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?
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
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

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker