• Next GP: Abu Dhabi

    Archive for November 2012

    Road safety advice – 12

    Recommend:If you have not rested, don´t drive. Fatigue reduces the visual field, delays the reaction time and hinders the psychomotor coordination and muscular condition.


    Impatience prevents things to became magical. The value of things is constantly losing. For example, if missing gold, silver acquire value.. What you need to achieve a great work in life is the recognition of your clan, your family and your work. Only then you can be remembered in the memory of future generations and find a sense of your actions in life.. #Samurai


    “I score this season a 10! If we had to repeat these twenty races I would change nothing done by the team or yours truly: no mistakes, no mechanical problems, zero problems at the pit stops, zero strategic mistakes. We definitely did not lose the title today, as that happened in Spa or Suzuka. We might not have finished the season with the most points, but we won many other things, like everyone’s respect and fans and colleagues agree on who was the best this year. I am proud of the job I did and that was also the case last year when I finished fourth and again this time when I fought right to the very end. Today is very different to Abu Dhabi: then, there was the frustration of an opportunity missed, whereas here we did our utmost race after race. I feel happy inside: I worked day after day with the team, which pays me at the end of every month and today, they can be proud of what they’ve done”.

    “Once again today we did an impeccable job, finishing on the podium after starting from the fourth row, producing yet another little Sunday miracle. The team kept me constantly updated about Vettel and, towards the end, I was hoping something might happen to him or Button which would allow us to reach our goal. It didn’t happen and we must accept the result delivered on the race track. What to ask from the team for 2013? That’s easy, a quicker car, but most of all I’d like to see the same effort and professionalism the team displayed when it reacted to our initial difficulties. Even if maybe we didn’t manage to reach the performance level of the best, everyone demonstrated total dedication. I repeat, I am happy and proud and now’s the time to drink a caipirinha!”


    “I’m not surprised at this position, because it’s not as though we can expect a revolution in performance terms in the space of a week. I think I did a good qualifying and, given how the last few races have gone, my chances of making it to the podium are still intact. That will be my objective because I know that, at least under normal circumstances, we are not in with a chance of fighting for the win. I also know that, if I am to have any hopes for the title, it’s more plausible to count on a retirement for Vettel rather than for him to finish in a position where I can get ahead of him in the classification. Obviously, I am therefore hoping for a chaotic race and so the rain could be an important factor even if, in the wet, it is riskier for everyone. The car is not particularly set up for the wet, as it’s not like it used to be. Felipe in front of me? He did a great qualifying, above the norm, so it’s to be expected. It’s almost a miracle to have arrived at the last race still in the fight for the title: under normal circumstances I think we would have said goodbye to our chances back in Monza or Singapore. However, here we are, still in the game and we are definitely not going to surrender today.”


    Fernando Alonso: “It was very hot out on the circuit today and, especially this afternoon, the track temperatures were well above normal, even for this circuit. We have not yet found the ideal balance on the car, so there is still a lot of work to be done with the engineers going into the rest of the weekend. The predictions are for very different conditions from Saturday to Sunday, further reason to concentrate on the best choices when it comes to preparing the car for qualifying, but especially for the race. After so many Fridays, there is nothing much new to say about the tyres: the Hards appear to be more consistent, while the Mediums produce a quicker lap time. It’s hard to say if we prefer rain or the dry: as I said before, it is vital to be prepared to tackle both situations. We know we have to score 14 points more than Vettel for the Championship and not lose the same number to McLaren to maintain our second place in the Constructors’. Our targets are clear, but also difficult to achieve.”


    Fernando Alonso’s brief visit to New York ended with him being the guest of honour at today’s closing ceremony at the New York Stock Exchange. The Scuderia Ferrari driver pressed the button that activates the traditional ring of the bell as part of a ceremony instigated by the Santander Bank, which donated the considerable sum of 250,000 dollars to the American Red Cross to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

    “It’s a privilege for me to be here for an occasion like this: it’s strange to be part of something that I’d only seen on television before!” said Fernando to the media who were present. “It’s a good day for Santander and the Red Cross, who can do something really useful to help those who suffered in this storm. I am happy to have spent this week in the States, first in Austin and now in New York: Formula 1 needs this country but it is not yet that popular so it is important for teams and drivers to do all they can to promote our sport. Would I race in an American series like Nascar? I’ve never tried it out or even thought about it, but who knows in the future… When I’ve finished my Formula 1 career, sooner or later this could be a possibility.”

    Many of the questions even on Wall Street, concerned the imminent Brazilian Grand Prix, which will decide the outcome of the 2012 Championship. “We know it will be difficult for us, but we are confident,” said Fernando. “We must do our utmost, concentrating on ourselves and making no mistakes and then we can see what Vettel has done. It’s been a championship of highs and lows for everyone, but now we can only be perfect. However, I think we can sleep more easily than our rivals: we have a lot to gain and little to lose and for them it’s the opposite. In 2010 the situation was reversed so I hope that once again the outcome goes in favour of the one who is behind at the moment. I don’t think the track will condition the result: we have seen that Red Bull is strong on all types of track so that should also be the case in Interlagos. But Formula 1 is strange and anything can happen: the important thing is not to be caught out unprepared.” Fernando flies off to Sao Paolo tonight: from Thursday morning, with an FIA press conference at 11, the key weekend of one of the most fascinating championships in recent years will get underway.


    Life is always precious, which is the main virtue we have. But ever since a digital life has existed, that too needs to be safeguarded as much as possible. That was one of the themes discussed by Fernando Alonso today along with Eugene Kaspersky at a round table meeting at the New York Academy of Sciences, at Number 7 in the World Trade Center – with representatives of the media from the Big Apple to launch a promotional campaign run by Kaspersky Lab with support from the Scuderia Ferrari driver, called “Safeguarding Me.”

    “Technology is a great help in communicating with our fans and to stay in touch with them, both in the good times and the bad,” said Fernando. It’s also a form of entertainment: I often find myself in an airport or a bar with time on my hands and in that situation, being able to chat with friends or to send some photos is fun. We are now always connected and so, we also need to be always protected in this digital life, because at these times we are open to the whole world. Is there too much technology? No, rather there’s never enough. I say that not just as a Formula 1 driver because I think it’s valid for everyone. Sure, getting back to our sport, it’s difficult to say if the balance between the different areas is quite right at the moment. For example, I think there is too much emphasis on aerodynamics which has no benefit for road cars, but in terms of safety, electronics and engines, to name but a few aspects, I think what is being done now is very important.”

    “I chose to sign up to Twitter because I can manage my relationship with my supporters on my own,” continued the Spaniard. “I really like loading up photos and usually, I manage to express myself better with a photo than with the 140 characters: that’s why I also appreciate Instagram a lot. Do I ever feel like tweeting from the race car? Well, it would be rather difficult, because there’s not much room in the cockpit, even if it’s true there would be plenty of interesting things to tell the fans about the long time spent on track over a race weekend, however, it’s not possible: then of course, there’s a press office that monitors me constantly!” “I have a Facebook page that is proving very useful to find people that I lost contact with over the years,” he continued. “Thanks to this tool, for example a few months ago I found myself having dinner with a lot of friends from my schooldays whom maybe I would have lost touch with over the years. I have caught up with people who have the same “normal” life I would probably have done if I had not become a racing driver. I remember well, when I was a youngster starting out in single-seater cars, my father often told me to also look to a future after racing. For example, he told me that he had a friend who made lifts and could maybe give me a job: who knows, maybe I could have done that for a living instead of driving a Ferrari Formula 1 car. It’s important to me to have a family that has always made me keep my feet on the ground and made me understand what is important in life.”

    Before heading for Brazil, naturally there were questions relating to Formula 1. “There are 71 laps to go that will decide the final outcome: the efforts of several months will all come down to a very short space of time,” said the Ferrari man. “Then what will happen will happen and the important thing is that we do everything perfectly: then only luck can be out of our hands. We know that a place on the podium alone could be enough. I have confidence in myself and in the team and we will fight right to the end. We are honest with ourselves and our fans: we know we are not super competitive, but if we are still in the running, it’s down to the team which is the best of the lot. We will have a few small updates, but the others will have done the same, so the situation won’t change much. Maybe finding a good set-up can make the difference or the way the car suits the circuit. Would a win be revenge for 2010 in Abu Dhabi? No, I think it would just be happiness for us, as for 99% of the people, although maybe not for those at Red Bull… Ferrari is something special, with everyone giving 100% and even more, because they feel part of this family: not just in Formula 1 but also on the commercial side, because when they see a Ferrari drive by on the road, they know that a part of that car, even if it’s very small is made by them.”

    Road safety advice – 11

    Recommend:Check regularly the pressure, grooves and tread (minimum 1.6 mm) of the tires to ensure good road grip and prevent slipping.


    “It was an unexpected podium which came at the end of a particularly difficult weekend. We did not have the pace to match Red Bull and McLaren, so to only lose three points to Vettel is in fact a nice present. It could have been much worse, but now we will arrive in Sao Paolo in Brazil in with a chance right to the last. Maybe on paper that chance is not so big, maybe 25%, but deep down, I feel it’s much more than that. Anything can happen at Interlagos and we saw again how important reliability can be, didn’t we? Then, there’s the chance of rain and a race in the wet can be very risky and we definitely have nothing to lose. Clearly, if it’s dry and we have a normal race, one can expect Red Bull to be in front of everyone and us on the third or fourth row, so the more unknown factors there are, the better it is for us”.

    “The decision regarding Felipe’s gearbox? It was a team decision of which I am proud, especially as it proved to be the right one: I don’t think everyone in this environment can say the same thing… The start was very good as was the first corner: in this second part of the season, we have made up a lot of places actually in the first few hundred metres. Then I had a good enough pace to get on the podium but not to fight with the two in front. The pit stop wasn’t perfect, maybe for the first time this season: which means we’ll be looking for perfection in the pit stops next Sunday, and in fact for the whole race! Felipe was fantastic all weekend, quicker than me in all three qualifying sessions: we need him to be on this good form in Interlagos too, because we will be up against very strong opposition. We need to be a united team if we want to win!”


    “We never managed to put together the best lap, which on these tyres and with these track conditions is always the last one you do. We knew it would be a complicated weekend but clearly today we were too slow and we will start from too far back. Having said that, the accounts are always done at the end of the race: also in Abu Dhabi we were slower than our main rivals and then we got back three points in the classification. Our aim remains unchanged and it’s still possible: on Sunday all sorts of things can happen. Reliability, strategy – it will be important to work out when is the best time to pit because here, the cold tyres can be slower by several seconds – and team work will be as usual important. The updates? We tried to find the best possible combination between all the parts we had available, as it’s not always the case that the latest part is the best choice, especially when you are at a brand new track. We will push to the limit, as we have done since the start of the year at every race weekend.”