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'Alonso is the fastest driver of all' - Domenicali

ESPN Staff
June 20, 2012 « Pirelli aims to remain in Formula One beyond 2013 | Vettel and Alonso 'could coexist' at Ferrari - Domenicali »
Stefano Domenicali has watched Fernando Alonso get in to position just two points behind championship leader Lewis Hamilton © Getty Images
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Stefano Domenicali believes that Fernando Alonso is the quickest driver on the grid this season.

Alonso lies in second place in the championship and is one of seven drivers to have won a race in 2012 despite Ferrari having started the season well off the pace. In a joint interview with Bernie Ecclestone published on the official Ferrari website Domenicali said that Alonso had proven himself to be the quickest man in the field throughout this season so far.

"Alonso is the fastest driver of all, I'm sure of that and it's been like that since testing at the start of the year, despite the fact our car was definitely not very quick," Domenicali said. "Now we have improved it, even if we are not yet at the level we want to be. The cars are very close and we are witnessing a really incredible championship which for the fans is a real spectacle."

Having praised Alonso, Domenicali also said that Felipe Massa's form was reminding him of the 2008 season when Massa finished as runner-up in the championship by one point.

"There is a lot of pressure, but I remember well in 2008, when Felipe had problems in the first two races and then fought right to the end for the title. This year, it's not that different: after Felipe drove a great race in Monaco, the same journalists who had been criticising him, began to ask me why he did not yet have a contract for next year. One thing is certain: as Team Principal, I have always encouraged and protected him."

Ecclestone agreed with Domenicali, blaming the media for its coverage of Massa's poor early-season form.

"The media exert pressure and try to influence decisions, not just in Italy," Ecclestone said. "Some drivers worry a lot less about these things, others more so: Felipe is a sensible lad. It is not very correct of some of the media when you see how they want to destabilise him."

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