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Alonso says he couldn't get more out of Ferrari

Updated: November 27, 2011, 18:21

Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso of Spain steers his car during the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at the Interlagos racetrack in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2011.  (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

SAO PAULO(AP) Fernando Alonso said he gave all he had at the Brazilian Grand Prix and the fourth place finish was the most he could get out of Ferrari at Interlagos on Sunday.

"Yet another race in which we did everything to perfection, from the start to the strategy and the work of the team,'' the two-time world champion said. "The final result is more down to the performance of the others than our own, because we could not have done more.''

Alonso had a chance to finish second in the drivers' championship but ended in fourth place after Sunday's result.

He won only once this season, at the British GP, but also managed other nine podium finishes in a season in which the Red Bulls dominated. Ferrari was slightly behind the McLaren in most races.

"This grand prix produced an accurate reflection of the season,'' Alonso said. "We have almost always done our maximum, fighting for a podium finish in a car that was not as good as the top two.''

He knows it won't be easy reducing the gap to Red Bull and McLaren in the offseason.

"We need a car that is about five or six tenths quicker,'' he said. "Achieving that won't be a walk in the park, but I have every confidence in our engineers and in a team that dominated the last decade in Formula 1 and holds every possible record in this sport.''

Alonso's teammate Felipe Massa finished fifth in front of his home crowd.

"I would have liked to celebrate my one 100th grand prix with Ferrari with a much different result, but I have to accept the way things went,'' he said. "The race pretty much summed up the season.''

The Brazilian was only sixth in the drivers' standings this season. Next year will be his last on the current contract with Ferrari.

"We must work on improving the car and I will do all I can never to have such a disappointing season again,'' he said. "What do I want from Father Christmas? I will be writing and asking for a fantastic car right from start to finish in 2012.''

Massa also said he was glad to get a hug from Lewis Hamilton after the race after a year in which both drivers got into several disputes on and off the track.

"I want to say I was pleased that Lewis came round to see me while I was talking to the journalists,'' the Brazilian said. "It was a very nice gesture on his part.''


GOING BACK IN TIME: Three-time world champion Nelson Piquet went back in time before the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday, driving the 1981 Brabham in which he won his first F1 title.

Wearing the same driver's suit and the same helmet from 1981, Piquet drove a few laps around the Interlagos track, delighting the tens of thousands of Brazilian fans on the grandstands.

"It was incredible, very special,'' Piquet said. "My family is here and most of them had never seen me drive an F1 car. It was great to be a part of this.''

The 59-year-old Piquet, being honored by the organizers all weekend at the Brazilian GP, waved a flag from his car sporting the colors of football club Vasco da Gama, which is in the hunt for the Brazilian league title with one round to go.


NO ADMISSION: Retired Brazil striker Ronaldo was at the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday but his stardom in Brazil was not enough to get him to the grid before the race.

Security guards barred Ronaldo from entering the track to see the cars before the start, saying he didn't have the right credentials. Ronaldo's two sons were with him and also could not get in.

Ronaldo said before the race he was hoping for a good results by the Brazilian drivers, but he and the nearly 70,000 fans at Interlagos ended disappointed.

Felipe Massa was fifth with Ferrari, Rubens Barrichello 14th with Williams and Bruno Senna 17th with Renault.


SPONSORSHIP DEAL: Williams has renewed its partnership with Dutch sponsor Randstad Holding for the 2012 season.

Williams said the human resources provider will return for a seventh year with the team and will have its presence increased in the cars' livery in 2012.

Team principal Frank Williams said he would try to repay for Randstad's support by working its "way back up the grid'' next season.

Williams struggled this year and was never able to contend for victories or podium finishes. The team had difficult even finishing in the points in most races.

Veteran driver Rubens Barrichello won only four points and Pastor Maldonado one in 18 races so far, leaving the team only ninth in the constructors' championship.

Williams is yet to announce its driver lineup for 2012, but there are rumors that 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen may return from retirement to join the team.


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