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GP Week : Issue 138
“I give up.” Not the words you’d expect to hear from Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso, but the Spanish driver uttered them nonetheless. It was a depressing race for the Ferrari driver, who wasted a lot of good rubber in the early stages of the Korean Grand Prix staring at the back of Felipe Massa’s car, seemingly unable to get past. But giving up is not something F1 fans associate with the double world champion. In his post-race comments, the Asturian explained his dejected state, fully aware that giving up would hamper his standing among Ferrari’s passionate tifosi. “At the start, I was struggling a bit to match the pace of the leaders, because, after just a few laps, the Supersofts were already producing a lot of understeer,” Alonso said. “On top of that, being in traffic all the time compromised still further the tyre performance, because there was less aerodynamic downforce. “ When we switched to the Softs, the situation improved significantly and, with a clear track, I was able to push as hard as I could, but by then it was difficult to reach the small group that was fighting for the podium: hence what I said on the radio, having given my all for 20 laps, but there was no way I could do more with just two laps to go.” When Alonso eventually made it past Massa, it was as the result of a pit-stop, and not any on- track manoeuvring. Ferrari chassis director Pat Fry explained the team’s approach. “In the second stint, Fernando was very quick and so we left him out on track for a few laps longer, which meant he got ahead of Felipe,” Fry said. “ With a clear track ahead of him, the Spaniard showed what the car could do, but by then it was pretty much too late to attack the cars ahead.” Alonso’s best efforts hampered by his teammate ... F1 KOREA >> 30