F1 » 23 July 2012
Rivals insist Alonso can be beaten
Martin Whitmarsh and Christian Horner insist their drivers can still beat Fernando Alonso to the 2012 F1 title
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner and his McLaren counterpart Martin Whitmarsh both insist that Ferrari are still very much beatable in the F1 title race, despite Fernando Alonso extending his advantage at the top of the standings with victory in Germany.
Alonso's third win of the year, coupled with a disappointing eighth place finish for Mark Webber, means the Spaniard now holds a 34 point lead over the Australian in the standings, with Sebastian Vettel a further ten points back after he was demoted form second to fifth in the Hockenheim results.
Double champion Alonso scored in every race so far this season despite the well-documented issues with the 2012 Ferrari at the start of the year and Horner admitted it was vital for his two drivers to start out-scoring the Spaniard to ensure his lead doesn't become too great.
"Fernando has finished all the races in the points - he has a 34-point lead, but that isn't insurmountable with 25 points for a win,” Horner was quoted by the BBC. "It's important we get both of our guys beating him. He's been driving incredibly well, he's hit a purple patch of form. But we'll be looking to put as much pressure on as we can in the second half of the year.
"The Ferrari has come on in leaps and bounds, but there is an awful lot of racing to be done between now and the chequered flag in Brazil. It would be unwise to write off any of the top six guys at the moment. It only takes a couple of DNFs for Fernando or any of the front guys and the picture can change quickly if you hit a bit of form."
Leading McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton, who failed to score in Germany after retiring from the race, now sits 62 points down on Alonso while Jenson Button is 86 points behind despite finishing on the podium for the first time since China back in April.
Despite that however, Whitmarsh insisted that both of his drivers can still beat Alonso to the crown.
“We're at the halfway point and we have a lot of racing ahead of us, and they can both do it,” he said. “This season is going to be right to the very end. I believe we will be sat on the edge of our seats in the last few laps of the Brazilian Grand Prix and I hope I am in deep agony on those laps because it means we are in contention to win.
"Fernando is doing a great job and so are Ferrari. They are difficult to beat but it's doable. We are a motor racing team, we are fighters and we have to concentrate on, race by race, trying to maximise points and see if we can erode that situation.
"Coming out of [the first race in] Melbourne you'd have said we were on a roll and they [Ferrari] were in trouble. You've got congratulate them. We're on the pace now, we just have to keep pushing, keep the faith, keep focused, don't make mistakes and I think both our drivers are capable of winning races and they are both still capable of winning the world championship."
Tagged as: Hockenheim , Horner , Whitmarsh , Fernando Alonso , Red Bull Racing , Webber , Jenson Button , Lewis Hamilton , Mark Webber , Sebastian Vettel , Mclaren , Ferrari
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