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Alonso showing class - Domenicali
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has praised Fernando Alonso for taking second in the drivers' championship heading into the final six races of the season.
Ferrari has struggled to match the pace of Red Bull and McLaren since its win at the British Grand Prix, and at the last two races Alonso has admitted he could not have finished any higher. But despite the gap on track, Alonso has inched his way up the standings and is now Sebastian Vettel's closest challenger, albeit 112 points behind.
After Alonso's third place at Monza, Domenicali said: "Honestly, this result is the best we could have hoped for, given our current technical situation. The fact Fernando is second in the drivers' championship is amazing and I think it highlights the stuff our driver is made of. Once again today [Sunday], he delivered a majestic performance, either attacking, as he did at the start, or defending as in the closing stages."
Domenicali admitted that third place was below Ferrari's expectations at Monza but is confident the team is still improving.
"Clearly Ferrari must always aim for victory and a third place is not and should not be something to get excited about, but the team worked well, keeping its cool and concentrating and, step by step, the situation is improving," he added. "Our aim for the final part of the season remains the same: we will try and win races and always do our best. We owe that to ourselves and to our fans who once again today, were magnificent. I am sure Fernando felt goose bumps up on the podium: standing there in a red suit is something special…"
Alonso said he thinks Ferrari should fight hard to defend his second place in the championship.
"There are six races to go so the championship is impossible - not mathematically, but we are no longer in contention," Alonso added. "We will now simply try to enjoy every race, to go for individual victories and fight for second place in the championship. It's always better to finish second than fifth, so I will try to get second place as I did last year. We must stay cool and concentrate and try to reach targets that are within our reach."
Alonso added that the next race in Singapore would be one of Ferrari's best chances for victory.
"Of the remaining races Singapore is probably the best one for our car characteristics," added Alonso. In Monaco we were fine, we were second, even though the car was maybe not very competitive in that part of the year. Now the car is a little better, on a street circuit we should maybe perform well, and I love the Singapore circuit so the next race is one I can probably win."
Ferrari Technical director Pat Fry said he had noticed a genuine improvement in the car from first practice on Friday to Sunday's race.
"Over the weekend, we worked a lot to improve the performance of the car and the result of that was there to see, considering where we started from on Friday morning," he said. "The drivers were great, always getting the most out of the car and the guys were also impeccable during the pit stops. The European season is over and the final part begins, which will see us travel the world for two months: we will look to do our best and bring home some wins."