Ferrari management have moved quickly to dispel belief that their ace driver Fernando Alonso has fallen too far behind Championship leader Sebastian Vettel in the title hunt to claim the crown in 2013.
The Spaniard admitted Vettel was ‘too good for us’ after the Red Bull driver dominated the Bahrain Grand Prix, but believed a podium was within his reach until a mysterious DRS rear wing failure forced him to make two unscheduled pitstops for impromptu repairs.
“If you look at his lap time with no DRS, you clearly understand it was possible but at the end of the day it does not count so we need to make sure in the future we don’t have this issue.” said Team Principal Stefano Domenicali.
“It [the DRS] wasn’t fixed properly at the first stop and so I had to come in for another one.” Alonso said post-race.
“From then on, the clear instruction from the pit wall not to use it affected my race. I tried to recover but it was really difficult finding places to overtake without DRS. When you are far back, in the middle of a group, tyre degradation is even harder to manage. I am sure that without the problems me and Felipe had, we would have finished higher up, because the car responds very well and it is definitely our best of the last four years.”
Despite claiming just 4 points from a weekend that promised much more, Domenicali is adamant Alonso can still fight for the Championship and overcome the 30-point gap between himself and Vettel.
“Thirty points, if he [Vettel] has zero points next time and we win it will be five so only four races gone, it is plenty of time.”
“Don’t forget we had 50 points [advantage over Vettel] last summer.”
“An initial analysis after the first four races indicates that we did not pick up as many points as we should have done. In just over three weeks, we will be back on track in Europe and it will be important to turn this trend around immediately. Until then, we will knuckle down and continue with the development of a car that still has plenty of potential to offer.”