Having tormented them for years with his performances for Renault
and McLaren, Fernando Alonso
insists that he is ready to give the tifosi
the success they crave after a barren 2009 Formula One campaign.
Speaking as the covers came off Ferrari's 2010 challenger at Maranello, the double world champion admitted that he was fired up by joining the team as it sought to bounce back from a year in which it was left behind by the likes of Brawn, Red Bull
and, latterly, old rival McLaren
and gained just a single race win - in Belgium courtesy of Alonso's predecessor Kimi Raikkonen.
The Spaniard is also coming off a disappointing season, as the struggling Renault
team claimed a solitary podium finish from 17 races, and is looking to the F10 - which received more attention than many of its rivals after work on its predecessor was canned in the summer - to re-establish himself as a championship contender.
"This is my first presentation with Ferrari, which is emotional for me," confessed the 28-year old, who has vowed to end his career riding the Prancing Horse, "It's very exciting, and I want to thank the whole team for the great job they have done over the last few months, building this dream, this new car."
The F10, the first definitive 2010 car unveiled to the public, shows all the hallmarks of a car built to the revised regulations, being longer to contain the enlarged fuel tank required for races without refuelling, and exhibits elements of those that were beating it last year, not least the Red Bull-esque front end treatment. Alonso, meanwhile, was keen to begin the machine's development, a process that will kick off at next week's Valencia group test following team-mate Felipe Massa's shakedown at Fiorano later today [Thursday].
"We are ready to face the challenge and take up the responsibility of realising the maximum potential of this car," Alonso commented, "Felipe and I will be a very strong team, and we hope we will make all the Ferrari
supporters around the world very proud to see this car winning the championship."
Team boss Stefano Domenicali echoed his new charge's belief that a title challenge could be on the cards, and played down suggestions of any lingering animosity between his drivers following a series of on-track run-ins a couple of seasons ago.
"Fernando is a double world champion, and we say he will have a third [title]," Domenicali commented, "He is already amongst the big champions in F1, and this is now the right moment for him, for us.
"But we are [also] talking of a new version of Felipe who, after the accident in Hungary last year, still has all the assets to prove he can be very successful."