Alonso: The objective is to be ahead of the field, on Saturday and Sunday
13 December, 2012
Dec.13 (Ferrari) One of the final working appearances of 2012 for Fernando Alonso was in Madrid on Wednesday for a series of events organised by the Santander Bank at the Ciudad Financera, the headquarters of Santander, to take part in an unusual press conference.
The names of the ‘media’ asking the questions were well known to him, but the faces were a little different, for the simple reason that the interviewers were actually the children of Spanish journalists, invited by Santander for an early Christmas celebration with the Spanish driver.
Clearly, good journalism runs in the blood as the questions these very young writers in the making asked were rather interesting and probably less predictable than those asked by their parents, ranging from football – “who is the best out of Messi, Ronaldo or Facao?” to statistical queries –“how many trophies do you have at home,” and on his private life – “do you know how to dance?” to the inevitable questions on Formula One.
Before facing the rapid fire questions from the younger generation, Alonso could not get out of a brief encounter with the grown-ups, this time in the guise of professionals, rather than parents.
Obviously, here there was no room for the fun questions that came from the kids, but instead the topics revolved around what the driver had done in Interlagos immediately after the race and then in Valencia for the Ferrari Finali Mondiali.
“Sometimes you think you’ve done a good job and at others you feel something is lacking or that you would like to change or improve for the following year, but this time, I think this was a perfect year and I am very happy with my season,” said Fernando looking back on 2012. “I think it will be almost impossible to do the same again in my career.”
“Vettel is a worthy champion: he scored more points than anyone else and that is clear for all to see,” he admitted. “Red Bull will again be favourites next year, ending this season with seven or eight tenths in hand over us and that will be hard for us to make up over the winter. The McLaren was also quicker than us and, at the end, even Force India and Lotus were ahead of us.”
“Having said that, I remain confident, partly because we will be starting from a better base than this year. It would be hard to start as badly as in 2012: in Jerez at the first test, we were two seconds and a half off the pace, in Australia one and a half seconds. There’s a lot of work to do but our objective is clear: to have two Ferraris ahead of the field, both on Saturday and Sunday,” declared the double world champion.
He added, “These past few years, some teams have managed that, but not us: we will try again in 2013. I don’t think the fact the Maranello wind tunnel has been temporarily closed will be a handicap: we will use other wind tunnels, and indeed we have been doing just that for the past few months.”
Finally, Alonso touched briefly on the Vettel pass on Vergne at Interlagos. “I can only repeat what I already said in Valencia: Ferrari was right to ask the FIA for a clarification in order to remove all doubt for the fans; the Federation replied that everything was in order and so the case is closed.”
Subbed by AJN.