BARCELONA, Spain, Feb 28, 2013 (F1plus) – There seems to be no doubt on Fernando Alonso mind that this year will start in a better way for Ferrari than in 2012 when the F150 was clearly off the pace.
Apparently the winter has done very good at Ferrari, or to be fair, the team has worked hard and well to up its game and be more competitive from the get go, even if that means being “still” a bit behind.
In terms of performance, the F138 seems to be far quicker than it predecessor the F150, and this could translate in having Alonso fighting for the championship with a different asset than in 2012.
Last year and with an inferior car to Red Bull’s RB8, the Spaniard was able to go head-to-head with Vettel until the very last race to then loose the crown for a mere point margin of three.
However, this year the team is ending its pre-season testing with a different feeling and looking forward to reach Australian soil.
"I didn't see any reasons to not think so because last year it was a very difficult winter, we were completely lost, we had some races with the exhaust I remember ... and we didn't know what the car was doing. We didn't understand what was going on in the wind tunnel and on the track, and with that car we fought for the world championship until Brazil.
"So we have now a car that is responding well to what we change on the car. We have a car that is doing what we expected the car to do. We know that maybe we are not the quickest still, but the starting point and the potential of this car is there. We can touch it now. Last year it was a dream to make that car work. This year to make this car work it will be much more easy, that's for sure." Said Alonso.
The objective for 2013 was to reduce that performance gap with the top teams, and since there were no major changes on regulations, the path was clearer. In its effort, Ferrari has tried many updates and different settings on the already competitive F138, and it promises more will come.
"In the last test last year we more or less knew that we were around two seconds behind the leaders. We hope that we have reduced that gap and we will arrive in Australia in better shape than Brazil, which means 200 times better than last year in Australia," Alonso said.
The Spaniard praises the F138 and its chances to guide him to a third Formula 1 crown. As a consequence, the team confidence level is running high.
"We have a car that is doing what we expected the car to do. We know that maybe we are not the quickest still, but the starting point and the potential of this car is there. We can touch it now.
"Probably the confidence that we have now is much more than we had last year at this time.
"Yes, I think so," he said when asked if he felt he could fight for this year's crown. "I don't see any reasons not to think so.” Alonso added in reference to his championship chances.