Fernando Alonso can become Formula One world champion, says Ferrari president


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The Independent Online

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has issued a rallying cry ahead of Fernando Alonso's last-ditch bid to become Formula One world champion.

Alonso goes into Sunday's season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos 13 points adrift of Sebastian Vettel knowing he has to finish in the top three at least, whilst hoping his rival suffers a rare bad race.

The Spaniard kept himself in touch by finishing third behind runner-up Vettel in the United States Grand Prix in Austin, helped at the start by Felipe Massa who sacrificed his grid position.

If Alonso has any doubts as to what might occur on Sunday he only has to recall 2010 to know what is possible.

On that occasion Alonso was on the receiving end as he held a 15-point lead over Vettel going into the final race in Abu Dhabi, but lost out by six points come the conclusion.

The difference this time is whereas both cars were evenly matched two years ago, Ferrari have punched above their weight all season compared to the Red Bull which has again become the class act of late.

Di Montezemolo said: "We can be proud of what we have achieved so far.

"For the past 16 years, with very few exceptions, we have got used to reaching the final stage of the championship in this situation.

"Here we are again this season, so that whatever the outcome, we have been contenders. However, pride is not enough - we want to win.

"In Austin the team again did a perfect job, as indeed did both drivers.

"Fernando made it to the podium again, and Felipe drove a fantastic race, apart from also demonstrating again he is a team player."

Speaking on Ferrari's official website, Di Montezemolo added: "Now we go to Sao Paolo with the will to win, knowing we will fight for it right to the last kilometre of the last lap of the race.

"I know it will be very tough, but I and all of us believe we can do it."