Last Sunday, Fernando Alonso drove one of the best races of his career to finish second in India, and the Spaniard declared he was still confident that he could win the Drivers' championship this year.
Today in the Yas Marina paddock, he was asked where that confidence came from. "I think we believe and we trust in the team and the job we do," he began. "We have shown that we never give up and know how to fight until the end. When things become stressful and difficult, we can still give 100% and the team has a lot of experience fighting for world championships. Everyone is very motivated and in India we saw some good signs in terms of pace compared to Red Bull, even if we need a couple more tenths, especially on Saturday. On top of that, we have some updates here and there will be some more in the USA. The season has had its ups and downs and we have seen four consecutive "ups" for Red Bull, so we think it has to go down sooner or later!"
As far as this weekend is concerned, the Ferrari man is relying on a combination of factors to get a good result. "We have tried to prepare for this race better than ever," he revealed. "We have some new parts that we will be checking tomorrow. We don't think we will close the gap to Red Bull completely, with only five days between India and Abu Dhabi. There is no magic part in Formula 1 but we are trying to put them under pressure after they had four very easy races. We want to be close enough to them to capitalise on anything they do not do perfectly, while we need to be perfect for these next three race weekends. Mechanical failure is always in the air, not just for them, but also for us. We have to make sure we have a very strong car, so that we can do all three last races with no mechanical problems. We know that Red Bull can be a bit more fragile, like Webber's KERS failure in India, so we need to push them and be on the limit, because if it had been Vettel who had the problem, no one would have noticed because he was ten seconds in front."
Inevitably, the topic of the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was raised, when Fernando looked set to take the title at what was the final round, but fell at the last hurdle, stuck behind a slower car. "We are not thinking about the race here in 2010 when we lost the championship: we want to win the championship at the last race this year in Brazil. Thanks to KERS and DRS we should not have a repeat of the situation in 2010 that lost me the title when I was stuck for too long behind another car. In the last two years we have seen that these elements have produced exciting racing with plenty of overtaking."
Finally, it was time for Fernando to rubbish the idea raised in the media that he and the team's Technical Director had fallen out. "An argument with Pat Fry after the race in India? A nice invention from someone in the Italian media. It was quite creative to be honest! Now or later, I will speak to him to see how he invented this. We know and it's a fact that we are slower than Red Bull: we all agree, me the team, our fans, everyone knows. We are very united in our efforts to fix this situation."