In slightly cooler conditions than we have come to expect here in the Tropics, Fernando Alonso faced the press for the first time this evening and the number one topic was the ban on certain radio messages as from this weekend. “It won’t make a big difference to be honest,” began the Scuderia Ferrari driver. “I don’t think it will have a huge impact on the race itself, or preparations for the weekend.
In any case, at Ferrari we have not used the radio for any performance related reasons. We tend to use it to control temperatures, to talk about traffic and strategy. I cannot say how it might affect other teams. As for the change in general, it has generated a lot of media attention, like the situation with FRIC, but in that case, we saw the final impact on the race was nothing special. I think it will be a similar case with this radio rule. It’s like if you’re a coach in football or basketball and cannot talk to your players; in the end it’s the player who shoots the ball. It won’t change our driving style and it’s not as though we won’t know how to drive the circuit.”
Rather than simply brush it away in his usual style, the Spaniard chose to question the motives behind yet another rumour about his future, this time that he and Vettel would swap teams! “It’s sad when these rumours are created in Italy,” he stated. “It’s a shame as it’s not helping Ferrari, which is the reason why we are all here and Ferrari is a much bigger brand than any one individual or even Formula 1 in general. I have a lot of respect for Ferrari and try and maintain a good atmosphere with the guys in the team, in order to have a very united team. It’s what we need and what the people expect from us. So it’s not clear to me what is the purpose of these rumours coming from Italy.”
Various factors relating to the Marina Bay circuit mean that fuel consumption could play a role on Sunday, however Alonso doesn’t feel it will be an issue. “It’s true fuel will be tight here and we will have to save a little bit extra, but it should be manageable, especially as the track layout allows you to save fuel quite easily compared to other circuits as you are generally safe from overtaking moves.”
And then came a final word on the big news since Monza, the departure of Luca di Montezemolo. “He was our leader for many years and it was a great time for Ferrari,” reckoned Fernando. “I wish him good luck with new projects and for the new President, I wish him good luck for hopefully a very successful future.”
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