Alonso gives Ferrari 7/10 for 2011 season
Fernando Alonso has given Ferrari 7/10 for its performance at the first 11 races of the season.
He was speaking at the Wrooom Ferrari media event in the Italian Dolomites where he answered questions on a variety of subjects. Team principal Stefano Domenicali told journalists that Ferrari deserved a 6+, but Alonso gave it 7, saying its slow start to the season had cost it dear.
"A 9 or a 10 can go to those who lead the championship, but this has not been such a bad a season for us so far," Alonso said. "Sure, the beginning was very difficult: we had hoped for a better start but we did not manage it. In China we went through what was possibly the worst point, because not only were we not fighting for the win with McLaren and Red Bull, but we were also behind Mercedes and maybe Renault, who had already scored two podium finishes. However, after that, we reacted well. We still lack a little something in all areas, including from the drivers, to be at the level of the best. However, I feel much more part of the team than I did a year ago. In terms of driving, I don't think I've ever been this strong."
But Alonso is confident Ferrari won't make the same mistakes in 2012 now that Pat Fry has been appointed as technical director as part of a management shake-up.
"I think what's been done has been very positive and, in any case, you don't just change things for the sake of change, but in order to improve," he said. "From my point of view, I feel there is a greater will to move forward, more speed and daring in taking some decisions. There is a greater feeling of optimism, more determination and I think the results of that are already evident in the first phase of the design of next year's car. We are working well, with a lot of creativity: we hope the car will be a surprise from this point of view, but most of all we hope it's quick. Already this year, we have seen cars that have been considered very interesting and extreme and then they haven't delivered the results."
He also believes that Ferrari has a "moral obligation" not to give up on the 2011 title.
"We must try and win as many races as possible," Alonso added. "We are realistic and the championship situation is what it is, but we have seen so often that there can be sudden reversals. And after all, we are Ferrari and we have a moral obligation, especially for the millions of fans spread around the world, to always think of the maximum goal. We can't ever say we will tackle eight races without having the championship in the back of our mind: we will always have an eye on the title, at least until there is no longer the slightest chance. Of course we must start winning and we have to hope that Vettel makes a few mistakes or has some problems."