(Ferrari) Ferrari are up there playing for the two Formula 1 world championships, as has been the case almost permanently since 1997. There are ten days left to prepare in the minutest detail for the season’s last pair of grands prix, first at Austin for the race that marks Formula 1’s return to the United States, then at Sao Paulo in Brazil.
The Abu Dhabi weekend finished with a positive final balance in terms of the numbers: Fernando Alonso has reduced the gap at the top of the drivers’ championship and the Scuderia has kept the constructors’ championship open while increasing the gap over third-placed McLaren.
It was also a weekend of very unusual events and situations, as President Luca di Montezemolo underlined in a statement for Ferrari official website following a long meeting with Stefano Domenicali and the Scuderia’s top engineers.
“The weekend was hard to read,” said Montezemolo.
“That began with Saturday evening when I watched a situation that was not entirely clear. As far as Ferrari is concerned I want to understand why the new parts that we brought to the track only partially improved the performance of the F2012, which wasn’t enough to allow Alonso to fight for the very front positions on the grid – despite the contrasting expectations of our engineers.”
“Yesterday Fernando nonetheless produced his umpteenth great race of the season, in which he again gave 120% and he managed to fight for victory right to the end. But it’s clear that we have to do more for the coming races. That is what I requested today of Domenicali and his team: we have 10 crucial days ahead, during which we must do everything to arrive in Texas with a car that can fight for the victory. Words count for nothing: this must be our target.”
“ Montezemolo then returned to how yesterday evening’s race went: “To start sixth and finish second, despite only benefiting from one retirement from another car, clearly shows the pedigree of Fernando’s race yet again. Of course, yesterday morning we were all hoping to gain back a few more points in the championship given Vettel’s starting position. Instead he produced a fine race too, even if the two safety car periods certainly didn’t help us…”
“Nonetheless I remain confident because everything is possible,” concluded Montezemolo. “It depends on us: yet again in these last 15 years we are involved in the title battle right up to the end and we have seen how much more difficult situations in the championship standings have been overturned. It’s up to us not to leave any stone unturned: I am certain that the will to win drives the men and women who work for Ferrari and that everyone will work with absolute determination, giving the same 120% that Fernando keeps on giving.”
“We want to win the World Championship – just as we have done this year in many Gran Turismo title fights thanks to the mighty 458 Italia, beating the most important constructors: I believe in us more than anyone.”
The first Sunday in November was indeed full of success for the Prancing Horse in the GT competitions. In Barcelona the 458 GT added to its extraordinary roll of honour with successes in the International GT Open, in both the GT and the GTS categories for Constructors, Teams and Drivers. Gianmaria Bruni and Federico Leo with the AF Corse team in GT and Daniel Zampieri and Michael Dalle Stelle with Kessel Racing in GTS all produced truly outstanding seasons that allowed Ferrari to prevail over constructors of the calibre of Porsche, Mercedes and McLaren.