Alonso: I’m tired, very tired and I felt stressed all weekend from all the battles

Fernando Alonso on the grid in Austin before the start of the race

Fernando Alonso on the grid in Austin before the start of the race

Once the prince of Formula 1 and holder of all the youngest ever records at the pinnacle of the sport, Fernando Alonso will head to Brazil this week battling to keep pace with the sport’s new king of speed.

The two-time world champion Spaniard will also be leading Ferrari’s forlorn fight to finish as runners-up in the constructors’ world championship, having secured that position for himself in the drivers’ title race with his fifth place finish in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix.

Like most competitors and observers at the Circuit of the Americas, Alonso, 32, doffed his cap to Sebastian Vettel after the 26-year-old German had registered another record-breaking feat in winning his eighth successive race for champions Red Bull.

But behind his dignified show of respect for the supreme team and four-time world champion, he was struggling physically and mentally.

Fernando Alonso walks past the all-conquering Red Bulls in oarc ferme after the US GP

Fernando Alonso walks past the all-conquering Red Bulls in oarc ferme after the US GP

Regarded by many as the finest racing driver of his generation, Alonso has seen his potential to win for Ferrari reduced almost systematically by the stunning speed and reliability of Vettel and Red Bull.

Yet in bringing his Ferrari home to claim second in the championship, Alonso demonstrated again his deep resources of courage and commitment in the most difficult circumstances.

Alonso raced with his body taped up to reduce the pain from his back and the headaches that have dogged him since his 25-G impact on the kerbs in Abu Dhabi two weeks earlier.

Some drivers might have withdrawn from the fray, particularly on a day when Vettel added more lustre to his legend. But not Alonso.

“I’m tired, very tired,” he said afterwards. “I didn’t have good preparation for this race physically. I was one week on the sofa or in bed with headaches.

Fernando Alonso during the race in Austin

Fernando Alonso during the race in Austin

“The race was demanding. It was not an easy race. I had to fight all the way through, so physically I feel tired now. I felt stressed all weekend from all the battles.

“Hopefully I can feel a little bit better in Brazil, less tired, enjoy the weekend a little bit more, but there are still some targets to do with the constructors’ championship for us.

“So it’s not as if we race for fun in Brazil. It may seem like that from the outside – that there’s nothing more to fight for, you go to Brazil to race and have fun – but there’s a lot of stress and a lot of pressure on these weekends for the team and we’ll all try to do as well as we can.”

The fatigued Ferrari team, without a win since Alonso triumphed in Spain in May – will continue to compete for second place against Mercedes and Lotus, knowing that it could be worth several million dollars in prize money to succeed.

Fernando Alonso and girlfriend Dasha Kapustina in the Ferrari pit garage in Austin

Fernando Alonso and girlfriend Dasha Kapustina in the Ferrari pit garage in Austin

Alonso, however, virtually conceded defeat to Mercedes in the fight for second place after Sunday’s race saw them slide further adrift in third, by 15 points.

“We wanted to close the gap a little bit in the constructors’ championship,” he admitted. “That was our goal, but we did not have the pace this weekend to do that and we lost points again while Lotus got closer.

“But there’s nothing we can do at the moment. We don’t have the pace, we were too slow all weekend. We fight to be in Q3 and we fight to be in the points on Sunday.

“So we need to do better in Brazil if we want to fight for second place – but I think we need to be more realistic and know that fighting for second place in the constructors’ was a dream and maybe that dream is difficult to come true.” (AFP)

  • TACHELES

    Alonso’s words proof that he hasn’t got the degree of mental strength to overcome such hard times – as a real champion must have.
    He had the luck to win two championships due to superior technology and lost ground after that. He is fast, not a doubt, but there might be others being faster than him and not only due to their cars.
    That is what he finally realised and that is what causes his depressive reaction. It began with the lost fight against Hamilton and it will end with a harsh end of his Ferrari job.
    Interesting parallels to Alain Prost’s career beginning as a “shooting star” beating Lauda and the rest – finally brought back to earth by legendary Ayrton Senna…

  • Harys

    TACHELES…the keyboard warriors. I bet you have that monkey smile on your face offending a driver like Alonso. What do you expect from someone physically harmed & driving a car worse than the 2008/09 Renault…and if you don’t see the difference between the current Ferrari & the other current cars, then you are the one who have to overcome his mental strength…take it easy boy…

  • the fan

    Tacheles, i dont know from what planet you’re from but you’re statement is one of the most insane posts ive ever read.

    for the past 3 out of 4 years, Alonso has been providing the most consistent challenge to sebastian in a slower car and you say he lacks the mental strength? oh my! and yes slower car, and those who thinks the ferrari is a superior package over that Red Bull car is plain and simple, a lunatic.

  • sebolonso

    I feel sorry for Alonso. Santander pay driver lost team leader status and humble servant Massa was kicked out. Four Years of full support and still nothing won. Worst thing is, Ferrari doesnot care what he thinks. He can stay or go, as long as Santander pays. Poor Alonso.

  • Ukwhite

    Not Alonso fan by far, but I can understand him… Hopefully it does not get worse, backbone issue can last for life

  • Red Bull Cheats

    Alonso says the car is slow and he is a whiner. He says that he is tired and he is not strong enough mentally? He can’t win with you people. If he said he was a loser and the car was awesome you’d all say he was not focused or a champion. He was a FEW points fro WDC twice in the last 4 years and the ONLY driver to challenge Vettel in the last 3 years. But that is not good enough. Well you losers can go to hell, where you belong.

  • Harys

    Red Bull Cheats…well said & thanks for taken care of it…cheers

  • Red Bull Cheats

    @ Harys, thanks mate. Some people think that Alonso has done nothing at Ferrari since he has been there. He is the only reason Ferrari have been in the chase the last 4 years.

  • Harys

    Cheers