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Ferrari not writing off title

ESPNF1 Staff
August 30, 2010 « Mixed fortunes for Ferrari duo | »
Fernando Alonso's Belgian Grand Prix ended in the barriers © Getty Images

Ferrari insists its championship chances are not yet over despite its main title contender, Fernando Alonso, failing to score points at the Belgian Grand Prix.

Alonso ended his race in the barriers but his whole weekend was below expectations after he qualified 10th, well off the pace of McLaren and Red Bull, and was hit by Rubens Barrichello early in the race. Alonso is now 41 points adrift of championship leader Lewis Hamilton with six races remaining and Ferrari is 80 off Red Bull in the constructors'. But team principal Stefano Domenicali refused to write off either championship.

"In 2007 we were 17 points behind with two races to go and we became champion," he said. "We will continue to push, because today, three of the five contenders did not score. We were one of them, but maybe next time it's the other way around, so we have to keep going."

Alonso added: "It is very disappointing, because this is a bad result, but it does not mean I have given up on my chances of winning the title."

However, Domenicali is aware that the title run in will not be easy and admitted that Red Bull, which is playing down its chances at the upcoming Italian Grand Prix on the high-speed Monza circuit, will be quick everywhere.

"I hope it's true [that Red Bull will be off the pace at Monza], but I don't believe it," the Ferrari boss said. "They have a very good car; perhaps it's part of the tactical game."

The forthcoming Brazilian Grand Prix will mark two years since a Ferrari has been on pole and Domenicali admitted that his team was off the pace over one lap.

"It's definitely not a good sign because it means we do not have the best package. In Germany, we were very close [to pole], but now we seem to have fallen back a bit."

Another worry for Ferrari is the September disciplinary hearing over the Hockenheim controversy, and the possibility of a further points loss, but Domenicali said he is "sure the World Council will understand our point".

He also confirmed that, unlike Renault and perhaps McLaren, Ferrari is not planning to drop the F-duct from its package for Monza. And he jokingly commented on speculation that until very recently, Korean organisers were still to lay the asphalt at its new Formula One venue.

"I think a cancellation would be a problem for everyone in the championship fight," said Domenicali. "But right now I am expecting that the race will take place. If there is still a gravel road, then we will have to get Kimi [Raikkonen] back!"