The Scuderia Ferrari team left Austin with only eight more points in the bag for Fernando Alonso’s sixth place, with team-mate Kimi Raikkonen struggling once more and finishing outside the points in thirteenth position.
Alonso finished sixth but was over ninety-seconds away from the leader, and was lucky to hold off the charging Sebastian Vettel on the final lap of the race. He believes the team is now fighting with McLaren for fourth place in the Constructors Championship rather than Williams for third with the pace of the Ferrari as it is.
“Today went more or less as expected, with the cars ahead of us being very quick, clearing off immediately after the start,” said Alonso. “After a good start, we tried to manage our sixth place, with a view to the Constructors’ championship, in which it was important to finish ahead of the McLaren’s.
“The strategy was the best possible, coming in for the first pit stop at the right moment. For the second one, we tried to go long to fit the Softs and go quicker. I think this season has been very complicated and regardless of the car’s performance in these final races, I want to do my utmost to score points and help my team.”
Team-mate Raikkonen was disappointing once more, suffering a ‘complicated’ weekend and with the front end of his car and with tyre degradation, eventually finishing outside the points in thirteenth. He hopes the team can solve some of these issues ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix next weekend.
“This weekend was very complicated and again today in the race, I wasn’t able to give my maximum,” said Raikkonen. “Up to the first stop, the car behaved well, but after fitting the Mediums the situation got tricky, with higher degradation than expected, so I lacked grip and after a few laps I began to have problems with the front end.
“I tried to save the tyres in any way possible, slowing in some parts of the track and turning into the corners, but even so I had to take on a set of Softs earlier than expected, which meant I had to make a third stop in the closing stages. Now we will continue to work to try and solve our problems. It won’t be easy, but we won’t give up all the way to the end of the last race.”