Fernando Alonso says Ferrari can't afford to prioritise 2014 F1 car
|By Jonathan Noble||Sunday, March 10th 2013, 15:15 GMT|
Fernando Alonso thinks Ferrari is going to have push flat-out on its 2013 car for the whole of this season, rather than have the luxury of being able to devote ever-more resources to next year's Formula 1 challenger.
With teams currently weighing up how best to balance development of their current cars against the extensive work needed for the 2014 regulations, Alonso is in no doubt about the approach Ferrari is going to have to take.
He thinks only a disastrous opening part of the campaign will lead to Ferrari pushing all its efforts onto 2014.
"It is important to come to the middle of season and have a certain gap that is better than other seasons because, in 2014, cars will change dramatically," he said.
"It will be difficult to come to the middle part of the season and give up. That will only happen if you are 50 or 60 points behind the leader.
"That is something we don't wish to contemplate, and if we do come to that point then it will be better to concentrate on 2014.
"But I don't think we will go that way. To be 20 or 30 points ahead, or 20 or 30 points behind, it forces you to continue fighting because there will be more than seven races to go.
"Last year, Sebastian Vettel was 45 points behind [in July] and he won the championship, so you have to fight with what you have.
"On top of that, you cannot test anything on the 2013 car that will be useful for the 2014 season. You cannot use Fridays to test the turbo, so you will need to continue working on the 2013 season."
Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa agreed that the 2013 title had to be the overwhelming priority.
"This is another championship where you need to do everything you can to be in front," he said.
"The only thing that has changed for next year is that if you get to the middle of the championship and you see you have a big, big difference on the negative side then you need to work on next year's car.
"But if you are competitive then you need to fight until the end. We know how important it is to fight for the championship.
"We need to do everything we can for that, but if we get to the point where there are no possibilities for that any more, then we can concentrate on next year's car."