24 November 2012
Domenicali: Alonso still deserves the title
Stefano Domenicali says Ferrari will do what it can to give Fernando Alonso a deserved title in Brazil
Stefano Domenicali insists that Ferrari will give 120 per cent to try and help Fernando Alonso take a title he 'deserves more than any other driver out on track' after the Spaniard qualified eighth for the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Alonso goes into the race 13 points behind Sebastian Vettel but was unable to match the pace of his Red Bull rival in qualifying and could only secure a starting slot four places behind the German.
A post session penalty for Pastor Maldonado means Alonso will move up a place to seventh on the grid but still leaves the double champion with work to do on race day, given that he has to finish on the podium to stand any chance of taking the crown away from Vettel's grasp.
Rain expected for race day could work in Alonso's favour given that Ferrari has been unable to show front-running pace in the dry, but Domenicali insisted the team would give its all regardless of the conditions to help Alonso to the crown.
"It's definitely not the result we were hoping for this afternoon, but we have seen on so many occasions this season how the outcome of Saturday does not prove conclusive,” he said. “That has been the case throughout the season and if you add to that the uncertainty regarding the weather, with rain due to play a part, then we should be contenders.
“This result more or less reflects our season average so alas, we can't be surprised at the way things went. Now, all we can do is prepare as well as possible for tomorrow, the decisive day of this championship. We know exactly what we have to do: be perfect and ready to make the most of every opportunity.
“We can promise one thing to our fans, many of who are here packing the grandstands; all of us from first to last will give 120 per cent to reach our objectives: maintaining second place in the constructors' classification and above all, getting Fernando to take this drivers' title that he deserves more than any other driver out on track."
Despite Domenicali's vow however, Alonso admitted he faced a massive challenge on race day to become a three-time champion at Vettel's expense.
“My chances of making it to the podium are still intact,” he said. “That will be my objective because I know that, at least under normal circumstances, we are not in with a chance of fighting for the win. I also know that, if I am to have any hopes for the title, it's more plausible to count on a retirement for Vettel rather than for him to finish in a position where I can get ahead of him in the classification. Obviously, I am therefore hoping for a chaotic race and so the rain could be an important factor even if, in the wet, it is riskier for everyone.
“It's almost a miracle to have arrived at the last race still in the fight for the title: under normal circumstances I think we would have said goodbye to our chances back in Monza or Singapore. However, here we are, still in the game and we are definitely not going to surrender today.”
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