Tyre choice makes Alonso`s task tougher
London: Ferrari`s Fernando Alonso added another challenge to an already long list on Wednesday after Pirelli announced a tyre choice that could hit his chances of fighting for victory at next week`s British Grand Prix.
The Italian company said it would be providing drivers with hard and soft tyres for the Silverstone race -- the same combination last used at May`s Spanish Grand Prix where Alonso finished fifth and was lapped by Red Bull`s Sebastian Vettel.
Silverstone is one of the fastest tracks on the Formula One calendar and Pirelli said the hard tyre was needed to cope with the sustained high speeds.
"Today, the team told me about Pirelli`s tyre choices for the coming three races," Alonso, a double world champion with Renault, said on the team website.
"Okay, for us that means one more challenge, namely being able to make all types of tyre work as well as possible," added the Spaniard.
"Anyway, the tyre choice is the same for everyone and there`s no point discussing if the pair of compounds chosen is more suited to one team or another. It`s up to the teams to adjust the cars to get the best out of the tyres both in terms of performance and life."
Champion Vettel has won six of the eight races so far this season and will be the big favourite at Silverstone, a track with high-speed corners perfectly suited to the characteristics of his Red Bull.
The German is 77 points clear of his team mate Mark Webber and McLaren`s Jenson Button. Alonso is 99 off the lead with 11 races left.
The tyre choice could also help McLaren, however, with Lewis Hamilton and Button finishing second and third in Barcelona.
Alonso finished second around Valencia`s street circuit on a combination of soft and medium tyres and also in Monaco, where Pirelli brought super-soft and softs.
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali said at the weekend that "if you look at our pace with the softer tyres, you can see that our car is better, always performs better."
Britain could be a more painful experience for Ferrari even if a clampdown on the engine regulations could change the situation.
"At Silverstone, you need a lot of aerodynamic downforce and this is area where we are lagging behind," said Alonso.
"We will have some new parts, but there`s a step from that to saying we will have made up the difference ... Maybe.”
"We must be realistic and accept that it`s not possible that in less than two months ... we have closed the gap that was seen at the Catalunya circuit (for the Spanish Grand Prix)."