It all could be academic at this point. Being 46 points behind title-leader Sebastian Vettel is the task that Ferrari and Fernando Alonso face heading into their home grand prix at Monza this weekend.
With focus on the points and only eight races left, Ferrari need to finish ahead of Vettel if they have any hope of mounting an offensive to get them in the driver’s title hunt. Fernando Alonso told the press Thursday that if the team can’t finish ahead of Vettel in the next two races then the focus really should change to the 2014 car:
“If we cannot finish in front of him and keep losing points we need to start thinking of the 2014 project because it will only be six or seven races remaining with a massive points gap.
“These are two important races for sure.”
As AUTOSPORT’s Mr. Noble rightly points out, the only time Alonso has gained points on Vettel, after winning the Spanish Grand Prix, was when the German experienced a DNF at the British Grand Prix. To Mr. Noble’s point, Alonso doesn’t have a history of finishing ahead of Vettel but they’re hoping Monza could change that.
The Constructor’s Championship is even more of a long shot for Ferrari as Red Bull have comprehensively stamped their name on that trophy for 2013. Nearly 100 point ahead of Ferrari, Red Bull have benefitted from the performance of two capable drivers in the form of Vettel and teammate Mark Webber. Webber’s departure for Le Mans in 2014 leaves very big shoes for recently announced Daniel Ricciardo to fill.
The disparity in team points, which Ferrari care most about, is really down to the lack of performance of the car and the lack of race results from Felipe Massa. Some fans feel that Massa’s days are Ferrari are numbered and perhaps another option such as Nico Hulkenberg may make more sense…especially if you are going to start focusing on the 2014 campaign after Singapore.