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Pre-Monaco analysis - Alonso calls Ferrari to order 26 May 2011

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 20 May 2011 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari 150 Italia.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 22 May 2011 Pat Fry (GBR) Ferrari.
Formula One Testing, Day 2, Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, 9 March 2011 Ferrari practice pit stops.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6,  Monaco Grand Prix, Preparations, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Wednesday, 25 May 2011 (L to R): Stefano Domenicali (ITA) Ferrari General Director with Aldo Costa (ITA) Ferrari Technical Director.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Preparations, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, 4 November 2010 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari 150 Italia on the grid. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 22 May 2011 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari 150 Italia. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, 21 May 2011

Hard on the heels of the news that former McLaren and Benetton engineer Pat Fry has taken over Aldo Costa’s responsibility for chassis development, Fernando Alonso has put Ferrari on notice that they must get their act together quickly if they are to stand any chance of catching and challenging Red Bull and McLaren for the 2011 world championship.

"We need a quicker car immediately to fight for the championship,” he said here yesterday. “Next year we need to start with a better performance because in 2010 and this year we seemed to lose too many points at the beginning of the season."

But he added: “However, one of the most important things is that we only did five races. No one can say bye-bye to the championship after race five. We need to be confident that we can improve the situation, that we can get good results.

"I remain optimistic that we can turn it around, but it is true also that we need immediately to have a competitive car. At the moment we are struggling too much to be a title contender. We are fighting for fifth and sixth positions, and like this it is impossible to fight. There is plenty of time but we need a better car in the coming races."

Discussing the decision to replace Costa as technical director, a position the Italian held since Rory Byrne’s departure four years ago, Alonso said he was completely happy with the changes that team principal Stefano Domenicali had worked out in consultation with president Luca di Montezemolo once the team had learned that, despite the appearances in pre-season testing, they were not competitive with pacesetters Red Bull.

"We trust what the team does and we have full confidence in Stefano's decisions, and what is best for Ferrari,” Alonso confirmed. “The only thing I can say is that I feel a very positive atmosphere today, between the track people, and it is a step forward for the team. All the decisions we make are in the best interests of the team and I am sure this is another one. I have full confidence in this decision and full confidence in the future.

"We saw the difficult start to the season, we saw the difficult performance from the car, and we need a reaction, we need something to make some direction change, and this was maybe the best thing and hopefully in the future we can be more competitive."

This time last year the Spaniard made a rare but major mistake going into Massenet corner at the top of the hill, leading into Casino Square, severely damaging his Ferrari and his chances in the race. Now, following Ferrari’s ultimately disappointing showing in Spain after he had driven out of his skin on his qualifying lap, and again when he snatched the lead for the first 19 laps, he is determined to make amends and believes that victory is possible here this time out.

"Monaco is so different compared to any other circuit that we always see some surprises here. I remember the Williams being very quick always here, in 2004, 2005 and 2006, and even in 2008 when I think Nico (Rosberg) did a very good race here, so I am confident. In Spain we were not very competitive but this is a completely different track so we will try to do our best here. Maybe aerodynamics are less important on this circuit, so hopefully we can have a good weekend and score many points."

Ferrari certainly need a big boost right now.

David Tremayne

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