Perhaps sensing that this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix could prove to be the crucial tipping point in the 2012 F1 drivers title battle, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has moved to rally his team following a disappointing outing at Suzuka for championship leader Fernando Alonso.

"It's at times like these that I want to see the Ferrari I know," said di Montezemolo as he tried to inspire the team heading into next weekend's Korean GP. "A team that is focused and that holds its nerve.

"We are perfectly aware that this championship is still in our hands," he insisted. "In sport, as in life, the wheel turns and we must not forget that: recently, it has not done so in a positive way for us, but it does not take much for it to change direction."

Di Montezemolo was particularly aiming to motivate Fernando Alonso, who understandably left Suzuka the most disappointed and frustrated man of all after the run of luck well and truly turned against him in Japan.

"I will speak to Fernando by phone soon to give him even more motivation with which to tackle these last five races, with the bit between his teeth," said the Ferrari president. "Understandably, Fernando was rather frustrated when he left the circuit, but he is also well aware that he can count on a team that is totally focused on the task of giving him and his team-mate the best car possible.

"And Ferrari knows it can count on the best driver possible," he added.

In his rallying cry to the team, di Montezemolo pointed out that the events at Suzuka had turned on very small details and that it could all easily have had a dramatically different outcome in their favour if those decisive minor points had gone in the other direction.

"It's only mistakes from others at Spa and again at Suzuka, that have prevented him from having a more comfortable lead over his rivals," said di Montezemolo, implicitly exonerating Alonso from any blame for Sunday's retirement after he made contact with Kimi Raikkonen on the first lap.

"But for those two collisions, today Fernando would have had at least 30pts more - and that's a conservative estimate," he continued. "One must not forget that, the previous day, fate had dealt him another cruel blow in the shape of the yellow flags [at the end of Q3 in qualifying], which robbed him of a spot on the second row which had been easily within his grasp."

But di Montezemolo also made it plain that the campaign didn't rest solely on Alonso's shoulders, and that if Ferrari were to succeed in clinching the title then it was all hands on deck for the remaining five Grand Prix events of the season.

"I expect a huge effort from our engineers who have already shown they are capable of that," he said. "I expect all the team to do."

And he took heart from Felipe Massa's strong run to second place behind Vettel as proof that the team should not be throwing in the towel just yet.

"It's true that, out in front, Vettel was uncatchable," he said. "But given the pace of the only F2012 in the race, what could a driver like Fernando have done?"



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