|© AP Photo/Alberto Saiz
Formula 1 drivers will keep an eye on the proceedings of the Euro 2012 football championship at the European Grand Prix this weekend rooting for their respective national sides.
The countries of 13 drivers are competing in the football tournament held in Poland and Ukraine although Vitaly Petrov will have to focus solely on F1 after Russia was eliminated in the group stages.
But others had plenty to look forward to.
"Well, I’m enjoying it massively, because we are the best, it’s simple, having a great time watching our team – a lot of Barcelona players in the Spanish national team which also helps," Pedro de la Rosa noted. "It’s great to see us doing so well. Actually, I also quite liked what the Spanish coach said the other day, that we go from poor to rich too quickly.
"I think it’s a great competition and we should never forget that all Spain is behind the team and we are all very proud," the HRT driver added.
Compatriot Fernando Alonso is keen in following the UEFA tournament as well.
"I enjoy it, I watch all of Euro. I will watch Saturday here in the motorhome with some friends," Alonso said. "I think we are very privileged to have this national team, this generation of players."
Teammate Felipe Massa had already picked a favourite.
“It’s a very interesting tournament, with some unusual circumstances: maybe you could expect Spain to win very easily, but that is not so clear cut and some of the less favourite teams have been doing well," the Brazilian observed.
"Of course, I hope Italy does well and so far I think they have been better than expected," he continued. "Given the troubles in Italy recently, with the earthquakes, it would be fantastic if the national football team can do better and better and give the people a great result to help them at this time. But the European championship seems to be like Formula 1 at the moment – very unpredictable!”
Over the weekend, Spain is pitted against France while Italy is playing England in the quarterfinals.
"I don’t even know when the game is, if I’m honest. Hopefully I will be able to watch it then," Lewis Hamilton said referring to the English side.
"They’ve been playing pretty well recently. I hope that we have a better shot this year than we have in the past, but there are other great teams out there. Spain, of course, is obviously one of the best teams there so it will be interesting," the Briton added.