Fernando Alonso again wrestled the woeful Ferrari F14T to more points than it deserved with yet another gritty performance, this time at the Austrian Grand Prix – speaking after his afternoon’s graft at Red Bull Ring the Spaniard admitted that he would easily swap the well earned respect he has in the paddock for more silverware on his mantlepiece.
Alonso told the media, “It’s been five years like this. There is always satisfaction that everyone believes you are always performing at your best. There’s the respect from drivers, team principals and fans for the job that you do. But I prefer to have no respect and to win more trophies.”
Ferrari insist that they have made progress with team boss Marco Mattiacci claiming after the race in Austria, “Fernando could not have done any better today. He managed to maintain a great pace for the whole race, at times even quicker than the leaders and this must serve as an incentive to continue developing the F14 T. Overall the gaps are coming down…”
In Austria, Alonso chased the Williams of former teammate Felipe Massa hard in the latter stages, but did not have enough fire-power at his disposal to reel in the Brazilian. Nevertheless the Spaniard finished best of the non-Mercedes powered brigade.
Alonso explained, “I was close with Massa at the end and then he [pulled] away. The same with Hamilton on the first lap; it was unbelievable, the difference between the two cars. If they’re running with those settings, they will probably lap everyone.
“With Massa, I think he was just controlling the pace to be honest. I [got] close to him with ten or 11 lap to go and then when I was in the DRS zone, he [pulled] away another two seconds. So he was playing a little bit.”
The results show that the two Ferrari drivers, considered among the best in the business, are struggling with a package that is way out of contention.
“We saw some cases in the past that many things can change, especially this year, where we are very new with these regulations in 2014,” he said.
“I expect 2015 again will be a big step for everybody, including Mercedes. We all will be better next year and definitely the teams that start with a lower baseline, we have more margin to improve.
“We will get closer or at the level of Mercedes and that’s our hope. But what about this year? To Mercedes? Close the gap? Impossible,” declared the double world champion who has matched his longest win-less streak in Formula 1, having now endured 22 races without victory since his first triumph at the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix. (GP247)