Alonso: I'll still reduce the gap to Vettel
17 November 2012 – Whether it is mind games or a genuine belief comes down to individual opinion, but Fernando Alonso claims he is fully confident of beating Sebastian Vettel in the United States Grand Prix. On Saturday, the Red Bull driver claimed a convincing pole position as the Ferrari man struggled to pass into the top ten shootout and ended the day ninth.
Ninth will become eighth for Alonso, as the Spaniard will inherit one spot as Romain Grosjean is penalised for a gearbox change. Not only did he struggle to ninth, but the Oviedo man was also out-qualified by team-mate Felipe Massa for the second time in 2012.
“Yes, we expected that,” Alonso said in Austin. “We started seventh in Abu Dhabi and we knew it would still be complicated here but, as always, the race is tomorrow and I still think we’re going to reduce the gap to Sebastian. I just have a strange feeling.
“He starts from pole and, yes, his pace is very strong, but the race is long so let’s see if we can get any more opportunities. We’ll see how the start goes first, but if Sebastian does win here and then in Brazil he will be a World Champion and deserves it.”
If Vettel is to win Sunday’s inaugural race at Circuit of the Americas, Alonso must finish at least fourth to retain any title hopes heading to Brazil next weekend.