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Alonso 'counting on' strong Massa to boost title chances

ESPNF1 Staff
October 13, 2010 « Korea still requires 'finishing touches' | »
Felipe Massa crashed out of the Japanese Grand Prix © Sutton Images

Fernando Alonso is counting on help from his Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa to take this year's drivers' title.

Alonso is currently 14 points adrift of championship-leader Mark Webber with three races remaining, while Massa has been out of the running for several races. Before the Japanese Grand Prix Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo called for "a strong Massa who will shave points off the rivals" but the Brazilian crashed out of the race on the first lap.

Alonso said he expects Massa to bounce back and will work alongside him to maximise the Ferrari's competitiveness at the upcoming Korean Grand Prix.

"The Korean Grand Prix could start to be decisive for some - and for me it will be important also to be able to count on my team-mate Felipe," Alonso wrote in his Ferrari blog. "I know that he will be really hoping to make up for two negative results and he has all the capacities required to return to the podium. What's more, it will be very useful to work together to discover all the secrets of the new track so we can prepare our cars in the best way. In a moment like this every detail matters to achieve our goals."

Alonso is also aware that Ferrari cannot settle for second best behind Red Bull and that he needs to put pressure on Webber.

"In Korea we will have to attack because now we must close the gap to Webber," he added. "To lose any more ground would make the situation more complicated. We've been working on the new track for a few days on the simulator: the first two sectors are very quick with long straights while the last sector reminds me of the last part of the circuit at Abu Dhabi.

"The tarmac is wide, which should make it possible to try overtaking moves. I'm always curious to discover a new circuit, both from a personal and professional point of view. From next Wednesday onwards I will try to discover if the simulations have been accurate enough. Then we will have a few more kilometres of running available on Friday compared to usual so we can find the right feeling on the track."

But the Ferrari driver is not counting out any of the title contenders.

"I still think that the fight for the title is open for five drivers. Too many times this year we've seen someone come back into the game after they'd seemed out of it - and that could easily happen again. Having said that, perhaps the only one who can afford a bad weekend is Webber: for all the others it would perhaps mean giving up any chance, especially the ones who are a bit behind today."