SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, BELGIUM: Fernando Alonso and his Ferrari team remain defiant in their belief that they can overcome a 41-points deficit and still win this year’s drivers’ world championship despite a catastrophic Belgian Grand Prix.
The two-time former champion, in his first season with Ferrari, crashed out of Sunday’s race on lap 38 to go home pointless, yet he still believes he and his team can dominate the final six races this year and take the title.
“Anything can happen and I believe that for us, it is still a real possibility,” said Alonso. “There are the same five drivers that can win and our chance is still fifty fifty, just as it was before the race.”
Alonso’s hopes for a title were bolstered as his team indicated that they will continue to use their F-duct system - which allows air flow through the car to enhance the performance of the rear wing - at their home Italian Grand Prix at Monza on September 12.
Hamilton on cloud nine
And despite having much to celebrate after cruising to the top of the drivers’ standings, McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton still believes that the title fight is open to the top five.
The Belgian GP began with only a 20-point difference between Hamilton, Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button and Alonso. But after the latter three drivers failed to score points in Spa, there is now a difference of more than 40 points separating the top five.
“You’ve seen in the last few races how quickly things can change,” Hamilton told The Guardian. “We still have a long way to go and there are still many points to be grabbed by any of the drivers who are fighting for the title.”
Vettel slammed for Spa
McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh was highly critical of Vettel, when the German lost control of his Red Bull and took out Button while attempting an overtaking move. After the race Whitmarsh admitted he thought Vettel deserved a more severe punishment rather than a drive-through penalty.
“Sebastian makes a habit of colliding with other drivers. Jenson was in a strong position and it hasn’t only damaged his world championship chances but it’s also bad for our team. A mistake like that is something you usually only see in junior formulas, not in Formula One,” said Whitmarsh.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2010.
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