Fernando Alonso has copped a pasting from sections of the Italian press after a pitiful showing at last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, which entered in an embarrassing crash that has seen him trailing the top of the Drivers’ Championship by over 40 points.
After heading the opening practice sessions in wet/dry conditions and putting Ferrari’s latest aero upgrades to good test, the double World Champion qualified a disappointing tenth for the race before being taken out by Rubens Barrichello on the opening lap.
Incredibly emerging from the accident without damage, the team then shot itself in the foot by fitting intermediate tyres when the track was still to dry – and had to change them almost straight away – before the Spaniard went on to chuck his car into the fence late in the race.
Milan’s Il Giornale described the race as “An Alonso flop. While Kimi Räikkönen always drove brilliantly at Spa, his successor slipped on a puddle.”
The authoritative La Gazzetta dello Sport has all but written off the team’s championship hopes for 2010.
That’s certainly not the opinion held at the team’s Maranello HQ, with the team announcing that it will perform a straight-line test at the Vairano circuit in the coming days as it attempts to claw back lost ground with further developments to its F10.
“In addition to reviewing solutions for Monza, engineers will try to understand why the innovations introduced at Spa-Francorchamps did not work as expected,” a team statement told La Stampa.
“Everyone in Maranello is aware that if more ground is lost, it could compromise any chance of a comeback.”
The clock is ticking!
[Original image via Formula1.com]