Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso believes in being optimistic in their chances for a world championship title in 2013 telling the press:
“Last year we were 1.5 seconds behind the top cars,” Alonso reflected during the Drivers’ Press Conference ahead of this weekend’s Spanish GP.
“This year we have finished two races without problems and we were second in Australia and won in China. It’s a very different feeling – and very different package which brings us optimism and confidence.
“It’s true we are some points behind, but the championship is long and we have seen last year that Sebastian was 43 points behind us after the summer break and arrived with the lead in Austin. In five or six races you can recover 50 points with some consistent results.
“Until we are 75 or 80 points behind, we should be optimistic.”
It is an optimistic position but then why shouldn’t it be? They’ve unboxed a car that has been more competitive from the first race than they did in 2012 but have they fielded a better total package to take advantage of that car?
In 2012, the car was complicated, according to Alonso, yet he consistently positioned his Ferrari in finishing positions that it quite honestly didn’t deserve on pure comparative performance with the Red Bull or McLaren. It was sheer driving ability and good teamwork that held Ferrari title challenge to the final race of the season.
The 2013 season has been the opposite with team miscues that have cost them serious points finishes. An errant wing in Malaysia and later suffered from a defective DRS wing that would not close. The team pitted to push the wing back in place but then tried it again forcing an additional stop costing them a podium finish. At this time last year, Alonso was only 10 points adrift of leader Sebastian Vettel but in 2013, he faces a 43 point deficit and that’s not easy to claw back.