Ferrari praise 'perfect' Alonso
LIVING LIFE AT THE TOP: Regardless of what happens at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso can rest easy during the August break as he will remain F1's current race leader.
Author: Brian Homewood
HOCKENHEIM, Germany - Fernando Alonso will enjoy the psychological boost of spending the 2012 August break on top of the Formula 1 championship no matter what happens in the upcoming Hungarian GP.
He led from pole to flag on his way to win the German Grand Prix, now has a 34-point lead over Red Bull's Mark Webber and is sure to lead the standings through to Belgium in September.
He won glowing praise from his team for the way in which he held off challenges from Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and McLaren's Jenson Button at Hockenheim and two wins and a second from three races has put the 2005 and 2006 champion in a commanding position in a season which, until the European GP in Valencia, had been wide open.
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali: "It was like a 67-lap qualifying run. I find it hard to remember watching from the pits wall such a tight race. Fernando was perfect, not one mistake, not one hesitation, pushing to the maximum for an hour and a half. What a driver!"
Alonso's 30th career win extended his run in the points to 22 races in a row, making him the most consistent driver on track as well as the only one to have won three races so far in 2012. He will turn 31 in Budapest, where he could also celebrate a 31st win.
He said: "Domenicali said Ferrari still had plenty of work to do, with rivals still having the benefit of faster cars. We've seen how quickly things can change this season so we must keep concentrating to the maximum especially on the reliability front.
"I said July would be crucial with 75 points up for
grabs in four weeks and so far we have brought home 43 - we'll try to finish the job in Hungary."
Alonso, who said before Hockenheim that 2012 was the first season he could remember in which he had not been in any sort of pain, slipped into Spanish football cliche as he discussed his chances.
"I can count on the best team, a team that is used to winning a lot. I always want to give 100% and work night and day towards that goal."
While the Drivers' championship has spread out, the Constructors' contest remains a three-horse race after McLaren's upgraded car performed impressively. Button's second moved McLaren above Lotus into third place (by one point) and kept them in touch with Red Bull and Ferrari after disappointing outings at Valencia and Silverstone.
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: "Ferrari is doing a great job at the moment but we know they're beatable. It's also important to place some of the credit for Jenson's second place with our pit crew: their second stop for Jenson was the fastest F1 pit stop of all time, with a stationary time of 2.31 seconds.
"The underlying news is that we were very competitive..There's a lot of races ahead and I think we can have some great results," he added.
Stay with Wheels24 for the 2012 Hungarian F1 weekend.