Alonso: I’m confident I can start the season with a better car
17 January, 2013
Serious, focused, immediately on the case, Fernando Alonso made his debut media appearance of the season on Thursday morning at the twenty third edition of Wrooom, in the Italian Dolomites.
He gave the impression of already being totally focused on the 2013 Formula One Championship season but, at the same time revealing that he did not feel any additional pressure after the long and hard battle for the 2012 title did not end up in his favour.
“I don’t think there is necessarily an obligation to win,” said the Spaniard. “Sport means sacrifice, work, enjoyment of what one does and for the past three years, I’ve been fortunate to be in the fight for important targets. There are 24 drivers in F1 and few of them can say they have won races and usually finished on the podium. Since I’ve been at Ferrari, two out of three times I have come very close to being world champion, which is the target for me and for a team like ours and I hope I can now make that three times out of four.
“I’m confident [that] I can start the season with a better car than the one we had in the first few months of last year,” continued the man from Oviedo. “It was actually in the early races that we lost decisive points, when we had a car that was only good enough for seventh, as was the case in China or ninth in Bahrain. The fact [that] we are working with just one wind tunnel, the Toyota one in Cologne, could be a small advantage.”
“The rules are continuing pretty much the same as last year in terms of aerodynamics. In 2012 we changed the exhaust position compared to 2011, and it was a little bit of a guess regarding what we found on the car. This year everything should be much more normal and we are much more confident, said Alonso.
He added, “We may be faster or slower but not 1.5 or two seconds off the pace [as at the start of 2012], because it was a record what we had last year. It is maybe impossible to be worse than last year, so I am confident.”
Alonso has always praised his current team-mate, whom he has been paired with for his first three years in red and this remains the case, “I have always said that Felipe [Massa] [is] one of the best drivers around and I still remember that some people smiled when I said this last year.”
“He and I have always helped one another, day by day and I expect him to always be very close to me in terms of performance. What was not normal was the difference between us over the past two years, but now I don’t think that will be the case. That will be a very positive factor for me and especially for the team,” admitted the double world champion.
Alonso sees the arrival of fellow Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa as being a very positive development for the Maranello team.
“When there are new arrivals in high level teams, it is always important,” he said. “Pedro will work mainly on the simulator, an area where we were not at the same level as the best and his experience will be useful. Having said that, it’s not the case that a new driver can change things or can do it in the simulator. There will be further and more significant new arrivals that can make the team grow.” (Apex & Ferrari)
Subbed by AJN.