A small room in the temporary Ferrari offices at the back of the Sepang paddock is where Fernando Alonso began his official duties ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend, the second round of the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship.
After dismissing thoughts of a repeat of the 2012 race here, where the Spaniard drove brilliantly from ninth on the grid to win, with the words, “that’s something you only see once in life,” the topic turned to the new F1.
“I think we need to give more time to see how the races are and how the show is and how the people react to this new Formula 1,” began the Ferrari man.
“There was a lot of talk before the Australian race about how exciting this new Formula 1 would be and how many cars will finish, maybe zero! When 15 cars finish and there are not many problems and not many overtakings, that was not what the fans expected.”
“In our case, we need to see how the next races go in terms of our own performance to learn how we can quickly develop the car to be in better shape. In Australia we were not happy with the performance we showed and we need to improve as quickly as possible.”
If these comments had a negative tinge to them, Alonso was quick to emphasise the positives.
“I believe we can fight for the championship,” he assured the media. “We have more potential than we showed in Australia. We need to put everything in place and then we will have a better weekend. The team has the facilities and the talent to do a very good job.
“We can be strong and we will do better, I’m sure. It’s not been a perfect start. It seems like a repetition of the last couple of years, but these are different rules and a different rate of development applies. Our hopes are perfectly intact.” (GP247-Ferrari)
Subbed by AJN.