Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo says the team has to take a car quick enough to win the first F1 race at the new Circuit of the Americas venue if it wants to stand a chance of lifting the 2012 title.
Fernando Alonso was able to outscore Sebastian Vettel to bring the gap between the two at the top of the standings down, but only by three points after second-placed Alonso could only finish one place higher than Vettel – despite the Red Bull man being forced to start the race from the pits.
After a Monday morning debrief with team principal Stefano Domenicali, di Montezemolo insisted that Ferrari had to give Alonso a car capable of winning the United States Grand Prix having expressed concern that upgrades introduced at Yas Marina didn't yield the expected results.
“The weekend was hard to read,” he said. “That began with Saturday evening when I watched a situation that was not entirely clear. As far as Ferrari is concerned I want to understand why the new parts that we brought to the track only partially improved the performance of the F2012, which wasn't enough to allow Alonso to fight for the very front positions on the grid – despite the contrasting expectations of our engineers.
“Yesterday Fernando nonetheless produced his umpteenth great race of the season, in which he again gave 120 per cent and he managed to fight for victory right to the end. But it's clear that we have to do more for the coming races. That is what I requested today of Domenicali and his team.
“We have ten crucial days ahead, during which we must do everything to arrive in Texas with a car that can fight for the victory. Words count for nothing: this must be our target.”
Di Montezemolo added that he was still confident in Ferrari's ability to lift the title this season and said everyone involved with the team shared the determination to succeed.
“Nonetheless I remain confident because everything is possible,” he said. “It depends on us: yet again in these last 15 years we are involved in the title battle right up to the end and we have seen how much more difficult situations in the championship standings have been overturned.
“It's up to us not to leave any stone unturned: I am certain that the will to win drives the men and women who work for Ferrari and that everyone will work with absolute determination, giving the same 120 per cent that Fernando keeps on giving.”