I have nothing to lose, says Alonso
SAO PAULO (AFP) –
Fernando Alonso insists he has nothing to lose in this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix title showdown in which he seeks to wreck defending champion Sebastian Vettel’s bid for a third title and take the crown himself for a third time.
The 31-year-old Spaniard trails the 25-year-old German Red Bull driver by 13 points ahead of the Interlagos race, but he remains hopeful that he can deliver an unexpected triumph.
“It would be good to be on the podium to score a minimum of 15 points and when we cross the line we will see where Seb is and we will try and do the numbers after that,” said the Ferrari driver.
“The first priority is to be on the podium, which gives us a possibility to score more than 13 points and then we need to wait for the result from Red Bull.
“It is not in our hands, we have not much to lose — the only possibility is to win something. If he wins, fine. We try again next year.
“There is always pressure but we have less than other occasions and less than leading the championship. We have nothing to lose.
“We are arriving in second position and have been qualifying seventh in the last few grands prix so to recover 13 points is quite difficult. If something normal happens we finish second.
“If something special happens then we win. It is not in our hands really so the pressure is much less.”
The Ferrari driver conceded his car is unlikely to be closer to the Red Bulls in Brazil than he was in America last weekend.
“There is no magic that you can put in the car in five days. We were seventh in Abu Dhabi (qualifying), ninth in Austin, so those positions should be normal but hopefully we can do a better job.”
Alonso, fighting Vettel to become the youngest triple champion in history, is convinced he will have more chances to fight for the title.
“I hope so. I am 31 and I still feel I will have some more possibilities. I am at Ferrari for the next four to five years minimum, so that always gives you the possibility to fight for championships.
“In three years at Ferrari, twice I have arrived in the last race fighting for the championship.
“We were never dominant, but even with problems we were fighting two times, so I am sure in next four or five years there will be other opportunities.”
He added that he was proud of his Ferrari team’s decision to incur a deliberate penalty for team-mate Felipe Massa during the United States Grand Prix.
The Italian squad decided to break a seal in the gearbox of Massa’s car at Austin in order for the Brazilian to get a five-place grid penalty that moved Alonso up to seventh and, more importantly, to the clean side of the track.
Alonso backed that decision which allowed him to jump from seventh to fourth by the first corner.
“I am proud of my team for the strategy decision to start on the clean side with both cars,” said Alonso. “It worked quite well and perhaps because it worked well maybe that is why (rivals) are not happy.
“I am proud of my team because they told the truth. Not every team has told the truth when they have made strategic decisions.”
He added that he felt the reactions from rival teams to be ‘funny’.
“Funny. I think we have seen so many things coming from the teams, not only this year, but also in the past in F1,” he said.
“We don’t need to go too far with some of the races where we had some doubts, even on Saturday night, about which teams and which position they start depending on some decisions. We saw this many times for many teams.”
Vettel, fighting for his third title with Alonso, said he was not bothered by Ferrari’s pragmatism in Texas.
“What they do is not in our hands. I didn’t follow up whether Felipe had real trouble with the gearbox or not, but it is not our job to focus on these things,” he said.
“It is a different approach compared to our team. That is how life is, everyone handles certain situation in a different way.”