By Editor on Thursday, January 17, 2013
Alonso joined Ferrari at the start of 2010 and has been in the running for the title at the final round of two seasons – only to lose out to Sebastian Vettel twice.
“I don’t think there is necessarily an obligation to win,” Alonso told the media at Ferrari’s annual Wrooom event.
“Sport means sacrifice, work, enjoyment of what one does and for the past three years, I’ve been fortunate to be in the fight for important targets. There are 24 drivers in Formula 1 and few of them can say they have won races and usually finished on the podium. Since I’ve been at Ferrari, two out of three times I have come very close to being world champion, which is the target for me and for a team like ours and I hope I can now make that three times out of four.”
Alonso believes that starting 2013 with a stronger car than in 2012 will be vitally important.
“It was actually in the early races that we lost decisive points, when we had a car that was only good enough for seventh, as was the case in China or ninth in Bahrain. The fact we are working with just one wind tunnel, the Toyota one in Cologne, could be a small advantage.”
Alonso is also expecting a stronger challenge from team mate Felipe Massa, who bounced back from a difficult couple of seasons.
“I have always said that Felipe was one of the best drivers around and I still remember that some people smiled when I said this last year.”
“He and I have always helped one another, day by day and I expect him to always be very close to me in terms of performance: what was not not normal was the difference between us over the past two years, but now I don’t think that will be the case. That will be a very positive factor for me and especially for the team”.
The arrival of Pedro de La Rosa as a development driver is also a boost to Ferrari, according to Alonso.
“When there are new arrivals in high level teams, it is always important,” he said. “Pedro will work mainly on the simulator, an area where we were not at the same level as the best and his experience will be useful. Having said that, it’s not the case that a new driver can change things or can do it in the simulator: there are and there will be further and more significant new arrivals that can make the team grow.”