Fernando Alonso and Ferrari have promised to remain 'united' and 'rational', come out 'stronger' than before and 'make the most of the slightest opportunity' over the remainder of the F1 2010 World Championship campaign as they bid to prevent the chase for the crown from narrowing down into merely a two-horse race between Red Bull Racing and McLaren-Mercedes.
As a result of the opening lap contact between Alonso and team-mate Felipe Massa that left the Brazilian with a puncture and the Spaniard's subsequent penalty for overtaking Renault rival Robert Kubica on the grass and then neglecting to give the place back again, for the first time all season a frustrated Ferrari took away no points at all from last weekend's British Grand Prix, a race in which the F10 arguably proved to be best-of-the-rest behind the dominant Red Bull RB6, against the grain of what had been anticipated at Silverstone.
Worse still, throw into the equation the costly Valencia safety car controversy and Alonso's traffic woes in Montreal that the double F1 World Champion contended deprived him of victory, and the Scuderia
has notched up a mere 19 points from the last three grands prix – and Massa, absent from the podium since Melbourne, none at all – causing the team to slip to a distant third in the constructors' table, a gaping 113 markers adrift of leaders McLaren having not triumphed since the curtain-raising Bahrain Grand Prix at Sakhir all the way back in March.
After the race at Silverstone, however, Alonso urged his colleagues to 'keep their heads up' as 'there is plenty of time to recover' and 'we will
win the championship' [see separate story – click here
] – and as he looks ahead to the second half of the campaign, the 22-time grand prix-winner revealed that the trials and tribulations thus far would only serve to spur the Prancing Horse on to a renewed challenge for glory.
“Naturally, it's frustrating,” mused the fired-up Oviedo native, who is himself now 47 points off former team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the drivers' standings and placed only fifth, “but it is precisely at times like these that you have to be stronger and united, looking to the future without losing motivation. We have to know how to make the most of the slightest opportunity and be ready to pick up every single point.
“Races like this one at Silverstone just increase my will. I really want to get to the next round as quickly as possible, while using this energy in a positive and constructive way.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali and President Luca di Montezemolo, both of whom acknowledged the need to look forwards rather than back and dig deeper and work even harder from now on to swiftly and successfully turn the situation around and resurrect the Maranello-based outfit's title hopes – as the former shunned notions of abandoning development on the F10 in order to focus fully on its successor, as happened last summer with the disappointing F60.
“We are angry that we did not get the results we are capable of delivering,” confessed the Italian, “but this anger must be turned into a positive force. Even in the cold light of day, I don't want to comment on certain incidents, because I do not want my words to be seen as some sort of excuse. We must remain rational; we must not let ourselves be discouraged nor frustrated. We just have to knuckle down and continue to develop the car, working calmly, with great concentration and determination – then, the results will come.”
“I have nothing to add here about what happened at the track,” added di Montezemolo. “There is no point in crying about it, and I want the team to tackle the second half of the season in a positive manner. I expect everyone will give 100 per cent to bring home points quickly to make up for those we have lost to-date. All of us – myself, Domenicali, the engineers, mechanics and drivers – know what everyone, especially our fans, expect.
“We have gone through much worse moments than this and we have come through them, but clearly we can no longer afford to lose opportunities, which for various reasons have escaped us in the last two races, even though we had a competitive car. As things stand, qualifying and the start have become the decisive moments, so we must improve in these areas if we want to win.”