The contrast between the cities of Sochi and Austin could not be more marked, but when it came to Fernando Alonso’s regular Thursday press meeting in the COTA paddock, the opening questions were identical to those the Ferrari man was asked at the Russian GP: in short, what are you doing next year? It was the usual game of cat and mouse between driver and journalists. “I know more or less what I’m doing next year,” admitted the Spaniard. “But for now my priority is the work on the track. There are a lot of things that can happen in the next races and we need to deliver good results because we are fighting in the Constructors’ championship. There is a massive push from the engineers, mechanics and everyone in the team to deliver good results. This is the first priority at the moment. My own future is very low priority at the moment in my opinion. As I said before, I will do what I think is best for my future and for Ferrari. But at the moment we have to concentrate on the competition to race on Sunday, giving my maximum, even if, with Jules’ situation, there is still something of a sad atmosphere here.”
Asked if felt his chances of taking a third title were running out, Alonso took a philosophical viewpoint: “at the end of the day winning or not is a matter of being in the right place at the right moment” he concluded. “Getting respect sometimes has more value. When I joined Ferrari in 2009 I did not have the respect I have now. I have not won the championship these last five years, but, with Ferrari, I grew up as a driver and as a person. Definitely I want to win a third title and I’m sure I will have the opportunity.