Alonso targeting title ahead of Spa
Cycling fan Fernando Alonso returns to four wheels this weekend in a buoyant mood as he targets a third Formula One world title.
According to Alonso, who has previously said he would love to set up a cycling team to one day compete in the Tour de France, he "had some fun doing a mini Vuelta (Tour of Spain)" near his home town of Oviedo during the recent summer break.
But now it is back to the serious stuff for Alonso after reviving his championship challenge in the last two races by winning the German Grand Prix and finishing second in Hungary.
A World Motor Sport Council meeting in Paris on September 8 still hangs over Ferrari after the team orders controversy in Hockenheim that may yet cost Alonso points.
For now, the 29-year-old Spaniard heads into the final seven races, starting in Belgium on Sunday, just 20 points behind title leader Mark Webber.
The holidays are over and the hard work begins again in earnest as he said: "Three weeks is more than enough time to unwind, at least after the first few days.
"I made the most of it to recharge the batteries in preparation for the final part of the season.
"Now, I really want to get back on track, but in a positive sense and in a calm way, without any feeling of anxiety.
"I have a good feeling following on from the positive results obtained in Germany and Hungary.
"We have to keep the momentum and that should be our aim in Spa, to ensure we carry on the way we started just before the holidays.
"The Hockenheim and Budapest results were important, not just in terms of the classification in both championships, but also for the confidence it has given us. We have to keep pushing on this way."
As with virtually every other driver, for Alonso the Spa circuit represents a welcome stop of the F1 circus, with Ferrari aiming for a fourth consecutive victory at the track in the Ardennes forest.
Following that will be the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on September 12, and a chance for Alonso to realise a dream in driving for Ferrari on their home soil.
With his anticipation high, Alonso added: "I am happy the return to racing means going to two particularly special venues.
"The Belgian track is possibly the most appealing of the entire season, while Monza will be something special for me.
"It will be my race debut as a Ferrari driver in front of the Italian crowd, in addition to the circuit itself having played such an important role in the history of motor sport."
Cristiano Ronaldo pays €60,000 for brain operation for 10-month-old boy
Bayern Munich 1 Arsenal 1 match report: Lukas Podolski goal fails to inspire comeback at the Allianz Arena as Gunners are knocked out of Champions League
Top 10 funniest football chants - in pictures
The 10 funniest football chants revealed, with poll naming West Ham supporters as 'wittiest in the country'
Barcelona 2 Manchester City 1 match report: Lionel Messi and Dani Alves on target as brilliant Barca knock City out of the Champions League
- 1 Fracking is turning the US into a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia
- 3 Boy George: Bad karma
- 4 First Kiss video: Filmmaker gets 20 strangers to make out on YouTube with awkward results
- 5 Rampaging elephant smashes up house but then 'saves crying baby trapped under debris'
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
Fracking is turning the US into a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia