Ferrari chief admits Red Bull quicker
By Gordon Howard ,AFP
October 31, 2012, 12:02 am TWN
NEW DELHI -- Ferrari team chief Stefano Domenicali admitted that title-chasing Spaniard Fernando Alonso does not have the fastest car as he urged a concerted push for victory in the season's final three Formula One races.
Speaking after Sebastian Vettel's fourth consecutive win in Sunday's Indian Grand Prix Domenicali said there was no point “crying about Red Bull's car” and that Ferrari had to play to their strengths to close the 13-point gap in the drivers' standings.
“It is clear at the moment that Red Bull has a better car,” said Domenicali. “But what can we say? We cannot cry. We need to work hard. Full stop.
“By saying that they are stronger, we don't have to change the approach we keep in-house. I have said to my team, 'listen, in 1982 at the World Cup of football, our team (Italy) was not the strongest, but we won the title.'
“We have the luxury of having Fernando with us, who is the number one driver, so it is something we will do and fight up until the end.”
Two-time world champion Alonso, bidding to stop Germany's Vettel, 25, becoming the youngest triple champion in the sport's history, has declared he remains “100 percent convinced” that he will win the title.
Asked about the optimism shown by Alonso, who finished second in India, Domenicali said: “I am always optimistic. In life it doesn't change to be negative, it doesn't give you points.
“If you have the right approach with the guys, we can maximize what we have. This is what I have told my people. When you are fighting you have to be brave to use the things you have in the best way you can.
“There are also the others who are fighting, and we have to respect them. But their life will not be easy until the end.”
Domenicali avoided making any claims about the potential of the team's forthcoming upgrades for their car for the final three races. He said all that mattered was what happened on the track.
“If I say something it doesn't change what we can do,” he said.
“What I say to my people is try to do the best and we see if what we can do is enough to make sure we improve the car.”
As he turned his thoughts towards this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the outstanding Vettel made it clear that he had no arrangement or intention to leave Red Bull for Ferrari in the future.
The German said it was important he dispelled rumors because of the potentially destabilizing impact they could have on Red Bull team members.
“If there's — sorry to say — some bullshit in the press, obviously there might be some concerns back in the factory,” he said.
“But I'm 100 percent behind them as I feel they're 100 percent behind me and therefore I want to get this straight. There's nothing to report and I'm very happy at Red Bull Racing.”
Team chief Christian Horner said: “Sebastian has been with Red Bull since he was 12 or 13 years of age. He has achieved all his grand prix victories in Red Bull-designed cars and he is very happy being part of this team.”
Finland's Kimi Raikkonen, third in the title race, also confirmed he was staying loyal to Renault, having agreed to stay on for a second season.