Alonso certain Ferrari can challenge for championship

2012 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Sepang, 2012Fernando Alonso says he’s “convinced” Ferrari can be championship contenders in 2012 despite their poor start to the season.

Quizzed by journalists in Malaysia, Alonso said: “This is Formula One. There is not an easy time for anybody. We need to work hard every day and night to normally catch up people in these three years.

“But anyway, you know, the experience has been fantastic. As you all know, fighting for the world championship in the first year and then last year with one win and ten podiums. Obviously, the target is always to win the world championship but it was not possible the last two years.

“This year we are convinced that we will fight for it. We need to stay focused and work more than the others knowing that we are a little bit behind now.

“But the championship is long. We stay calm, we stay focused, because we see a lot of determination in the team. We see the team with a very good atmosphere, (we) trust each other in the team, we are very united, so the time will come to us very soon.”

He said the team’s goal for the coming races was to limit the damage until they can improve their car:

“We are not in the situation we wanted to start the 2012 championship but after 11 years in Formula One I think you understand how long the championship is, what you need when you have the best and what you need when you don?t have the best car ?ǣ which is sometimes more points or less points.

“But as far as our targets and our goals (are concerned) we need to score as many points as possible in these couple of races and in a very short period of time try to be on the podium and win races.

“If we manage to do that we have plenty of races to recover the gap. If we don?t manage to do that it?s because someone else did a better job than us. We just need to wait and see but I have 100 per cent trust in the team.”

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    Keith Collantine
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    47 comments on “Alonso certain Ferrari can challenge for championship”

    1. Fernando is in denial mode.

      1. Obviously it has helped him for the last two seasons.

      2. I don’t get the ‘denial mode’ comment…are you that convinced that Ferrari has built a dog and it will remain so all season? I have the impression Ferrari has much more to learn about this car, and nothing is preventing them from making new and different parts and evolving the car once they find out exactly what it needs. For now, I think they don’t even know the car’s full potential, so how it is that FA taking a positive stance is being in denial is beyond me. Going around and moping that they suck and are screwed this year would never be constructive, and Ferrari are simply living what is much more the reality of F1 than to have nailed their package and dominated right out of the box. It’s easy to look with hindsight and say they should have tweaked last year’s car. But they don’t have a crystal ball, nor did they intentionally build a dog (which remains to be seen).

        Now if the car does turn out to be a dog and Ferrari is 4th in the WCC by mid-season, and FA is still saying they can fight for the WDC, then that would be denial mode, and I don’t think FA would go there. But for now? I think FA is being extremely professional by keeping a positive tone for his team and their sponsors, and by saying he trusts them. They have a ton of potential and a ton of races to prove it right now, so why take any other stance for the time being?

        And even if eventually the team and it’s drivers have to concede that they didn’t get it right this year, the world will not stop revolving…nobody is going to be jailed or hanged over it…they will admit they made mistakes, they will vow to learn from said mistakes, and they will claim to come out next year swinging…and life will go on. That’s racing for all teams and all drivers except for the one driver/team that wins the whole thing. There’s only one…all the others have to get back to the drawing board having not won, vowing to learn from their inability to win the whole thing and to do better next year.

        1. +1.

          I don’t their in a different position than 2010 when Alonso went to Abu Dhabi leading the championship. It’s a long season and Ferrari is too big a team to throw the towel right after the first race.

        2. FA is totally in denial mode.
          Number one.In other to solve the problem with the car ,they need to know what is wrong with it,and they obviously dont.
          Number two.Even if they develop this monstrosity in to a race winning car,and they won’t,it will be way too late to turn the season around.
          Number tree.It’s not like the other teams are gonna sit around doing nothing.They are gonna develop their cars as much as they can.Nuff said …..

          1. @kimster381…
            Number one…there may be nothing ‘wrong’ with the car…they may just have yet to find out what is most right with it…I think it is too early to say they ‘obviously’ don’t…they need time…they probably have some good ideas for things they need to research and try for the car.
            Number two…the car is not yet deemed a ‘monstrosity’…you don’t know yet if they can develope it into a race winner or not, and that might depend on the track…but I do agree it might be too late by the time they do it…depends on if the 4 drivers at Mac and RBR split points or if one of them starts to sneak away from the pack.
            Number three…I agree

      3. Actually, Alonso is more like in trying to keep Ferrari motivated mode. Pouring scorn on his team for producing a poor car and playing down their hopes of any sort of success in 2012, even if that’s what Alonso secretly thinks, is unlikely to do much for motivation.

      4. Naturally, I mean he says that in 2010 it “wasn’t possible” to win the championship, yet going into the last race of the season he was the championship leader and all he really needed to do was not lose to Vettel or Webber by too much (Hamilton, too, I guess, but he was a fair way off).

        1. I rhink he meant we didn’t win the championship in 2010/2011, which is fact. English is not his mother tongue so easy to see how he said it wasn’t possible. As for denial, British gp 2010 springs to mind. Granted he was wrong about winning the title but not in the way many assumed.

    2. Good racer. Positive attitude without complaining the balance here and there. Oh, my tyre is gone :)

    3. this is a real race, takes no crap dosent complain just drive the dame car and gets the results to show for it. more drivers should take a leaf from Fernando’s book.

    4. No they can’t. At the moment, Ferrari are far behind McLaren and Red Bull, they are unable to fight even for the podiums. Currently Alonso and Massa have to make extra effort to keep respectively Williams and Caterham behind.

      For sure, Ferrari will come back and they might even win a couple of races later in the season. However, any serious improvements to the car are unlikely to be implemented before the Spanish GP. By then, RBR and McLaren will have ensured a decent points gap in the standings. And it’s not like they’re going to stand still, not develop the cars further and just enjoy their good form. Moreover, the reliability of cars is extremely good these days so it’s also unlikely that McLarens and Bulls will be retiring regularly, while Ferrari just wins everything.

      Since 2009, Ferrari have never built something more than just the 3rd fastest car. In 2010, they were close to winning the title but only because of the many mistakes made by the Bulls and, admittedly, Alonso’s excellence. And their gap to the top in 2010 was never as large as it is now.

      So, dear Fernando, while I appreciate your team loyalty and your own greatness, at the moment your chances of winning the 2012 title don’t look much better than the ones of your friend Petrov.

      1. While I do understand that sentiment, and you may be right in the end, I think what might bode well for FA is if the Macs and the Red Bulls split points among their 4 drivers…ie. if we don’t have one driver dominate and start getting the lion’s share of the points.

      2. you mean williams and sauber or toro rosso? caterham is still one of the slower teams ?

        1. Don’t miss the sarcastic part from the comments, @Deurmat :)

          1. @Nirupam eu? it would be sarcastic if it said only caterham or caterham and marusia, because williams was having a great race and their car is probably better than ferrari’s.

        2. Yes, I would wait till Spain to see if we can place the Caterhams in the midfield. For now they are not there yet. Shame.

        3. @Deurmat Well, as Nirupam says, it was a bit sarcastic. That said, this is what Petrov said after the race:

          The team did a great to job to help me pass Heikki in the first stop, I was catching Senna and Massa ahead and the car felt really well balanced.

          If you check the lap chart, you see that, shortly before retiring, Petrov really was close to Massa :)

    5. Absolute faith and optimism. I don’t think it would make Ferrari faster(probably? by making engineers work hard :D ) but you can’t endure this frustrating situation. I hope he would get the fruit he thirst for sooner than later…

      1. Now I’m thirsty for some fruit.

    6. I have no doubt that if Ferrari can fix their problems & provide him a decent car by the spanish gp he will be a serious contender for WDC

      1. Depending on how the next couple GP’s go its possible, but I suspect that McLaren and Red Bull will have the upper hand even after the Spanish GP. Not that Melbourne is 100% accurate of the F1 pecking order, but Alonso was 21s behind Webber. Add to that Lotus had a bad day w/ Raikonnen’s qualy mishap and Grosjeans retirement Alonso could have been lower. Either way we need a couple more races to see Ferrari’s true form.

    7. What are you complaining about? That’s an attitude of a true team leader. If he loses faith, who else will still want to push? It’s really rare among drivers to stand by their team no matter what and keep the morale high. I bet if McLaren was in the same situation, Hamilton would be complaining about how the team hampered his season instead of backing the engineering crew for a swift comeback to form. These words from Alonso deserve nothing else but praise.

    8. Long time lurker, first poster. I’d say that’s more of an optimistic view than realistic but I do hope FA can get on to the podium before the Europian GP for him to have a chance for the title. They been playing catch up game for the past 2 years and hopefully they will succeed this time despite what they’ve shown in winter testing and oz gp. C’mon ferarri! Get your acts together now! You’ve been wasting FA’s talent!

      1. sid_prasher (@)
        22nd March 2012, 18:12

        Welcome to the site!

    9. As for Alonso,i hope Lotus Renault has a stellar season,so he can choke on it.He left this team twice and accomplished what exactly.Poetic justice,it’s what this is.Prancing pony is the right place for this guy.

      1. That team fails to exist as Alonso knew it. But yes, you’re right anyway – a driver of Alonso’s caliber should not only be stuck with the third best car three seasons going, he should have been in the fifth best car, the ungrateful jerk!

      2. He left this team twice and accomplished what exactly

        Nearly won the world driver’s championship (again) twice. Which is a damn sight more than he would have done in the Renault.

        1. Massa nearly won the the driver’s championship to,and he was much much closer than Alonso to winning it.We all know where that went,nuff said.So i’m not that impressed.Man has no allegiance to anything or anyone,he was greedy and selfish,and he won diddly squat….

    10. kenneth Ntulume
      22nd March 2012, 17:06

      One element i CAN NOT believe is that Ferrari can be foolhardy to make a car they do not “understand” cmmon…. lol!
      No one does that. U make/design a car based on a greater understanding of current knowledge and science, with a great deal of predictability, certainty and less of uncertainty due to randomness and margin of error.
      Ferrari is telling us they woke up one morning to be adventurous, and designed something!!! if someone actually did that, he/she should be fired, the stupidity did not pay off.

    11. Once upon a time, there was a former Renault driver who moved to McLaren, but fell out with Ron Dennis and ended up at Ferrari. The move was initially a success, but then Ferrari built a bad car and he criticised it.

      That man was Alain Prost and he was fired for his criticism. Alonso will be wary of making the same mistake.

      1. True…. but in those days, ´il comendatore was in charge!

        1. Prost was fired in 1991 Enzo died in 1988. If he fired Prost it was from beyond the grave. If so Ron Dennis and co should be scared their houses could turn into Paranormal Activity 4 movie.

      2. But then he got better and scored another championship. (albeit with a very strong car)

        And Ron Dennis has been known to make bad decisions before.

      3. @icthyes I can’t see them doing that again. No driver is bigger than the Scuderia of course, but that would just be utterly ludicrous. Alonso is their best asset at the moment.

    12. To some degree fans who are not in Ferrari camp like myself are lucky Fernando does not have the ultimate machine for 2012 yet. As much as I am a great admirer of Alonso , the thought of 15 or so Spanish national anthems does not appeal .

    13. 2009. Who says this year isn’t going to be a full-on repeat of that?

      1. @pamphlet Doubt it. I don’t think anyone has anything as radical as the DD.

    14. I don’t really understand when he says they haven’t been in with much of a chance for the past two years. OK, last year was a write-off, but 2010? The championship was his to lose until Petrov decided to get in the way, and even then it was just unfortunate that Vettel was winning!

      I guess his argument is that they don’t want it to go down to the wire, they want to compete throughout the year, but I don’t think we will see the years of Ferrari domination return any time soon.

      To an extent, Alonso has a point. He wouldn’t be doing his job correctly if he didn’t think they could turn it around. He has to believe that professionally, but most importantly, personally. He loves this team and the amount of times he’s come out in the past 12 months and addressed any issues as positively as possible does make me respect him an awful lot.

    15. Wasnt it 2010 when ferrari started the season with an dodgy car and alonso said we will win by silverstone and thereafter challenge for the championship, and sure enough.

      1. Remember they won the 1st race in 2010, only mistakes and unreliability left him behind in early 2010, not pace.

    16. Personally i think most of you miss the point. whats he gonna say ‘oh we’re miles behind, we havent got a chance, might as well stay at home’ he must stay optimistic regardless WHAT HAPPENS..specially after the first race . why? because he must.. simple. Let Ferrari declare the F2012 is a dog and the season over when they see fit

    17. down force should be banned forever and all cars should be aerodynamicaly nuetral and the only thing you should be allowed to do is reduce drag and both the front and back wheels should be the same size and mandatory size so we are looking at drivers skill to balance the car through the corners and not relying on technology …

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