"At the moment, as we saw in Silverstone, our car is good on tracks with fast corners, although this circuit is different to the English one because it has longer straights, where you need good top speed, which has not always been the case with this year's car. But here there are corners that could suit our car and I expect we should be much more competitive than at the last race in Hungary. Personally, it's a circuit I love, the one I enjoy most to drive and I have usually done well here. So let's hope we can have a good weekend."
Any reproduction, publication or redistribution of this material without the written agreement of 365 Media Group is strictly forbidden.