Abu Dhabi: After Felipe Massa found the Ferrari World a ‘fantastic' experience, his teammate and leading contender Fernando Alonso said he may also try it as a form of relaxation ahead of the challenging weekend.
In reply to a question by Gulf News during yesterday's Shell-Ferrari event at Yas hotel on the rigours of competing in two crucial races in the space of eight days and how he prepared for the weekend's Etihad Airways Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Alonso said: "We spent the Monday in Brazil trying to recover. Yesterday [Tuesday] we flew in and arrived late last night. Since then we have rested and have been attending a few interviews and some promotional work."
"Tomorrow [Thursday] we will spend time with the engineers, chalking out strategies and prepare for the car for the practice and the race," said the Spaniard, who is the favourite to pick up his third world championship though the two Red Bull drivers Mark Webber and Sebastien Vettel are in hot pursuit.
"We also have to get adapted to the temperature here so over the two days that we have here we will just try to relax and prepare," said Alonso, who has won five races and also recorded ten podiums this year.
Replying to the same question, Massa said, "I visited the Ferrari World this morning and the Rosso Corsa ride was fantastic. It is a great place and especially the ride in the Rosso Corsa was a huge surprise, the acceleration was incredible and I expected much less speed." He was referring to the Rosso Corsa, the world's fastest roller-coaster ride which is part of the Ferrari World that opened its doors to the public recently.
Praise for engineers
Alonso said he was looking forward to visiting the theme park today and also remarked on the role of Shell scientists as the drivers were only allowed to use eight engines for all 19 races.
"Eight engines for 19 races which are about 1000kms might look okay for the normal drivers. But when I came into F1 in 2001 we had one engine for the Friday, one for Saturday and one for Sunday. Now it is 8 engines for all days and all races!" Alonso said. "However thanks to the engineers they are able to produce the same power. We share with them what we feel, the performances, and it is a team effort," the Ferrari driver said.
Despite the pressure of being the leader and with three drivers in hot pursuit for the title, Alonso showed his sense of humour when he advised a parent, "Whichever sports you want your child to pursue, ensure he enjoys it. Many times fathers push kids to do sports that they may not like. Start with go-karting as a first step. But let him study as well... just in case!"