Alonso: If Ferrari want to win, we need a better car

 

Fernando Alonso issued a rallying cry to Ferrari to produce a much better car next season after seeing his faint world title hopes finally extinguished by Sebastian Vettel in yesterday’s Indian Grand Prix.

Alonso needed to win the race at the Buddh International Circuit and hope Vettel finished lower than fifth to keep the fight alive heading to Abu Dhabi next week, but a scrappy first lap ended the Spaniard’s hopes as Vettel cantered to victory.

“It’s not a surprise,” Alonso said. “We knew that Sebastian was becoming champion three or four races ago. It was something you just put inside and the day arrived today. This is sport. Someone did better than us this year... next year we will try to do better and keep fighting until  the end.

“Today is a day to congratulate him [Vettel] and for him to enjoy the championship. It’s a day for us to start working even harder because we have a very strong challenge in front of us. We will start immediately and next year we want to win.”

Alonso’s slender title hopes were as good as severed within yards of the start as he tagged the back of the second Red Bull of Mark Webber in the first corner before hitting Jenson Button’s McLaren further round the lap. The double contact forced a trip to the pits for a new nose and left his car handling poorly for the rest of the race, which he completed in 11th place. “After the contact with Webber the race for sure was uphill for us,” said Alonso. “It was more difficult with one extra stop and we didn’t have the time or the pace to recover the positions. The steering was very heavy to the right and light to the left.  It was a little bit sad that we lost  important points but there was  nothing we could do.”

That first-lap clash also left Button, who started 10th on the grid, frustrated as it forced the Briton into the pits with a puncture. He eventually finished 14th. “It was just one of those days,” said Button. “Exiting turn four I got hit quite hard on the right-hand side by Fernando. I don’t quite know why he couldn’t make it to the apex, as I’d given him loads of room, but he hit me in the side pretty hard.

“The contact damaged the car and damaged the wheel rim, which also gave me a puncture, although it didn’t cause me an issue until about three laps later. It was an extra shame that I was running on the medium tyre when I had the puncture, as that was the one you wanted to run long around here. So that incident  destroyed my strategy for the rest of the afternoon.”

Sergio Perez’s charge to fifth – made possible by a superb overtake on both Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton late in the race – came at just the right time for the Mexican, with McLaren still to be convinced he deserves a seat for next season.

“Fifth place is a great result for me,” Perez said. “Without question I have a lot of pressure on my shoulders, but it’s always sweeter when you perform well while under pressure. I’m extremely satisfied. In the closing laps, it was a fantastic feeling to get past Kimi and Lewis in a single move. I just braked as late as I could for turn four to try and keep Lewis behind – and I managed to do it.”

But the day belonged to Vettel and Hamilton, who finished sixth, said: “Congratulations to Sebastian: a four-times world champion – that’s pretty awesome. To do it at such a young age [26] is phenomenal.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
video
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Extras
indybest
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform