x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Fernando Alonso seeks better car from Ferrari

Spaniard is not surprised by results of the Indian Grand Prix and 2013 season.

Fernando Alonso has finished runner-up to Sebastian Vettel in three of the German’s four world championships so far. Paul Gilham / Getty Images
Fernando Alonso has finished runner-up to Sebastian Vettel in three of the German’s four world championships so far. Paul Gilham / Getty Images

NOIDA, India // Fernando Alonso issued a rallying cry to Ferrari to produce a much better car next season after seeing his faint Formula One title hopes finally extinguished by Sebastian Vettel in Sunday’s Indian Grand Prix.

Alonso needed to win the race at the Buddh International Circuit and hope Vettel finished lower than fifth to keep the points fight alive heading to Abu Dhabi next Sunday, but a scrappy first lap ended the Spaniard’s hopes as Vettel cantered to victory in his Red Bull Racing car – his sixth in a row and 10th of what has turned into a one-sided season.

Alonso, the last man who could have denied Vettel a fourth world title, conceded that the championship was destined to go to the German several races ago and felt no strong emotions after finally having it confirmed.

“It’s not a surprise,” he said. “We knew that Sebastian was becoming champion three or four races ago. It was something you just put inside and the day arrived today. It’s no surprise.

“This is a sport. Someone did better than us this year. This was Sebastian and Red Bull, and next year we will try to do better and keep fighting until the end.

“Today is a day to congratulate him and for him to enjoy the championship. It’s a day for us to start working even harder because we have a very strong challenge in front of us.”

Alonso has finished as runner-up to Vettel in three of the German’s four championships, and he said it was clear the Italian team had to raise their game.

“They [Red Bull] have been very strong, dominating F1 for the last four years, so we need to do something better, because it’s clear that it’s not enough,” he said.

“We will start immediately and next year we want to win. We have to work.”

Alonso needed to be in the top two and hope for bad luck for Vettel in India, but those hopes were erased when he broke his front wing after clipping the back of Mark Webber’s Red Bull.

“After the contact with Webber, the race for sure was uphill for us,” Alonso said.

“It was more difficult with one extra stop and we didn’t have the time or the pace to recover the positions. The steering was very heavy to the right and light to the left.

“It was a little bit sad that we lost important points, but there was nothing we could do today.”

While teammate Felipe Massa finished fourth, the result saw Ferrari drop to third in the constructors’ championship behind Mercedes-GP with three races remaining.

sports@thenational.ae