Ferrari Pin Title Hopes on Qualifying Form

The fact that they walked away from one of the most difficult tracks (for them, at least) of the 2010 season with a podium finish is certainly a hope-booster for Ferrari, yet their team principal Stafeno Domenicali confirmed qualifying will become the key to the title fight in the final 3 grands prix of the season.

Given Red Bull's revived pace at Suzuka, Domenicali said that Ferrari needs to secure one of the two positions on the front row in order to have realistic chances for a race win this year. Otherwise, only a driver's mistake or a great start can propel Fernando Alonso ahead in the race, meaning they'll have to depend on other factors rather than solely on themselves.

The problem is that if you start behind it is very difficult with this kind of performance to get ahead. I think that they (Red Bull) are doing a great job in preparation and qualifying but, as we have seen, if we do a better job than them in qualifying then we are able to beat them. Otherwise it is tough,” said Domenicali after the race.

Fernando Alonso told the media many times that the key to this year's title is to score podiums on every occasion until the final chequered flag. However, now that he managed a pretty decent “damage control” at Suzuka with his 3rd place, the Spaniard believes a win and two podiums in the next 3 races should help him bag his first title with Ferrari.

We knew that here was really one of the most difficult tracks for us and considering what we have seen on Friday and on Sunday in qualifying, it was very good to see that the race pace was totally different. (...) This podium was the result that we wanted, at least with one driver,” said Alonso.

To be world champion I need one more win and two podiums,” he added for Italian newspaper La Stampa.

Alonso is currently 2nd in the overall classification, level on points with Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel (only he has more race wins), but still 14 points behind leader Mark Webber.
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