Fernando Alonso

A bittersweet taste

Maranello, 23 September – The autumn of the 2013 World Championship began with a mix of feelings for the Scuderia. The Singapore Grand Prix left a bittersweet aftertaste, a contrast between the satisfaction of having got the maximum out of the performances of the whole package – team, drivers, car – and the disappointment of not managing to finish in front of everyone else.
“At Ferrari second place must not be seen as the realisation of a goal but at the same time you have to be able to appreciate what you are achieving thanks to everyone’s work,” Stefano Domenicali told www.ferrari.com after arriving back from Singapore. “This weekend we didn’t have the technical resources to fight either for victory or even, probably, for the podium. Yet we left the circuit having taken more points than anyone else: if we succeeded it’s because everyone – from the drivers to the warehouse workers – gave everything they have and they made no errors. We have to be satisfied with that and we must recognise the value of everyone who has done their job well.”
All that effort was not, though, enough to gore the quickest Red Bull: “It’s true: we must recognise that our opponents have done a better job than we have and compliment them because in sport you have to accept when your opponent does better than you,” continued the Scuderia’s Team Principal. “That’s the same for the fans: I wasn’t happy to hear that Vettel was booed under the Singapore podium as well. The German driver was perfect and he was helped out by a car that was as quick as it was reliable: this should be acknowledged. Certainly, on the other hand, this shows that Ferrari’s support is unique and incredible, that the passion the Prancing Horse inspires is truly global. The fight for the title is ever more difficult but we must not give up the chase, even by a millimetre. Certainly it no longer depends just on what we are able to do but we must try to be ready to benefit from any opportunity that might come our way between now and the end of the championship. Never say never: in sport something unexpected can always happen.”
What is the recipe needed to bridge the gap to the strongest opponent? Domenicali doesn’t duck the question: “We must make a jump in quality at every level, including our working methods and our equipment. We know that well and we are working to make it happen, reinforcing our technical structure in the areas where it is needed – as shown by our arrivals in recent weeks and those still to come. Let’s be clear, I don’t think for a minute that the people we have are less capable than those working in other teams, indeed I’m convinced of the opposite. But it’s a fact that the others have worked better than us and this must work as an incentive for us.”
Ahead of the race, it was said that Singapore would represent a watershed for technical development: “Now it’s clear that 99% of our energies will be concentrated on the 2014 project, as complicated as it is important,” stresses Domenicali. “Ahead of the summer break we were striving hard for a performance gain in Singapore, on a track with characteristics that are particularly unsuitable for our car. Instead we lost even more ground, despite the fact that the F138 has improved in certain ways, otherwise Fernando would never have managed to do what he did in the second part of the race in terms of tyre management. We still have some new parts for the car that we will bring to the coming races but, above all, we will now try to make the most out of what we already have.”

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