Belfast Telegraph

Ferrari promise 'aggressive approach' in bid to land Fernando Alonso the F1 title

By Ian Parkes

Ferrari have promised “an aggressive approach” in their bid to help Fernando Alonso land the Formula One world title over the next five weeks.

The Maranello marque have conceded to being badly let down by wind tunnel data going into the previous two races in Japan and Korea.

Alonso could do nothing about being taken out at the first corner of the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka, but found himself second best to Red Bull in Korea, finishing third behind a one-two for that team, spearheaded by Sebastian Vettel.

After collecting just 45 points from the last five races since the summer break, Alonso's advantage has been wiped out by Vettel who now leads by six points going into Sunday's Indian Grand Prix.

So long the favourite to land a third championship, Alonso now finds himself the hunter, and hoping Ferrari's aerodynamic data does not continue to prove their undoing.

"There was a period when our development was better than that of our rivals, which allowed us to make up for a poor start to the season and we can take satisfaction from that," said chief designer Nikolas Tombazis,

"However, in the last few races, our progress has not matched our expectations and various components which we expected would make our car more competitive did not do so.

"As a result, we are lagging behind our competitors. This doesn't mean we did not move forward on development, but we had been expecting something more.

"One element that slowed our progress was the difficulty we encountered in the correlation with data from the wind tunnel and that from the track.

"We had some unpleasant surprises from some of the updates we brought to the last couple of races, so immediately we wanted to fix that and understand where it had gone wrong.

"Therefore we have had an aero test prior to heading off to India, where we ran control tests on these updates to really understand what the problem was.

"We got some very interesting answers which we believe will allow us to recover from those problems, so our aim now will be to make up the ground we have lost."

One factor assisting Ferrari is that the regulations for next season are almost identical to this, meaning the team can focus on an end-of-campaign push without compromising their work on the car for 2013.

"As we are still in the fight for the championship, we therefore have to continue with the development of the car," added Tombazis.

"And because we don't currently enjoy an advantage, either in terms of performance or as far as the points situation is concerned, we cannot defend.

"We must attack and adopt an aggressive approach to car development for these four races, bringing updates to every one of them to close the gap and fight for the wins and hopefully bring home the titles."

Ferrari's wind tunnel difficulties will see them close the facility for several months as they make it state of the art, using an external model during this period.

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