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Domenicali calm despite losing championship lead

ESPN Staff
October 15, 2012 « Massa decision to come 'very soon' - Domenicali | Montezemolo denies Vettel rumours »
Fernando Alonso's third place in Korea saw him relinquish the championship lead for the first time since the European Grand Prix in June © Sutton Images
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Stefano Domenicali says Ferrari will remain calm because Fernando Alonso would still lead the championship if he hadn't been taken out of recent grands prix.

Alonso had a 40-point lead during the summer break, but over the last five races Sebastian Vettel has scored 93 points to erase that deficit and give himself a six-point advantage. Domenicali, however, points to Alonso's first-lap retirements in Belgium and Japan as the main reason for the quick turnaround.

"First of all we need to stay very cool," Domenicali said. "Don't forget that in the last five races we have not raced in two, so the situation in the championship would be totally different if we were not out in the first corner. Don't underestimate this important factor in the light of the championship."

Domenicali also pointed to the recent performances of McLaren as proof that the situation can change quickly once again.

"Also, because if you consider what you are seeing in the performance of the other teams, this may have a very heavy effect in the end. We have seen, for example, one of our main competitors seems to be very, very strong up to [Saturday] and in the race was on a different pace with problems that we don't know. So things can turn up in a different way very quickly."

With a two-week break until the Indian Grand Prix, Domenicali said Ferrari's focus was to maintain its reliability while improving the car as quickly as possible, predicting that the title will go down to the final race in Brazil.

"For us, for sure the objective is to make sure that we deliver to Fernando the best car that we have in terms of first of all reliability, second to make sure that what we have is the right choice in terms of package, and thirdly to make sure that at the next races - as I'm sure Red Bull will try to do - to bring the developments that will let the car do the right step in the right direction because the Red Bull that we have seen in the last couple of grands prix was very, very strong. As I said the championship is very long; I don't want to hear anything on the championship because it will be a very tough and sporting challenge and fight up until the end I'm pretty sure."