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Alonso to win it for Gonzalez?

27 June 2013, 12:04

England - The spirit of Ferrari's pioneering "Pampas Bull" will be with Fernando Alonso when he takes on Red Bull at the 2013 British Grand Prix on June 30.

In 2011, Alonso marked the 60th anniversary of Ferrari's first Formula 1 victory by driving winner Jose Froilan Gonzalez's 1951 car around the same Silverstone circuit where the Gonzalez had triumphed.

Alonso went on to win the 2011 British Grand Prix and will try to repeat the feat on June 30 as his team pay tribute to Gonzalez, who died earlier in June 2013.


Team principal Stefano Domenicali: "For me, Alonso's win at this track in 2011 was one of the greatest of my career. It was a special race, because we were going through a difficult season and to win exactly when we were celebrating the 60th anniversary of Ferrari's first ever F1 win was like a sign of destiny.

"It is very sad that just a few days ago, Froilan Gonzalez, the man who gave Ferrari that first win in 1951, passed away and we will be remembering him during this weekend."

Alonso needs a win to rein in Red Bull's triple world champion Sebastian Vettel, now a healthy 36 points clear of him after seven of the 2013 season's 19 races.

Ferrari have won in Britain, home of eight of the current 11 Formula 1 teams, more times than anyone (16 in all) and Alonso has every chance of adding to that tally.

McLaren's Jenson Button: "I wouldn't say that Vettel is favourite for this race. I'd say it's Alonso."

Alonso was on pole in 2012 but Red Bull's Mark Webber, who also won in 2010, beat the double champion into second place while Vettel, winner at Silverstone in 2009, was third.


Webber, yet to win in 2013, could be a bigger threat than Vettel.
Red Bull team principal  Christian Horner said: "He's always gone well at the circuit...I think he sees it almost as much of a home grand prix as Albert Park (in Melbourne)."

Ferrari and Red Bull will not be the only ones fighting for the top step on June 30.

Lewis Hamilton, winner of the 2008 British Grand Prix, makes his first home race appearance in Mercedes overalls with every hope of a competitive performance in a team that has had four pole positions so far and a win for Nico Rosberg in Monaco.

The tyres were a big problem in Spain, where the same hard and mediums will be used at Silverstone, but the team - who were reprimanded for a "secret" tyre test with Pirelli since that race - are confident they will be more competitive.

Hamilton said: "I think we've made some small steps just with tyre cooling and brake cooling, I don't think we've made a huge step but we've yet to find out really."

"I definitely feel that we'll be competitive throughout the weekend."


Lotus can also hope to be in the mix, with Kimi Raikkonen a winner at Silverstone for Ferrari in 2007 and currently third overall in the championship.

McLaren, who last won in Britain with Hamilton in 2008, have plenty of new bits to try out and hope to have clawed back some of the time they need to make up after a deeply disappointing start to the season.

McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale said: "It would be great if the guys could get a podium out of it but I think on recent performance that could be quite challenging."

On current form, Force India's Paul di Resta is Britain's next best hope after Hamilton while Marussia's Max Chilton will just be soaking up the atmosphere on his home debut.

Former champions Williams, a long way from their glory days of the late 1980s and mid 1990s, are still searching for their first point of the season on what will be their 600th race weekend.

- Reuters


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