Ferrari's Fernando Alonso refused to be drawn on his - or anyone else's championship chances.
Thu 26.07.12, 12:12AM
The double World Champion arrived in Hungary certain to go into the summer break leading the Drivers’ Championship. Only twice during Alonso’s F1 career has the Championship leader after Hungary not gone on to take the title – but Alonso, while acknowledging he is in a strong position, refused to be drawn on his chances this year of taking a third World Championship.
“I think we are in a good position in terms of the points we achieve in the first half of the season, but we are only half way,” he said in the FIA press conference on Thursday. “We did ten and there remain another ten important races with the same possibilities for everybody. I think the distance between the top six is not a gap that is impossible to recover. You just need or two good races and you are up there. So, we need to keep the concentration, try to keep maximising what we have in our hands every weekend. Sometimes we know that can be a podium, sometimes maybe it’s a fifth position, sometimes a seventh, but we cannot afford to make any mistakes or anything that we will regret. We need to keep doing good – some good consistency but in terms of the Championship it’s obviously way too early to think and still McLaren, Red Bull, Lotus, Mercedes – anyone is in contention at the moment.”
Given Ferrari’s well-documented pre-season struggles, Alonso’s odds were long when the season began, however in the minds of the bookmakers he’s now the favourite. Alonso said the turning point was the upgrade Ferrari bought to the Spanish Grand Prix after the in-season test at Mugello.
“I think the biggest improvement that we introduced was in Barcelona; the biggest updates were mainly the aerodynamics of the car,” he said. “We knew in the first three or four races the car was not doing what we were expecting. When we arrived in Barcelona, everything became a little bit more normal for us and from that point, all the updates have been fine-tuning. But the Barcelona one was to make everything back to work.”