|© AP Photo/Brandon Malone
Despite finishing second in the drivers’ championship last year, Fernando Alonso is in a bit of a difficult phase at the moment.
The double world champion hasn’t won a race in his last 12 outings – his longest winless streak at the Italian team – while Ferrari has claimed pole position only four times in its last 77 Grands Prix, stretching since 2009.
Handicapped with less than adequate starting grid positions, the Spaniard has also retired in three of his last 11 races on the opening laps, including at the preceding Malaysian Grand Prix.
“Everyone has at least two or three DNFs per season in Formula 1,” he said shooting down any concerns. “Although I hope not, I guess it will happen to me again this year, because of the law of averages.”
What’s more challenging is that Felipe Massa’s resurgence in form, who could out-qualify Alonso in the fifth straight Grand Prix, a feat never achieved by any of the Spaniard’s teammates.
Alonso, nevertheless, has faith and has pledged to end his Formula 1 career at Maranello despite pointing out that his best Ferrari he has driven was in his first year in red overalls.
Now with team orders issue grabbing headlines, Alonso is now in an unusual spot.
"I don't think I've ever been in that position, I guess I would hold position," he was quoted saying by Autosport when asked what he would do if was ever issued an order by his team. "At the end of the day, your team is paying you and you have to do more or less what they ask you.
Massa agreed with his teammate but insisted that the team orders needed to be rational.
“I approve of the intelligent use of team orders and by that I mean those that come at key moments of the championship, not in the second race of the season,” Massa reasoned. “They must be taken with the good of the team in mind.
“I have helped many drivers, for example with Kimi (Raikkonen) when he won the championship with Ferrari and again last year with Fernando, when he was fighting for the title. I have no problem with team orders that fit these criteria,” he explained.