Despite leading Formula One in points, Alonso still feels his car is flawed

DEAN McNULTY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:44 AM ET

TORONTO - The chances of two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso winning a third title this season could be determined at the Canadian Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal on Sunday.

Alonso said that he is still not fully convinced that Ferrari has totally fixed all of the problems the F2012 faced earlier this season, even though he is leading the championship by a slim three points over Red Bull teammates Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.

He told the Ferrari’s official website that being on top in June — while he appreciates the team’s work so far — it is not the same as being on top in November.

“Leading the championship is only the beginning, it’s a starting point, because the ultimate target is leading the championship after the final race in Brazil in November,” Alonso said. “It’s a long championship and the first six races brought us enough points to be in the lead, but we are well aware that we have to improve.

“We need to make the car faster, working hard, while making no mistakes and finding consistency, which is not the easiest thing to do in this championship.”

He said that the F2012’s problems were mostly with traction and keeping up with the higher speeds being posted by Red Bull and McLaren.

Ferrari engineers have been working on fixing that and Alonso said the results should be apparent in Montreal.

“I think we have improved the car in these areas since the beginning of the season and Canada will be a good test in this respect,” he said. “Hopefully this weekend we will see a competitive Ferrari and that will be very important for us, not just for this race but also for the rest of the season.”

Alonso has one win — at Malaysia — and podium finishes at Spain and Monaco.

He is one of six different winners in F-1 this season and he thinks the parity in F-1 makes it very hard to predict a win this week for Ferrari but he did say to count on the Italian manufacturer to be on the think of the fight.

“It’s hard to say in advance, as this season has been so unpredictable with ups and downs for everyone over the course of six races,” he said.

“However, I don’t see any reason why Ferrari should not be competitive in Canada, fighting for the top places come the end of the race. Winning races is not easy, neither is finishing on the podium, but the important thing is to score points and find a good level of consistency.”

FINISH LINES

IZOD IndyCar Series race control boss Beaux Barfiled has confirmed that the Lotus-powered HVM car of Simona de Silvestro will be black-flagged again early in this weekend’s race at Texas Motor Speedway of she can’t keep up as happened at the Indianapolis 500. The Lotus entries were as much as 17 m.p.h off the pace at Indy, which put them outside the 105% cut-off. ... NASCAR Sprint Cup team owners Tommy Baldwin and James Finch have worked out a deal to replace a suspended Kurt Busch at Pocono 400 this week. David Reutimann to drive Busch’s No.51 Chevrolet while Dave Blaney will drive the No. 10 Chevrolet and Tony Raines will return to the No. 36 Chevrolet. ... In an effort to show they are ready to host an F-1 event in 2013, organizers of the Grand Prix of America in New Jersey will fly in defending world champion Sebastian Vettel to drive a rental car around the proposed temporary street course on June 11, the day after the Canadian Grand Prix. ... The Rockstar Energy Drink Team of Antoine L’Estage, of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que,, and Nathalie Richard of Halifax, won the Waste Management Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally on Sunday in the fourth round of the Rally America National Championship. Americans David Higgins and Craig Drew finished second with Canadians “Crazy” Leo Urlichich and Carl Williamson third.

DEAN'S RANT

NASCAR’s one-race suspension of Kurt Busch for his “verbal abuse” of Sporting News reporter Bob Pockrass after a Nationwide race at Dover International Speedway last Saturday smells just a little off.

In short Busch said if he wasn’t already on probation for an earlier incident he would have “beat the (crap)” out of Pockrass for asking what he believed to be a “stupid” question.

All of this, of course, was caught on tape.

Methinks that, more than the threat itself, is why Busch is being punished so severely.

I seem to remember a certain Tony Stewart who slapped a reporter’s tape recorder out of his hand and at another time took a swing at a photographer.

Stewart was fined but never suspended for those incidents.

Could it be that was because he was then with the politically powerful Joe Gibbs Racing organization?

Busch, after all, now toils with the underfunded Phoenix Racing team, where owner James Finch pulls no weight with NASCAR bosses.

This is not to excuse Busch’s actions.

Pockrass has a reputation as one of the hardest working reporters on the NASCAR beat and is not known for asking “stupid” questions and Busch knows that.

A better penalty for Busch would have been NASCAR-ordered anger management sessions.

SERVIA APOLOGIZES FOR TEXAS SLUR

Oriol Servia has stepped in a Texas-sized cow patty and is now trying desperately to clean it off his driving boots.

The IZOD IndyCar Series driver took a profanity-laced shot at the state of Texas — where the series will race on Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway — in a tweet as he was leaving the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix on Sunday, Servia said: “Time to turn off electronic devices.... Again, thanks to all. Love @IndyCar !!!! It is the best series!!! F**k Texas.”

There was no explanation for his outburst, but one day later the Spanish driver was back to issue an apology to all Texans, to TMS promoter Eddie Gossage and his sponsors.

“First of all, I’m really sorry for my tweets about Texas,” he posted on Monday afternoon. “It was the wrong channel and the wrong way, period. I love Texas and the Texas race fans. They have always shown their support to IndyCar and myself. I would hate to disappoint them, and I have total admiration for the people of the sport and those who promote the series. My tweets were unprofessional, and I apologize for my language to Texas Motor Speedway, Eddie Gossage, our sponsors, the fans, and IndyCar. I should not have said those things, and I’m sorry.”

This is the same Servia who last week criticized IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard for using twitter to air his beefs with team owners.

Maybe he was just imbibing too much of the leftover champagne from Scott Dixon’s victory party.

OWNER WANTS ‘COME TO JESUS MEETING’ WITH BUSCH

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kurt Busch will meet on Tuesday with Phoenix Racing team owner James Finch to talk over his future.

Busch was suspended by NASCAR from racing this week in the No. 51 Chevrolet at Pocono Raceway after a confrontation with a reporter at Dover International Speedway this past weekend.

Finch said Busch’s future with the team will be determined after their meeting.

“We’re going to meet the next week and have a come-to-Jesus meeting,” Finch said in an interview with SIRIUS/XM NASCAR Radio.

“(Kurt) needs to either get his mind right or he’s going to be working somewhere else,” Finch said. “Quit wrecking cars. Be nice to people. That’s not hard to do.”


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