Jarno Trulli has sprung to the defence of his former team-mate Fernando Alonso in the wake of recent criticism of the Ferrari star's form in F1 2010, arguing that the Spaniard is having to occasionally go 'over-the-limit' due to his car not being quite at the same level as those of arch-rivals Red Bull Racing and McLaren-Mercedes, and quipping that RBR are for their part 'trying everything' not to claim the crown...
The Italian Grand Prix last weekend was billed as something of a 'crunch' race for Alonso, McLaren's defending F1 World Champion Jenson Button and Red Bull ace Sebastian Vettel – all of whom had failed to score in the preceding Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, and who went on to take the chequered flag respectively first, second and fourth at Monza.
Conversely, having finished first and second in the Ardennes, Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber respectively crashed out on the opening lap at Monza and came home a delayed and frustrated sixth whilst their title rivals made hay under the Italian sunshine, meaning with five races still remaining, the destiny of the drivers' laurels is once more anyone's guess.
Alonso has been criticised for the uncharacteristic plethora of errors that have stymied his challenge this season to-date – from his jump-start in Shanghai to his costly practice shunt in Monaco and scrappy Belgian outing – but Trulli contends that the mistakes are likely the product of the double world champion trying too hard to compensate for the fact that his Ferrari F10 is not on balance a match for either the Red Bull RB6 or McLaren-Mercedes MP4-25.
The Italian points out that despite having what is by common consent the quickest car in the field at their disposal, Red Bull – and Vettel in particular – have squandered significant opportunities to score, and as such are coming under pressure as the campaign draws towards its conclusion.
“Ferrari is probably fighting with not such a competitive car,” the Lotus Racing ace – who partnered Alonso at Renault in 2003 and 2004 – is quoted as having said by ITV-F1
. “Fernando is sometimes pushing over-the-limit, and when you are over-the-limit you have to accept mistakes. It can happen when you try hard – I make mistakes, everyone makes mistakes. As a driver it's not easy, especially as there are some circumstances where you are pushed into a mistake.
“If you want to win a championship, though, we all know that it's important to finish races and score points in many races – and so far I think the most reliable and consistent has been Lewis. Red Bull have really wasted a lot of points; I think Red Bull so far has had the best car, but it seems they're trying everything to not deliver the best result...
“It's been a very difficult season to judge, because you've seen a lot of mistakes and a lot of events upsetting the front-runners. It's hard to point out who's going to win. I think Lewis has got a good chance, as well as Webber – [but] for Vettel and Alonso, it's almost too late to afford any more mistakes.”