Ferrari Confident It Can Get on Track After ‘Worst Race of Season’
Barcelona. Ferrari still expects to turn around its Formula One season despite a poor performance at the Spanish Grand Prix, where leading driver Fernando Alonso was lapped by race winner Sebastian Vettel.
Alonso finished fifth and teammate Felipe Massa retired after sliding off the track while trying just to finish in the points.
The Spanish driver, who is fifth overall and trails Formula One leader Vettel by 67 points, says “there’s still time” to recover, starting with the Monaco GP on Sunday.
“We’ve seen before the championship can change in a matter of races so you have to maintain hope,” the two-time world champion said on Sunday.
Alonso said the European GP on Valencia’s street circuit in June would be the time to evaluate the team’s championship hopes. He also said he was confident next Sunday’s street race in Monaco would give him the chance to rebound from a disappointing performance in Spain.
“We suffered from a real lack of downforce,” Alonso said. “But the gap to Red Bull is more or less the same as it was last year going into Monaco and we were competitive there, so maybe we can be again.
“Let’s see what happens because there is still time — the championship can change in a matter of races, just as we saw last year.”
Despite describing Sunday’s effort as the “worst race of the season,” team boss Stefano Domenicali said the championship remained a possibility with at least 14 races to go.
“Of course it’s a shame,” Domenicali said. “There is no denying that being lapped hurts.
“It’s even more painful after seeing a driver of Fernando’s caliber putting on such a breathtaking display at the start and then fighting like a lion to keep drivers with clearly faster cars behind him for almost 20 laps.”
Alonso’s brave start took him into the lead from fourth place by the first corner, but he could only hold the Red Bulls up before they took over following the second round of stops after 18 laps.
“I tried to do the maximum, keeping the quickest ones behind me for around 20 laps, but after that there was nothing I could do,” he said.
Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were on the podium to confirm McLaren as the closest team to Red Bull.
Alonso’s third-place finish in Turkey is the team’s sole podium of the season.