Belfast Telegraph

Formula One: Fernando Alonso demands no mistakes from Ferrari

Fernando Alonso has called on Ferrri to produce a flawless finish to the season in his bid to land a third Formula One world title.

Alonso thrust himself firmly back into championship contention with an emotional Italian Grand Prix triumph yesterday which he hailed as "a real miracle".

The scenes that followed his success merely underlined the passion of the tifosi (Ferrari fans) as they deluged the pit straight.

Even Alonso, after the 24th win of his career that moves him up to eighth in F1's all-time list level with five-times champion Juan Manuel Fangio, was left amazed.

"Being on the podium was an incredible feeling. What a sea of people, so many flags," said Alonso.

"I was stunned by the emotion from the fans, right from the first moment they got here on Thursday, so I dedicate this victory to them and to the passion that characterises all Ferrari fans.

"Winning at Monza at the wheel of a Ferrari is something special, which can only stand comparison to when I won in front of my home crowd in Barcelona in 2006.

"But today it was the mechanics who won the race as they produced a real miracle. The whole team was fantastic, as was the car.

"Now we have to stay focused and do our best. We cannot allow ourselves the slightest mistake because we are still behind.

"But we have definitely taken a good step forward."

With five races remaining, the 29-year-old Spaniard is 21 points behind leader Mark Webber, who finished sixth after leapfrogging Lewis Hamilton in the standings due to the McLaren star crashing out on lap one.

In the most hotly-contested title battle since 1981, five drivers are in the running for motor sport's greatest prize, with the quintet separated by 24 points overall.

Assessing the title scrap, Alonso added: "Any good result gives you extra confidence and motivation for the whole team to keep working hard and to try not to give up at any point in the championship.

"But we know that one race, good or bad, can change the positions in the championship a lot with the new points system, so we need to remain calm.

"This was a good weekend for us, whereas in Spa (Belgian Grand Prix) it was a bad weekend.

"So we also need to try to find some consistency in the last five races, and we need to be fighting for the podium. That will be the key.

"First we need to enjoy this victory, enjoy the next two days, and then later on it will be time to think about the championship."

Alonso was joined on the podium by McLaren's Jenson Button, who is 22 points behind Webber, and Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa, with Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel fourth.

Belfast Telegraph


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