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Abu GP - Race weekend recap - Alonso

Ferrari and Fernando Alonso came to the desert hoping that an improved performance in qualifying would put Alonso in with a chance of winning this Grand Prix.

But it was fairly evident from early on during Friday's practice sessions that the Ferrari's would remain off the pace of both the McLaren's and more critically the Red Bull's.

Alonso and Massa both struggling in the final session of qualifying with Massa taking ninth and Alonso seventh almost a second slower than pole sitter Lewis Hamilton.

ďIn all three free practice sessions, we were always around this position, so it would have been too optimistic to hope for more in Q3: a place between fifth and eighth was within our expectations going into the session and thatís where we are. I did almost the same time on three occasions between Q2 and Q3, which means there was nothing more to come. I am pleased with the work we have done today, because we squeezed every last drop of performance out of the car. The updates we brought here have improved our performance but the others have not been relaxing on the sofa watching television while twiddling their thumbs...Usually, Saturday is the day we suffer the most, while on Sunday things always go better: letís hope that will also be the case this time. Itís also true that with so little tyre degradation, the strategic choices are much more limited and so too the opportunities to make up places. We know that in the three remaining races, we must score fourteen points more than Vettel and that is our one and only objective.Ē the Spaniard told on Saturday evening.

That objective appeared to take a significant boost later on on Saturday evening with Vettel's disqualified from qualifying due to a fuel infringement.

Alonso started the race knowing that this would be his best opportunity to close the gap on the title leader.

His start was excellent, getting past the McLaren of Jenson Button before completing a crucial pass on the Red Bull of Mark Webber before the end of the first lap.

Following the pit stop phase, Alonso had also got past the Williams of Pastor Maldonado who had enjoyed a good first stint and then the retirement of McLaren's Lewis Hamilton bumped Alonso up to an unexpected second place.

He briefly threatened to challenge the Lotus of Kimi Raikonnen for the race lead, but in the end Alonso settled for the 18 points on offer from finishing second.

The Spaniard had successfully eaten into the lead of Vettel, but with Red Bull driver surprisingly joining him on the podium, Alonso could have been forgiven for wishing for a bit more this weekend.

ďIím happy with the way this weekend turned out. Itís true that with Sebastian last, there was an opportunity to reduce the gap more significantly but itís equally true that our performance and our grid position could have seen us lose points in this Grand Prix. I repeat, they have the quicker car, we have the better team. Everyone fights with the weapons they have at their disposal: we will not manage to turn our car into the quickest of the pack with a wave of a magic wand, but we will counter their performance with the perfection of our team.

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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday November 6 2012

Time: 12:00PM


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