Fernando Alonso says Ferrari is going all out to produce a dominant Formula 1 car for next year, after praising the determination that he has seen at its Maranello factory this week.
The Spaniard claims that his team is eager to enjoy the success that Red Bull Racing has experienced for the last two campaigns, which is why it has been willing to take more risks with the design of its 2012 challenger. And, after seeing the new car in the wind tunnel this week, Alonso says he is convinced Ferrari is putting in the effort that will allow it to hit back in style at the start of next season.
"I've seen the car as I've been to Maranello for four days," said Alonso during a Santander press event in Madrid on Monday. "I've only seen the wind tunnel version, but we have to wait. At this point of the season, we all think we have the best car ahead of next year. We have to wait until February when it is on the track, to see the results and to see how fast it can go.
"What's clear is that everybody in the team is very, very motivated ahead of next year. There's an urge to gain the ground lost and get the feeling that Red Bull has had for the past two years.
"Tasting wins and championships is something Ferrari is used to doing in the past decade and it's something we want to do again. From the first mechanic to the last designer, I've seen an atmosphere of full focus and a huge desire to get a dominant car. So, I'm relatively calm and I'm confident that things will go well, because Ferrari has the ability to build a winning car. It's the best team and I think all the necessary details are being looked at so nothing fails."
Alonso thinks that Red Bull Racing will not be able to eke out much more speed from the successor to its brilliant RB7, but feels his team will be able to make much bigger steps for next year.
"I think we are going to go up," he explained. "Red Bull has a car that is very well developed, a very good car. Improving that car is possible, and they will improve it, but they don't have such a big margin to improve, unlike us.
"We had aerodynamic problems when the wind tunnel wasn't working well. We had a different philosophy to adapt to the Pirellis, a different philosophy for the suspension and many other things. So we have a big margin to improve. I think they will improve by X percent, and we are going to improve by X by two, so it's all going to be much closer."
Although the team is pushing hard to give itself a big margin in the championship battle, Alonso thinks that the fight for victories on track in 2012 will be tremendously close.
"We know our rivals will be very strong and whoever wins next year's championship will win it by a tenth or two in the car," he said. "There aren't going to be huge gaps.
"For the car, we have taken some measures and used some innovations that probably wouldn't have been used in previous years because of Ferrari's more conservative approach. So all this makes us feel optimistic."