Ferrari chief: Alonso’s Valencia victory energizes title push
June 25, 2012 — Updated 1623 GMT (0023 HKT)
- Ferrari president delighted with Fernando Alonso’s victory at the European Grand Prix
- Luca di Montezemolo says Spaniard’s victory can energize Ferrari’s push for F1 title
- Alonso is the first driver to win two races this season after he secured victory in Valencia
- The 30-year-old leads the drivers’ championship by 20 points from Mark Webber
(CNN) — Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo thinks Fernando Alonso’s victory at the European Grand Prix can energize his team’s bid to secure their first drivers’ championship since 2007.
The Spaniard became the first driver to record two wins this season, after the opening seven races of the campaign were won by seven different drivers.
Alonso had started the race in 11th place but worked his way up the field to take the checkered flag and a 20-point lead in the drivers’ championship.
It represented the 30-year-old’s 29th grand prix win and brought with it a ringing endorsement from Ferrari’s president, who hinted the marque were keen to hunt down their first title since Kimi Raikkonen triumphed five years ago.
Montezemolo told Ferrari’s official website: “An exceptional driver, a competitive car and a perfect team: that is what our victory was made of.
Fernando Alonso’s drive to the top
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“I am happy for (team principal) Stefano Domenicali and for all his team who have worked so hard and so well. I want to thank them individually, both for that and for what they are doing to keep improving.
“The championship is long, every race is unpredictable and there is still so much to do. But yesterday’s win is a real adrenaline rush to encourage even more of a push.”
Alonso shared the podium in Valencia with two drivers who are woven deep into Ferrari’s fabric.
Raikkonen, who landed the Italian team’s last title, returned to the sport this year after a spell in the World Rally Championship and claimed second place for Lotus.
Michael Schumacher was third in his Mercedes, the German winning five of his seven world titles with Ferrari, and Montezemolo expressed his pride at seeing all three take top honors in Spain.
“I saw all three champions of ‘my’ Ferrari hugging each other,” he added.
“Thinking back to so many amazing wins in these last 15 years and to the people who have contributed to that — from Michael to Kimi, from (former Ferrari team boss) Jean Todt to the other drivers, from the engineers to the mechanics — I was really touched.”
Alonso won the first of his two career titles for Renault in 2005, breaking Schumacher’s dominance of the sport. He successfully defended his crown the following year.
He now takes his 20-point lead in the championship to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone next month, hoping to emulate his victory in the 2011 race.
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