Fernando Alonso has dismissed reports of an argument with Ferrari technical director, Pat Fry.
The difference of opinion allegedly occurred last weekend in India, after Fry suggested the Spaniard could have qualified higher than fifth: “We were hoping to at least get our cars onto the second row, but we did not hit our target, even if we did get close. The result reflects our current potential, but in order to be where we wanted and where we were capable of being meant we needed to be perfect today and we weren't,” Fry said last Saturday after the top-ten shootout.
Alonso in contrast, remarked that there was 'no way they could have been ahead of the Red Bulls and McLarens', and he was apparently none-too-amused by Fry's version of events. Indeed the La Stampa
newspaper reported that the Spaniard had come close to sending a Tweet that a 'key aerodynamic component at the rear of the F2012 was still the same as it had been at the Spanish GP back in May' and that this lack of development is the real reason for his dwindling title hopes.
However, speaking to reporters in Abu Dhabi, ahead of the 18th round in the 2012 F1 World Championship, the Spaniard insisted the reports were not true: “An argument with Pat Fry after the race in India? A nice invention from someone in the Italian media. It was quite creative to be honest!” Alonso said.
“Now or later, I will speak to him [the reporter] to see how he invented this. We know and it's a fact that we are slower than Red Bull: we all agree, me the team, our fans, everyone knows. We are very united in our efforts to fix this situation.”
Meanwhile, Alonso reiterated that he still believes he can win the 2012 F1 Drivers' championship this year, despite Sebastian Vettel's domination of the last four races and the current performance difference between the Red Bull RB8 and his Ferrari F2012.
“I think we believe and we trust in the team and the job we do. We have shown that we never give up and know how to fight until the end. When things become stressful and difficult, we can still give 100 per cent and the team has a lot of experience fighting for world championships,” he continued. “Everyone is very motivated and in India we saw some good signs in terms of pace compared to Red Bull, even if we need a couple more tenths, especially on Saturday. On top of that, we have some updates here and there will be some more in the USA. The season has had its ups and downs and we have seen four consecutive 'ups' for Red Bull, so we think it has to go down sooner or later!”
So what about this weekend?
“We have tried to prepare for this race better than ever,” he continued. “We have some new parts that we will be checking tomorrow. We don't think we will close the gap to Red Bull completely, with only five days between India and Abu Dhabi. There is no magic part in F1 but we are trying to put them under pressure after they had four very easy races.
“We want to be close enough to them to capitalise on anything they do not do perfectly, while we need to be perfect for these next three race weekends. Mechanical failure is always in the air, not just for them, but also for us. We have to make sure we have a very strong car, so that we can do all three last races with no mechanical problems.
“We know that Red Bull can be a bit more fragile, like [Mark] Webber's KERS failure in India, so we need to push them and be on the limit, because if it had been Vettel who had the problem, no one would have noticed because he was ten seconds in front.”