“We have a moral obligation to still believe in the title”
Madonna di Campiglio, 6 August – Fernando Alonso’s day in the Dolomites finished with a visit to the falls at Mezzo di Vallesinella, a jewel tucked away a few kilometres from the area of the Trentino mountain.
From there it was just a short mountain bike dash to the hotel which hosts the journalists and event staff. “The bicycle is one of my great passions and in this two week break, I will not miss the opportunity for some training on two wheels,” said Fernando, who is quite capable of racking up a hundred kilometres a day when his training is reaching its peak. “Now I need to unwind a bit: the same goes for me as for the whole team, because July was really a very stressful month. We will need to have our batteries fully charged, because from Spa onwards, we can expect three months of doing everything in one go, with the last two races in Europe and then the final run, which will take us back and forth from one side of the world to the other.”
Fernando’s target is very simple: “We must try and win as many races as possible. We are realistic and the championship situation is what it is, but we have seen so often that there can be sudden reversals. And after all, we are Ferrari and we have a moral obligation, especially for the millions of fans spread around the world, to always think of the maximum goal. We can’t ever say we will tackle eight races without having the championship in the back of our mind: we will always have an eye on the title, at least until there is no longer the slightest chance. Of course we must start winning and we have to hope that Vettel makes a few mistakes or has some problems.”
Chatting with the journalists, Fernando managed to find a good reason to win every race still to go. “In Spa I have never won in Formula 1 and it would be nice to do that, then comes Monza which is special and I would like to feel again the amazing feeling I got from it last year,” said the Ferrari man. “As for Singapore, I have already won twice and I got on the podium a third time: a magic race for me.
Winning at Suzuka is great because of the nature of the track and I’ve already managed it in Korea, so doing the double would be welcome, just as it would be to write my name on the first line of the winners’ list for the Indian Grand Prix. Abu Dhabi? Well, you all know I would love to cancel out the horrible memories linked to that track… And Brazil is where I won both my world titles!”
The Spaniard did not want to make any promises he might not be able to keep, especially for the fans. “Formula 1 is too complicated a sport to make declarations. It requires everyone to give their all in order to win and the genius of an individual is not enough. If you look at Adrian Newey, it’s not a case of him turning up at Red Bull and at a stroke, creating a winning car with a magic wand. It took years for all the team to reach the level it is at now. It takes great people, structures and, clearly a little pinch of genius. I am convinced we too have that genius.”