Fernando Alonso has repeated his insistence that Ferrari must up its game as the 2012 chase enters the final stretch.
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton both have clearly faster cars. Alonso, who spun into retirement at the first corner at Suzuka, has described his continuing lead as a “miracle”. “In 2010, they (Red Bull) were over a second faster than us and still we led the championship until Abu Dhabi,” he said.
Crucially, however, Alonso lost that battle.
“Now they are eight tenths faster than us and we’re leading the championship again. You could say we’re used to this situation,” he is quoted by the Finnish broadcaster MTV3.
With a diminishing championship lead, Alonso said he wants a faster Ferrari for the final battles.
“I believe that in the next races we are able to improve the car significantly. We have not improved too much in the last two or three races, but we have good plans for the next ones,” he said.
Alonso is quoted by Spain’s El Confidencial as acknowledging that expecting poles and wins when the F2012 is “eight tenths” too slow is “not normal”.
“And little by little, the (championship) advantage disappears,” he said. “The advantage we have is because of reliability, because someone retired or because we did well when it was wet or the circumstances were difficult.”
Team boss Stefano Domenicali admitted on Friday that one of Ferrari’s problems is that its wind tunnel has not been producing reliably better new parts.
“I think for sure our structure is not the best one in that respect, it is quite old, so for sure we’re trying to improve the quality of the tools that we have,” he said.
Alonso said he will fight as hard as he can with what is at his disposal.
“For five years I have had a lower car and I have always fought for the world championship,” he is quoted by El Pais newspaper.
German Vettel, Alonso’s closest title challenger, said the 2005 and 2006 is a formidable opponent.
“After the (summer) vacation, McLaren came to have the most competitive car but Ferrari’s strength was being consistent even if the track is dry or wet, or if the temperature is high or low.
“My task is to get more points than him,” said the Red Bull driver. “It will be hard because of Alonso and Ferrari — despite not having a car to win, he always manages to get a lot of points,” said Vettel.