United States GP: Ferrari disappointed, but Alonso’s aim remains unchanged
By Berthold Bouman
Despite the fact Sebastian Vettel has so far completely dominated the United States Grand Prix and took pole for today’s race, Fernando Alonso, who will start the race from eighth place on the grid, still is adamant he can grab this year’s Formula One crown.
“Our aim remains unchanged and it’s still possible: on Sunday all sorts of things can happen. Reliability, strategy — it will be important to work out when is the best time to pit because here, the cold tyres can be slower by several seconds — and team work will be as usual important,” said the Spaniard after qualifying.
The Ferrari F2012 clearly lacks the necessary speed and downforce, and there wasn’t really much he could do. “We never managed to put together the best lap, which on these tyres and with these track conditions is always the last one you do. We knew it would be a complicated weekend but clearly today we were too slow and we will start from too far back,” Alonso admitted.
But he somehow ‘senses’ he will score points, and predicted he will even finish ahead of Vettel, “We said yesterday that Red Bull will be one and two and we will be seventh and eighth and people will be thinking it’s all over. Then on Sunday we will show that we can score more points than Vettel — I don’t know how exactly, but I have this feeling inside.”
But Ferrari’s Team Principal Stefano Domenicali was less optimistic, and was not happy with the qualifying result, “A disappointing qualifying that puts us in a very difficult position in terms of the championship, given that our main rival will start from pole position.”
He admitted Ferrari’s pace had everything to do with the Pirelli tyres, again it seems the Maranello-based squad can’t get the tyres on the right working temperature to get the most out of them. Domenicali commented, “The main problem was linked to tyre performance, but let’s make it clear, the responsibility rests with us, because the tyres are the same for everyone and therefore it’s down to us to try and get them to work as well as possible.”
But all is not lost according to the Italian, “We have said it often, the sums are done on Sunday afternoon: clearly the outlook is not positive but we are well aware that the situation can be different in the race. There are no reference points for a new track therefore the unknown factors are greater than usual: we have a duty to tackle every aspect to perfection.”