Fernando Alonso insists that Ferrari’s poor performance in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has not affected his motivation.
Ferrari endured one of its worst weekends of the 2013 Formula 1 season, as Alonso and Felipe Massa struggled with an uncompetitive car. The Spaniard admits that it is a challenge to continue to perform at 100 percent consistently, but he feels the expectation upon him ensures he does so.
“It’s very difficult. Obviously I have been 12 years now in F1 and more in the smaller categories and I always do 120 percent every race,” said Alonso. “Also, I have a lot of attention on me, a lot of expectation in every race I go to to see what I can do different or to improve the result so I know that I always need to do extra, and that’s my motivation.”
Alonso added that securing second place in the drivers’ and constructors’ championship would represent a personal victory for him, ensuring he stays motivated. He took a significant step towards taking second to Sebastian Vettel with fifth place in Sunday’s Abu Dhabi GP and now leads Kimi Raikkonen by 34 points.
Ferrari faces a bigger challenge in the constructors’ race, as it is currently third, 11 points behind second-placed Mercedes.
“The motivation now is clear, second in the constructors’, still not the main goal but it’s still a good goal for us,” said Alonso. “Second in the constructors’ championship will be a reward for me knowing that we don’t have the second fastest car as we see every weekend. If I finish second in the [drivers’] championship, it’s a little personal win.
“Obviously, I race to win the world championship and finishing second is very sad, but from a personal point of view in the season it would be a very good 2013 championship [performance].”
The Spaniard also believes Ferrari is relying on extracting more from its car at Circuit of The Americas and Interlagos, as there will be no more updates for the team.
“There have been some weekends now where it’s not only Mercedes that worries us, it’s Lotus, it’s [Nico] Hulkenberg, it’s Toro Rosso, McLaren so we are dropping a little bit too much and we need to do better. The car will be the same in Austin and Brazil, so we need to do better on the track in the setup, optimising it circuit by circuit. [And] the drivers need to do better and do perfect laps all weekend because we need to beat Mercedes.”