With one race to go in the Formula 1 season and 13 points separating Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, the Spanish driver is calm ahead of the showdown race at Interlagos this weekend. It won’t be easy for Alonso to claim his third world championship, and his first in a Ferrari: he has to at least make the podium to stand any chance of overhauling Vettel, whose Red Bull has come under scrutiny after an alternator failure last weekend in Austin caused the German’s teammate, Mark Webber, to retire.
“It is just a worry, full stop,” said Red Bull team director Christian Horner. “Unfortunately it is the third alternator failure that we have had.”
Alonso on Thursday played down any optimism at Ferrari ahead of Friday’s first practice session. “In Formula 1 there is always pressure but we have less now than if we were leading the championship,” the Spaniard said. “We’ve got nothing to lose. After five or six races dominated by Red Bull, recovering 13 points is very difficult. But it’s out of our hands and so the pressure is less. We can’t perform magic. I was seventh [on the grid] in Abu Dhabi and ninth in Austin and it would be logical that I’ll finish around those positions again, although we hope we can do a bit better than that.”
Of his much-maligned car, Alonso noted: “At the beginning of the season we didn’t understand how the car worked. After getting to know it better we were able to fight for the podium and that has allowed us to stay in the race until the end.”