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Tyre construction change was title tipping point - Alonso

ESPN Staff
September 23, 2013 « Ferrari hopes hang on Vettel issues - Domenicali | Ricciardo vows to learn from crash »
Fernando Alonso: "When they changed the tyres, we said bye bye" © Getty Images

Fernando Alonso believes the change in tyre construction midway through this season was the point at which Ferrari's title hopes fell apart.

Pirelli got clearance from all the teams to revert to its 2012 tyre construction after the 2013 design suffered multiple blowouts during the British Grand Prix. When racing on the performance-orientated but quick-degrading 2013 construction Alonso won in China and Spain, but the more stable 2012 specification has seen Red Bull eke out an even bigger advantage in recent rounds.

"I think we started in a good way, we were competitive in Australia, maybe not in qualifying but in the race we were taking care of the tyres very very well, together with Lotus," Alonso explained. "We won in China, we won in Spain and then we seemed to lose a little bit of performance, especially when the 2012 Pirelli tyres came back so that was probably our point in the championship; when they changed the tyres, we said bye bye."

A small group of engineers will continue to work on Ferrari's 2013 car for the remaining six races, but Alonso said he was looking forward to starting on an equal playing field under next year's regulation changes.

"For next year I think we start from zero. Really we will put all our effort and hopes into 2014, because starting from zero is our best opportunity to close the gap with all the top teams. This year was a continuation in a way."