Fernando Alonso maintained a brave face after losing the World Championship lead in Korea today, and insisted that everything is still to play for with four races to go.
Nevertheless he was also keen to point that Ferrari’s has not developed the F2012 sufficiently in recent weeks.
The Spaniard now has 209 points to the 215 of Sebastian Vettel.
“We didn’t bring to the last six or seven races anything new,” said Alonso. “So we are doing what we can at the moment, and we are trying to save points which I think we are doing perfectly every Sunday. Again it was a perfect Sunday for us: good start, good strategy at the right time and in the right moment, and then finishing again on the podium.
“I think it was a very strong Sunday, but we hopefully make a little bit of a step in terms of performance, and then we can fight for bigger things. But anyway, I’m very, very happy with today’s race, very happy with the performance. We saw Sunday again move us a little bit closer to the top guys, and also with the position in the championship.
“Obviously we lost the lead by six points but if we think how it went for us the last four or five races, with two retirements, nothing to do with the team, no mistakes from the team, not mechanical problems or anything like that, just some people flying over us and things like that. With all these problems, being six points behind leaves open a lot of possibilities for us in the last four races.”
Asked if he was frustrated by the lack of new parts, he said:“The last five years of my career has been like this. I’m good, I’m confident, used to this situation. We have normally one set of tyres in Q3, there is not time for mistakes, no time to lock up a tyre or go over a kerb or anything like that on Saturday or on Sunday. We are always on the limit, but we feel comfortable, let’s say, like this.
“We seem to extract the maximum from the car when we are under pressure and as I said, four beautiful races to come with good possibilities for us to fight for the championship, but in the end, I’m sure there will be some circuits where we are a little bit more competitive, and some circuits where we are maybe not competitive enough, but overall, in the last four races, as we said, now we need to score seven points more than Sebastian, that will be extremely tough, but we believe we can do it.”
Regarding the circuits to come, he said: “It will depend obviously on the updates in the car. I think we will see in India if there are any new parts. If there are, we will need to test them. For sure, the other teams will also bring new parts, maybe more than us, so we need to see which of them are working, which of them are not working and for who they work.
“I think the performance of the car will depend on that. I think in Singapore and Suzuka and Korea we felt competitive. In Singapore maybe not so much, but we were able to be on the podium. In Suzuka we saw Felipe finish in second and here both of us were third and fourth, so overall they have been more or less good races for us, apart from the puncture in Suzuka, so in terms of performance I think we are there.
“Obviously Red Bull have made a step forward and they won three races. They were one and two in qualifying in Suzuka, one and two in qualifying here, one and two in the race here so it’s something that is not in our hands.”