As the only Spaniard on the grid, naturally enough Fernando Alonso was called to attend today’s FIA press conference. The Ferrari man was keen to scotch any suggestions that a repeat of his Chinese podium three weeks ago could be on the cards. “I would be lying if I said I could aim for a podium this weekend,” said the man from Oviedo. “The result in China was a boost for the team, but it came about because of a set of circumstances: I was lucky not to damage my car in the accident after the start, the two Red Bulls got a bit delayed, my pit stops were quick, so many factors put me on the podium. We need very special weekends to do it again and a podium here would be unbelievable,” added the man, who unbelievably won here last year!
As to circumstances that could work in the Scuderia’s favour, Fernando reckoned the Catalunya track could play its part. “Here, we will have to wait and see if the characteristics of the track can help us a little bit,” he explained. “Because there are not many straights, just the main one past the pits.” The Ferrari man also played down the importance of updates introduced on the F14 T for this race. “There are some new parts, but nothing special,” he maintained. “We are realistic and we will improve step by step and not give up. There is a big gap to Mercedes, but the championship has a long way to go. We must use all the potential within Ferrari to do everything we can to close the gap and become more competitive. It will be a slow recovery and so when we have improved we must hope it is not too late by then to fight for the championship.” Alonso believes his home track will provide a useful assessment of the team’s situation. “It’s a good place to check how competitive we are and it will give us some answers. Then we go to Monaco and Canada, two completely different tracks, so I believe this point of the championship will tell us many things.”
On the other hand while speaking to Kimi Raikkonen, he stated, “We have had a difficult start to the season, so we need to get things on track and fix that situation. It’s not an easy task, but I’m sure we can do much better. In China there were a lot of small things that influenced the final result and we would have understood the problems sooner if I had managed to take part in first practice. That made the rest of the weekend difficult. But we know what happened. So far, this year has not been very straightforward but I am hopeful we can turn it round. I am sure we will get there, the question is when. Hopefully soon.”
With Mercedes having won all four races so far, a common question the length of the paddock today was, are they uncatchable in the title race. The Ferrari man isn’t sure. “We have been working hard and we have improved the car at every race and even a small thing can make a big difference to something like the handling for example,” said Kimi. “We have a much better understanding of our car now, but the others are still pushing to improve too. Hopefully at some races soon we will be able to fight with them.”
Source : CarDekho