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.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate