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'We have the luxury of Fernando' - Domenicali
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domencali has called on his team to continue to push over the remaining races, but says it has the "luxury" of having Fernando Alonso behind the wheel as it vies for the drivers' title.
Alonso is 13 points off Sebastian Vettel in the standings with three races remaining, but Red Bull is in the ascendency after four wins at the last four races. After a series of updates that didn't work as expected, Ferrari's new parts in India appeared to help its performance and Domenicali said his team must continue on its current upward trend if Alonso is to remain as a title contender.
"In terms of approach it's something that we need to keep in the future," he said of the successful updates. "We know that in the race everything is a bit different and it is clear that at this moment Red Bull has a better car, but we cannot cry, we need to work at it non-stop. What I said to my guys is that in the 1982 football World Cup our team was not the strongest but we won the title. We have the luxury that in Fernando we have the No. 1 driver so we will continue to fight up until the end."
He said Ferrari had caught McLaren over the last few races and that it must aim to do the same with Red Bull over the final three rounds.
"Up to two grands prix ago, McLaren seemed to be untouchable and now, at least from what we can see on the qualifying and race pace, we have matched that pace. Unfortunately we have to fight with the other one [Red Bull] and we will try up until the end."
Asked if he shared Alonso's optimism after the Ferrari driver claimed to be 100% confident he could win the title, Domenicali added: "I'm always optimistic because in life it doesn't change if you are negative - it doesn't give you points. If we can maintain the right approach with the guys we can maximise what we have. That is what I've asked of my people because when you are fighting you have to use the tools that you have. You have to be brave to use the things that you have as best as you can, but then of course the others are fighting and we need to respect them, but we are not going to make their life easy up until the end."