It was a busy weekend for Ferrari Formula 1 driver, Fernando Alonso. Among other activities over the weekend, on Friday, according to Ferrari, he worked at the simulator to prepare himself for 2014; on Saturday, he attended and spoke at the annual team Christmas luncheon; and he worked another day on the simulator for another day on Sunday. At Saturday's luncheon, he gave a pep talk to Ferrari crew and team members who are working to support him in the 2014 season.
According to Ferrari, the Spanish racing driver told Ferrari workers, "It’s never easy coming second, but we must look ahead. Everyone always expects a lot from us. Next year, we will try to do better and I know you are working very hard."
He continued, "There are new rules and extra work for all of you, but you can count on maximum effort from us in terms of our physical and mental preparation to be in 100% shape in March for the opening race. We face an important time ahead and so, Forza Ferrari!"
About his work in the simulator, the driver commented on the team's website, "I’m pleased with the way the day on the simulator went. We managed to get through everything on the programme that we had in the pipeline. It was nice to be driving again, even if only in a virtual way."
He mentioned that, in preparing for the new racing season that is just three months away, he and the team are sharing ideas. "We went through a lot of ideas with the engineers: we are only at the start of a learning process which is moving forward all the time and it’s nice to be able to contribute to it."
In 2014, Mr. Alonso will be racing with a new teammate, Kimi Raikkonen. Both are former World Champions, Alonso in 2005 and 2006; and Raikkonen in 2007.
In 2013, Alonso finished second in the drivers' championship at 242 points, far behind Sebastian Vettel's dominating season of 397. With 354 points, Ferrari finished third in the F1 Constructors' Championship behind Red Bull Racing and Mercedes with 596 and 360, respectively, according to Formula 1.
Big changes to the formulae and other issues make the winter "off season" a busy one not only for Ferrari but for every one of the 11 Formula 1 teams.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Connie Ann Kirk has been credentialed by the FIA to write about Formula 1. With a historic racer from upstate New York, she is working on a book about racers and racing.