Alonso remains on title course

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Brazil, Autódromo José Carlos Pace, Interlagosbr

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro takes away fifteen points from the Brazilian Grand Prix, thanks to a third place for Fernando Alonso, while Felipe Massa finished fifteenth. Thanks to this result, Fernando continues to lead the Drivers’ championship, while the Constructors’ title is now out of reach for the Scuderia.

Stefano Domenicali: “First of all, I want to congratulate Red Bull Racing and Renault for taking the Constructors’ Championship title, which is a very important achievement. We said the Drivers’ title would go down to the final race and we will now arrive in Abu Dhabi with Fernando currently heading the classification. We knew it would be a hard task to bring home the title, as our main rivals are very strong and they demonstrated that once again this afternoon. Now we face eight crucial days. We know what we have to do and we will prepare everything with the maximum attention to detail: each one of us knows we have to give a hundred percent at our specific tasks and, maybe even a little bit more. As for the race, I think Fernando did the most he could after yesterday’s qualifying: his opening laps were exceptional and he managed to pass first Hamilton and then Hulkenberg in decisive fashion, but without taking excessive risks. Then he had to manage his race and he did that in impeccable fashion, even after the Safety Car, when the situation could have turned out to be very tricky. Felipe was unlucky at his pit stop, when a problem in fitting the front right meant he had to come straight back in for another tyre change. That was a shame as he could have finished in a good position. Lastly, I would like to thank the Brazilian crowd for their continued support: going into the race there was talk of the atmosphere being a bit tense for Ferrari. In fact there was nothing of the sort, confirming the great passion and sporting spirit of the fans in this country.”

Felipe Massa: “Everything happened to me today and it is a real shame that I was unable to obtain the result that was within my grasp, even after yesterday’s qualifying and by that I mean a good finish. When I went back out on track after the first stop I immediately felt that something was strange with the right front wheel and I had to come back to the pits immediately to change tyres again. From then on, my race was pretty much over. Towards the end, the Safety Car presented me with an opportunity and in fact, I managed to make up a few places. Then came the collision with Buemi which knocked me back again and, with the cars that had to lap me, several times I lost contact with the drivers I was fighting for position. When I had a clear track ahead of me, I managed to do competitive lap times, which confirms that the potential was there. I would have liked to have been fighting it out at the front here, but it wasn’t possible: I will try and make up for it in Abu Dhabi at the final race. We still have a very important target to reach and we will do our utmost to succeed in that.”

Fernando Alonso: “All things considered, I am pleased with this result. We have only lost three points to our closest rival and, given how things turned out yesterday in qualifying, it went well: if this morning, I had been told it would finish like this, I would have happily signed for it! I want to congratulate Red Bull and Renault for the Constructors’ title: to reach the top in just a few years is a great achievement. We were very cautious in the very first corners, because everyone was very aggressive and we did not want to risk touching anyone. Then, we immediately lost too much ground to Vettel and Webber: it took me several laps to get past Hulkenberg, while passing Hamilton is never easy. My race pace was good, as we had seen on Friday. When the safety car came out, we thought it might be an opportunity to attack, but there were too many backmarkers between me and Mark and it took too long to get past them: a shame , because at that point, the car was really very competitive. Now, we go to Abu Dhabi: we know what we have to do and taking the title depends on us.”

Chris Dyer: “We are very disappointed for Felipe, who had everything in place to have a good race. Unfortunately, there was a problem at the pit stop which meant he had to immediately come in again, which pretty much put him out of the running. As for Fernando, he got the maximum result he could, in the light of how qualifying went yesterday. The way he ran his race was perfect, with some fantastic opening laps, during which he managed to deal with first Hamilton and then Hulkenberg, and after that he managed the car and the strategy in just the right way. There was some tension at the restart after the safety car period, because the two McLarens had opted to fit new tyres: we knew there was a chance of tyre degradation, which might have put us in difficulty. Fortunately, at that moment our race pace was very good and we were able to manage our advantage over them. Our aim was to arrive at the final race still fighting for the title and we have done that, even getting there with a driver leading the classification. It will definitely be tough but we will do all we can to bring home this championship title.”