Fernando Alonso insists that the championship is still wide open with seven races to go, and says that Ferrari has to stay calm as it tries to close the gap to the leaders.
Alonso gave his thoughts on the season in an interesting video interview today on the Ferrari website, in which he also said that his experience of battling for titles could pay dividends.
“I think we have to be happy with our championship so far,” said Alonso. “We had some good races and some disappointing races as well, but overall I think we are in a position in the championship now very close to the leader. In a short distance we are five drivers fighting for the championship, so we are there. There are seven races to go now, anything can happen in these seven races. We always start from zero, so we need to be the best one in this last part of the championship.”
The Spaniard said that the gap to the Red Bulls in Hungary was disappointing, but he was happy to get points for second place.
“I think at Ferrari we need to think always about the win, we need to aim for pole positions and victories every race we go. In Hungary this was not possible, we were not as quick as our competitors, the Red Bulls, so it was a little bit of frustration, a little bit of disappointment in Budapest. But in the end we know that there will be some circuits that will suit our car, and we need to take the opportunity to win, as we did in Germany.
“And there will be some circuits which maybe are not perfect for our characteristics, so we need to make the best of the race, as we did on Hungary. Overall I think as a team group we worked very well in the last part of the championship, and we maximised always our performance.”
He pointed out that while Red Bull pulled away in Hungary, Ferrari was still the same margin ahead of the rest relative to the previous race.
“I think we need to start with the gap from Ferrari to the rest of the teams, McLaren, Renault, Mercedes. It was a couple of tenths in Germany or half a second, and in Hungary it was the same. So we maintained more or less our good level of performance, it was more Red Bull that was maybe underperforming a little bit in Germany and overperforming in Hungary, due to the characteristics of the Hungarian circuit.
“I think with these medium/high speed corners, not many straights, that was a perfect circuit for Red Bull, and we knew that. We have to remain calm. The championship is 19 races, and for the overall picture of the 19 races, I think Ferrari has a very competitive package.
“I think we have to respect everyone. So far until Hungary McLaren and Hamilton were dominating the championship, and we know how strong they can be. Also Red Bull has a very quick car this year, and they are now leading the championship with Webber. It’s going to be tough, it’s going to be difficult, but we are there.
“We are in a position now that we are able to take the lead of the championship if we win one race. I think we have to remain calm we know that four or five drivers will fight until the last race, but we need to use our experience as a team, Ferrari winning so many championships, and my personal experience as well, fighting for three championships. We have to stay calm, and in these seven races do as many races as possible. I think continuity will be key to winning the championship.”
Regarding the next race in Spa, he added: “It’s a circuit with all types of corners, slow and high speed corners, the circuits goes up, down, so the feelings that you have driving in Spa are very unique. But at the same time I think we have fantastic races in the calendar. We have Malaysia in my case, I love this track as well, we have the Monaco GP which is special for all of us. At Spa we know how beautiful is that circuit, and how important it is to win at Spa.”