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Alonso: F1 runs risk of losing credibility

From Amanda Davies, CNN
updated 12:05 PM EDT, Thu May 31, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Fernando Alonso tells CNN that F1 may be becoming too unpredictable
  • Ferrari's championship leader says the sport could turn into "a lottery"
  • Six different drivers have won the six races so far this season
  • Alonso says struggling teammate Felipe Massa has his full support

(CNN) -- Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso fears Formula One is in danger of becoming a "lottery" and says it could lose its credibility.

This season has produced six different winners in six races and, while conceding this was good for spectators, the two-time world champion told CNN it had produced disquiet in the F1 paddock.

"It's a fantastic season, it's so unpredictable. I think people stand in front of the TV, with some surprises every race. It's good for the audience, it's good for the sport to bring attention to the races," said the Spaniard, who leads the world championship by three points, with 14 rounds remaining.

"On the other hand we can lose credibility. We cannot lose that the best teams, the best drivers, the best strategies win the races, because at the moment from the outside it seems that in every race anyone can win.

"It doesn't matter the talent, it doesn't matter the team, the performance -- it's like a lottery. What you achieve in Formula One is not by chance. We need to make clear that if you win a race, it's because you did something better. And I don't think at the moment that this is clear for everybody."

Ferrari unveiled the F2012 Friday, their car for the forthcoming Formula One season. The Italian team had planned to reveal the car Thursday, but heavy snowfall around the team's factory forced a postponement. Ferrari unveiled the F2012 Friday, their car for the forthcoming Formula One season. The Italian team had planned to reveal the car Thursday, but heavy snowfall around the team's factory forced a postponement.
The F2012
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Mark Webber receives the winning trophy from Prince Albert II of Monaco after his superb victory from pole. Mark Webber receives the winning trophy from Prince Albert II of Monaco after his superb victory from pole.
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In the hot seat
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Alonso's position at the head of the standings could not have been predicted at the start of this season, when he and his Italian team publicly doubted the race pace of the two Ferraris.

"We were not happy with the car at the beginning of the season. We were not rich with the expectations and the team tried to understand the problems as soon as possible and tried to make the changes," the 30-year-old said.

"They seemed to work but even if we are happy now with the position and with the points we achieved, we still know and are honest with ourselves knowing that we are not quick enough at the moment still. There is still plenty of work to do but we think a strong reaction is still to come from Ferrari."

F1 teams battle from race to race to make minor adjustments which often have a big impact on performance, and Alonso gave credit to Ferrari's technicians for improving the cars.

"We changed mainly aerodynamics. Formula One is dominated by aerodynamics and we had some areas of the car that were not working exactly as they were designed, so we did some tweaks there," he said.

"We changed some philosophies of working in the car and it started to work. But as I said it's not enough, we know that and we will keep doing upgrades to the car."

While Alonso has shown his ability in an underperforming car, teammate Felipe Massa is under increasing pressure to retain his place.

The Brazilian, a world championship runner-up in 2008, has recovered from serious head injuries suffered the following year but has very much been the number two driver since Alonso arrived from Renault in 2010.

"We know that there has been some coincidences and some bad luck and moments in particular races that he didn't score points he deserved," Alonso said.

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"We know that in practice and in qualifying we are much closer, we are fighting, we are together in some of the first corners, but then some factors make him always in some troubles, some incidents, and he lost points.

"But he has the talent, he has full support from our bosses, from me, from everybody in the team and we know the talent from Felipe. We know that before later he will shine."

Alonso became F1's youngest double world champion when he won back-to-back titles with Renault in 2005-06, but he was usurped by Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel last year.

Now the German driver has been tipped to follow Alonso's footsteps and join the most successful team in the sport's history, reportedly in 2014.

"(It's) only speculation. Every year in Ferrari it is like this," Alonso said.

"I had this when I was with Renault in the past. Every year around summer always the speculations: 'Alonso will go to Ferrari.' I answered many questions over the years and now when I joined Ferrari it is the opposite.

"Every year someone is coming to Ferrari, it has been like this. I think it is something you have to deal also when you are in Ferrari."

Alonso is hoping, despite his car's weaknesses, that he can deliver Ferrari's first drivers' title since Kimi Raikkonen in 2007.

"Things are complex and not straightforward and I think it will be quite tight for the championship," said Alonso, who is 25 points ahead of Raikkonen, back on the grid this year with Lotus after a two-year absence.

"There is not one car dominating the season as we saw in the last couple of years. I think we will be there. I don't know if we will be champions but we will fight until the last race, I am sure."

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