• Monaco Grand Prix

Alonso echoes Montezemolo's rallying call

ESPNF1 Staff
May 23, 2012 « Button has 'a few ideas' to solve tyre woes | 2012 a career low - Massa »
Fernando Alonso: "If we do a good job of improving the car and making it quicker, then we have a chance" © Sutton Images

Fernando Alonso has echoed Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo's comments that the championship is in their team's hands.

Despite a difficult start to the season, in which the Ferrari F2012 has not performed as the team had hoped, Alonso's second place in Spain two weeks ago left him tied on points at the top of the championship with Sebastian Vettel. Ahead of this weekend's race in Monaco, Montezemolo said: "The championship is in our own hands," adding: "Winning the championship depends only and exclusively on ourselves: on our ability, our creativity, our determination and our desire to show that we are the best."

On Wednesday in Monaco Alonso agreed with Montezemolo's comments.

"Our president spoke about our chances and always wants to motivate everyone at Ferrari," he said. "We know we were not so competitive in the first five races, but all the same we got enough points to put us in a good position to fight for the title. I completely agree with the president, it's up to us.

"If we do a good job of improving the car and making it quicker, then we have a chance, but if we don't and are not fast enough, then we will never win the championship this year. It is a motivation for everyone at Ferrari to know that, despite the bad start, we do have that chance. Everyone at the factory is giving 100% and hopefully that will work."

Alonso said he is hoping to challenge for a win this weekend, but played down the enjoyment factor of driving the street circuit.

"I don't think the track is particularly difficult or interesting compared to other street circuits like Singapore or amazing tracks like Suzuka or Spa where you really enjoy the lap," he said. "Here it is not a case of enjoying the lap so much in terms of driving, but the whole weekend is fantastic in terms of the atmosphere, the crowd, the paddock and the pit lane itself. It is truly unique in every way, being the most prestigious and glamorous race on the calendar with a lot of history behind it.

"You have closer contact with the fans here and you walk from the paddock and you meet fans that way and there are also many events with sponsors who take advantage of the unique opportunities here. Whenever you see advertising anywhere in the world, with video games for example, the advertising always features a photo from Monaco, one car passing another in the tunnel. The track is therefore the least important factor of the Monaco Grand Prix, with everything around it having a greater importance. We all like to win here because of that, because winning one time in your life here in Monaco is something that will be remembered forever. Hopefully, if we have a good race here, then we will pick up points that will be welcome for our championship hopes. We could dream a bit more and consider the victory: if that happened we will be extremely happy, firstly because it has been many years since Ferrari has won in Monte Carlo and from a personal point of view, I could become the only driver to win for three different teams. I have a long term contract with Ferrari, so if that does not happen this year, I know it will come sooner or later."