Alonso urges Ferrari to start taking risks to catch Red Bull

Fernando Alonso has urged his Ferrari team to be prepared to risk everything in trying to win races if it is going to have any chance of hunting down Sebastian Vettel in the world championship

Alonso urges Ferrari to start taking risks to catch Red Bull

The Spaniard's first victory of the year at Silverstone has reignited hopes that Ferrari could stage a fightback in the second half of the campaign - and its form at the Nurburgring on Friday suggests that the outfit is now right up there with the championship leaders.

However, even though he and team-mate Felipe Massa have enjoyed ever improving form from their cars in recent races, Alonso believes that its season's hopes now rest on it throwing caution to the wind and being prepared to take gambles.

"It means to be aggressive on the strategy, and don't be too safe in terms of response to different strategies compared to the others," said Alonso after being first and second quickest in the two practice sessions at the German GP.

"It means to look at the usage of new tyres in Q1 and Q2. In Q1 maybe we need to save tyres to try to be on pole position in Q3 - to have more sets available there.

"And maybe [that means] one day, because you want to go through Q1 with a hard tyre, you are out of Q1. But that is the risk we can take. We know that maybe one day we are 18th and out of Q1, and it is because we took a risk.

"It also means at the start, no problem to risk, as we have nothing to lose. So if we do a good start and get to the first corner we try to overtake everybody and this is our approach."

As well as wanting Ferrari to be prepared to take risks, Alonso thinks it important that McLaren also improves it forms - because he may need them to take points off Vettel too.

"We need to confirm in the next two races that we are quicker than McLaren," he said. "We were quicker than McLaren in Silverstone and we don't know here. Today maybe they were testing some different things and we need to see tomorrow in qualifying how quick they are.

"To beat Vettel in the championship we need a combination of things - it is not only Ferrari or me that can beat Vettel. We need the best possible combination of results for ourselves; we need a very strong McLaren car as well to take points from Red Bull. We need to be like six or seven team-mates against Vettel, which is not easy to achieve."

And Alonso says he also hopes the German GP is not hit with poor weather - because he thinks Ferrari's advantage is not as big on wet tyres as it is in the dry.

"I think compared to our main competitors we have more difficulties to warm up the tyres and we have better degradation," he said. "One thing in our favour is the degradation in a long stint on the tyres. From the middle of the stint to the end we are much quicker, but for the first five or six laps we are much slower.

"So in case of wet conditions, you never get to very high temperatures and this better degradation is much less visible. We saw similar warm up problems, and this is what we feel, what we felt in the championship, but also what we confirmed at Silverstone.

"When it was wet the Red Bull was clearly faster, but when it was dry they were not that quick and it is the same with McLaren."

shares
comments
Friday's press conference - Germany

Previous article

Friday's press conference - Germany

Next article

Pirelli predicts last-minute pitstops in the German Grand Prix

Pirelli predicts last-minute pitstops in the German Grand Prix
Load comments
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looked back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021