May 14 (GMM) Fernando Alonso wants to return to title contention next year, but the Spaniard has vowed to enjoy his 2008 season in the midfield anyway.
For the first time since 2004, the Spaniard this year does not have a realistic hope of winning the current drivers' championship; an achievement he secured back-to-back in 2005 and 2006.26-year-old Alonso, however, vowed to make the most of his sojourn away from the prestigious podium steps."I'm calmer now. I do not have the pressure of fighting for the championship or having to worry about losing a point here and there."It allows me to have some fun with the car, and having lower pressure also means you can take more risks," he told the Spanish radio station Cadena SER.Despite making the most of 2008, however, Alonso said he hopes to return to contention in 2009."Schumacher left Benetton and spent four years without a title with Ferrari," he observed."This is my second year without a title, and hopefully there will not be so many more."Alonso also played down speculation that BMW, or his Renault team, might be in with a shout of victory at Monaco, where driver performance can have a higher than normal influence on the usual car hierarchy."Whenever we go to Monaco, those things are said," he remarked, "and then a McLaren or a Ferrari always wins. There are less surprises there than it seems."