Fernando Alonso spent three days in Japan to unwind before arriving only this evening in Korea to kick off the mini-championship over five rounds, which begins this weekend at the Yeongam circuit, near Mokpo. The Spaniard spent three days in the land of the Samurai, recharging his batteries after the disappointment of Suzuka and we caught up with him to hear how he has spent these few days between one race and the next.
“I spent the whole time in Tokyo, a city I like very much,” Fernando told www.ferrari.com. “There is always something new to discover and even though it is a vast metropolis, you can still find a sense of calm thanks to the people who live there. Another thing I like about it is the food: on Tuesday night, Felipe and I had a dinner with some Ferrari owners and we were given the chance to try our hand at preparing sushi under the guidance of some local chefs. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you if it was any good or not, but no one complained, at least not to us!”
Obviously, the subject came up of Fernando’s untimely exit from the Japanese Grand Prix, which wiped out most of his lead over Vettel. “It was very disappointing, but now it’s history and there’s no point brooding over it anymore,” he explained. “As I said before I left the track, now we start again from zero, given that only four points separate me and Vettel and even the others have got a little bit closer. The winner will be the one who scores one point more than the rest. In order to do that, one needs a quick car, not to make any mistakes and with the hope that any further mistakes from others do not cost you dear, as happened to us, first in Spa and then in Suzuka. But for these incidents, the situation would be very different.”
Fernando also spoke about the level of competitiveness demonstrated by the F2012, a particularly hot topic these past few days: “For sure, there are some teams who, in this final part of the season have made a significant step forward, while we have not matched that, especially in terms of how the car behaves on certain types of track. However, it is equally true that, at Monza for example, we had a car that was good enough to take pole, while then at Singapore, we got a bit lost and to a certain extent, we also suffered at Suzuka, even if there, Felipe showed he was pretty competitive in the race: if we weren’t as quick as the Red Bulls, we were at least a match for all the others. Actually, these ups and downs seem to be the norm this season: in Japan, the McLaren seemed less strong than in the previous race while Red Bull stepped up significantly, as indeed did Sauber. A lot’s been said about us, because everyone is always focused on the Red team: here for example, if we try a wing once, then don’t use it, it becomes news, but these things happen regularly in all teams. Now, all we need to do is get back on the right track and I’m sure we can do it.”
Fernando was also keen to stress his confidence in the team’s ability. “I am sure we can be in the fight right down to the wire,” continued the man from Oviedo. “The people who are working on the car are the same who have done the job so far and there’s no reason to think they can’t do a good job again now. Let’s not forget that, if I am still leading the Championship, it’s because we have been capable of improving the car significantly compared to the start of the season and also because we are capable of always getting the most out of what we have to work with. We have not been gifted anything, indeed Spa and Suzuka deprived us of places that were easily within our grasp. It’s not through some sort of divine miracle that we are in this position, it is down to the work of all us, from first to last. Formula 1 is a team sport: you win and you lose together.”