Alonso: A perfect Sunday again for us and we kept fighting until the end
4 November, 2012
Nov.4 (FIA) Although Fernando Alonso once again muscled his way to second place, this time from sixth on the grid, it was a bittersweet evening’s work at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for the Ferrari driver who would have been expecting to have closed the gap at the top of the standings to less than ten points considering the fact that title rival Sebastian Vettel started from the pitlane. Nevertheless, at Yas Marina Circuit, the Spaniard did reduce the deficit by three points with two rounds left to go.
You never gave up, you were chasing Kimi down in the closing stages of the grand prix. You must be surprised to see your world title…well all three of you [are] technically in the world championship battle until this moment. Tell us about your race and how you felt it was going...
Fernando Alonso: I’m very happy, I think we were not super competitive this weekend. We started seventh, sixth at the end with Sebastian’s penalty so we have to fight all through the race, the first laps to do some good overtakings and then a very good strategy that gave us the ability to fight at the end for the victory. In the last couple of laps Kimi was a little bit slower, so we attack. But second, I think, was the maximum today, starting sixth, so a perfect Sunday again for us and we kept fighting until the end.
Tremendous pace at the end there, where did that come from and was it just a little bit too late?
FA: Well, I think we just saw on the board eight laps to go, there [were] no more concerns about the tyres because obviously doing one stop you never know how the tyres will finish the race, and also after the last safety car we saw Sebastian with the soft and the first three of us, we were with the prime, so we didn’t know how much a threat was Sebastian for fight until the last lap. So after they lost a little bit of time, Jenson and Sebastian, and we didn’t care any more about the tyres, I push 150 per cent for eight laps and I tried to catch Kimi but it was never enough to be within one second for the DRS to be even closer. So at the end we didn’t have the pace to win but fantastic race anyway. We didn’t have the pace this weekend in any practice, in qualifying seventh and ninth and then today we were fighting for a victory – surprising again. This is thanks to a perfect car for the race, a perfect start, perfect strategy, perfect pitstops so everything perfect Sunday for us, maximising what we have in hands.
Do you think the modifications brought to the Ferrari helped during the race today?
FA: I think it helped for sure because when we tested it on Friday, they gave us some performance but we are talking very few hundredths of advantage that for sure when you have a gap to close that is a couple of tenths, when you bring hundredths and your opponents bring also some new parts, I think more or less you are in the same position. So, we need to keep working and in Maranello they work day and night very hard to bring new parts. Here in the track, mechanics work 24 hours and we are doing our maximum and we sure that hopefully it will be enough.
Are you a bit disappointed that you didn’t have more of an advantage over Sebastian…that you only pulled out three points?
FA: To be honest we were concentrating on our race. Our simulations we had gave us the possibility to finish fifth or sixth, so we were not very optimistic with today’s race and despite what Sebastian was doing in the race we were taking eight, ten points maximum in our simulations. So we concentrated on our race. He did a very good race and he was able to use the performance in some of the parts of the race when he was in clean air plus the safety cars that I think put the group all together. So at the end I think this is nothing we can do, we just need to concentrate on our race and if we finish in front of Sebastian in the next two races then maybe we have a chance. So that’s our concentration now.
And the world championship?
FA: Yes, I’m confident. We will fight until the end. We are not fast enough, this is true and we are honest with ourselves, we know this. We need to accept this. It’s a weak point, the performance that we have at the moment in our package, and we have some strong points which we will try to use.
Your last win was at Hockenheim in July, more than three months ago. Do you think [that] you absolutely need to win one or both of the last two races to gain the title and do you think it’s possible to do it?
FA: That will help, for sure, but I don’t think so.
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