Solid Start: Formula 1 Superstar Fernando Alonso Opens 2013 Campaign With Second-Place in Australia
Fernando Alonso was painfully close to claiming a glorious third World Title last season.
Every racing fan would tell you that it was clearly his talent that catapulted him into contention, despite a slow start to the season with a less-than-ideal car.
Coming down to the wire as the series raged into Brazil for the final race, glory was clearly within his grasp despite a sluggish early season.
But this year, it’s a whole different ballgame.
Oakley’s Formula 1 master sped off to a solid start at the season opener in Australia, charging his way to a second-place finish in his new Ferrari F138.
His clutch call on his second pit stop resulted in him passing his Scuderia Ferrari teammate, Felipe Massa and Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel.
With Red Bull defending the title, it was quite telling to have Ferrari’s new machine finish ahead.
"Arriving here and fighting for the podium was the aim of the team and the goal of this winter, to reduce the gap and to arrive at the start of the season with a competitive package," he said. "I think the goal was achieved. In the winter the car felt good and the understanding of the car was good so being on the podium here is some kind of job done, let's say."
And although the campaign to constantly improve - technical work to get the Ferrari screaming as fast as possible, race manangement, etc. - is a never-ending process, he's also clearly confident in his team's ability to challenge for all the marbles. All despite increasingly fierce competition from rapidly improving teams.
Formula 1’s first stop was clearly an intense preview of what’s certain to be one hard-fought, tightly contested year.
"It was not an easy race," he continued. "At the beginning, traffic with Sebastian and Felipe, and then traffic with Sutil, some tricky moments. But at the end I'm extremely happy. We had a very difficult start to the season two years ago and last year as well and this year is very different. We feel much more optimistic. The car is responding well, we are competitive so we have a very interesting season ahead of us."