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Pre-Monza analysis - Alonso under pressure 10 Sep 2010

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Italian Grand Prix, Preparations, Monza, Italy, Thursday, 9 September 2010 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F10.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Belgian Grand Prix, Race, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 29 August 2010 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Italian Grand Prix, Preparations, Monza, Italy, Thursday, 9 September 2010 Ferrari F10 F-Duct detail.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, German Grand Prix, Practice Day, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday, 23 July 2010 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F10. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 28 August 2010

Fernando Alonso comes to Monza under the greatest pressure to deliver a strong result to keep Ferrari in the hunt for the world championship. And yesterday he admitted here that this race, and the next in Singapore, will have a crucial effect on his and the Scuderia’s chances.

"Before Spa we were all in a very small difference, small gap and after one race the gap has increased," he said. "But things change very quickly race-by-race, and this year with the new points system it can change very quickly. Our aim is to do six races at top level, best level we can, and then we will see.

"Obviously the less races there are until the end of the championship, the more problems you have if you have a bad weekend. This weekend is maybe not the last, but one of our last chances will come here or Singapore to recover some good points.”

Ferrari indicated before coming here that if they fail to score well they may well switch their focus from developing the F10 any further and move to working exclusively on next year’s car.

"There are still six races to go and I am still confident that if you are on podium in all six and win some of them it is possible to be a contender in the last race,” Alonso continued. "We are still more or less calm of our chances, but knowing that Monza is an important race, and Singapore is. Another DNF or another problem is probably a last chance or a bye bye to the championship."

He said that he is confident that Ferrari have identified why the car was less competitive than expected at Spa, after looking much better since Canada. "We should be competitive here," he said. "Spa didn't get us what we expected, and the performance we had there was not as good as we wanted. We made some changes and some analysis of what happened and I think we understand some of the problems, and here we arrive with a better package that suits Monza."

There seems to be a consensus that F-ducts can still be helpful here, since they should enable cars to reach around 339km/h on Monza’s long straights, whereas with the sort of rear wings they would have to run to get away with super-low drag packages, and speed exceeding 340km/h, the trade-off would be much less beneficial in terms of downforce lost in cornering.

Alonso said Ferrari have become increasingly aggressive in their development. “I think we’ve been aggressive more or less every race in the last part of the championship. Halfway through the season we’ve been attacking the races and trying to be on the podium with a more aggressive approach, and here will be the same.”

But he denied that he would regard not winning the title as failure in his first season with the Prancing Horse. “Ah, no. For sure, every championship you start or every first race you arrive to a new season you want to become champion at the end and if you cannot arrive to that goal, for sure it’s a disappointment for yourself and for the team because you’ve been preparing the championship towards the victory at the end. But I think the word failure or disaster or those sort of things are a little bit too extreme. We are in a very competitive sport, we know our opponents are very strong as well, very competitive, and the champion at the end is the one that deserves it most. If we are not champions, it’s because we didn’t do enough to do it, so let’s wait and see what happens. But this first season at Ferrari, so far, has been incredible, it has been the best of my life and I’m enjoying… I’m a super-happy man, so we will see what happens in the end.”

David Tremayne

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