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Last Updated: Friday, 4 May 2007, 11:17 GMT 12:17 UK
Alonso backs Spanish GP changes
Fernando Alonso
Alonso believes the Spanish track will now produce better racing
World champion Fernando Alonso believes changes to the Spanish Grand Prix track will lead to more exciting racing at this year's event on 13 May.

A tight chicane has been added to improve safety and help overtaking by slowing cars through the last corner.

Alonso said he would miss the challenge of the previous high-speed layout.

But the Spaniard added: "It will be much better for the spectators and even for the drivers as we all want more opportunities for overtaking."

The McLaren driver heads into the fourth race of the season tied on points at the head of the championship with team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.

And Alonso, who won his home race last year, said: "I will miss the final two corners, because as I driver I prefer the high-speed turns, which are more fun to drive.

With this new layout, you can follow another car a lot closer through the last corner because the speed is slower

Heikki Kovalainen
Renault F1 driver
"However, it should enable us to get a good slipstream onto the main straight and have a go at overtaking on to Turn One, which is always a good thing.

"One of the downsides of Barcelona is that overtaking has always been very difficult, as the two corners that led onto the main straight were always very high speed and it was difficult to get a tow and get close to the guy in front. This will now change."

His view was backed by Renault driver Heikki Kovalainen.

606: DEBATE

The Finn, a BBC Sport columnist, said: "The last two corners used to be a place where you could really make a big difference because they were almost flat-out, but not everyone could take them flat out, only the really good ones.

"From a safety point of view it is better, obviously - if you had an accident in those last two corners there was not a lot of room to go off and it was always going to be a big one.

Felipe Massa in his Ferrari
Felipe Massa guides his Ferrari through Barcelona's new chicane
"With this new layout, you can follow another car a lot closer through the last corner because the speed is slower, and even if you lose downforce it doesn't matter too much and you can try to overtake into Turn One."

Alonso was a disappointed fifth at the last race in Bahrain, overshadowed by rookie team-mate Hamilton as well as the Ferraris.

But he is confident of a strong race on his home track, where he won last year while driving for Renault.

"The race in Bahrain was not great for me," the 25-year-old said, "but we had a strong test at this track earlier this week and we got to understand how the car performs at the Circuit de Catalunya and the changes to the layout."



SEE ALSO
Second crash at Spanish GP track
02 May 07 |  Formula One
Button 'wants to stay at Honda'
26 Apr 07 |  Formula One
F1 races still boring - Briatore
30 Apr 07 |  Formula One
Raikkonen urged to get technical
24 Apr 07 |  Formula One


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