Alonso puts on a brave face


Despite the negativity surrounding Ferrari, Fernando Alonso believes the Italian team can still fight for the championship.

Perhaps it was the pre-season open letter to the Tifosi from company president Luca di Montezemolo, in which admitted that his team faced a "difficult championship" whilst also calling on the FIA to address and be vigilant in terms of "grey areas" of the regulations (Flowgate?); or maybe it was the 'we have much work to do' admissions from Stefano Domenicali, James Allison and Pat Fry post-Melbourne, either way, it is clear that Ferrari is not on the cusp of a major revival.

Speaking ahead of this weekend's Malaysia Grand Prix, Alonso attempted to put on a brave face for those fans fearing that following the glory days of Todt, Brawn, Schumacher and Byrne, the inevitable return to the F1 wilderness continues.

"I believe we can fight for the championship," said the Spaniard. "We have more potential than we showed in Australia. We need to put everything in place and then we will have a better weekend. The team has the facilities and the talent to do a very good job. We can be strong and we will do better, I'm sure.

"It's not been a perfect start," he admitted. "It seems like a repetition of the last couple of years, but these are different rules and a different rate of development applies. Our hopes are perfectly intact."

Asked about the new Formula, a topic which continues to dominate the headlines, he said: "I think we need to give more time to see how the races are and how the show is and how the people react to this new Formula 1.

"There was a lot of talk before the Australian race about how exciting this new Formula 1 would be and how many cars will finish, maybe zero!" he continued. "When fifteen cars finish and there are not many problems and not many overtakings, that was not what the fans expected.

"In our case, we need to see how the next races go in terms of our own performance to learn how we can quickly develop the car to be in better shape. In Australia we were not happy with the performance we showed and we need to improve as quickly as possible."

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Chris Balfe

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Published: 27/03/2014
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