APRIL 29, 2015
Alonso move not necessarily a mistake says Gene
Ferrari test driver Marc Gene does not agree that Fernando Alonso's decision to leave the Italian team has been proved definitely wrong.
As the famous Spaniard slumped deep into the midfield at McLaren-Honda, while his successor-in-red Sebastian Vettel races into title contention, many observers have concluded that Alonso seriously erred in making the switch.
But Gene, a Spanish test driver at Ferrari, does not necessarily agree.
"A change in results is not everything," he told Spain's Diario Sport, "especially when you are considering a period of many years.
"For example, I now make decisions not so much because of results but because of where I want to be," said Gene, who also drives for Peugeot's Le Mans team.
Referring to Alonso's move, the 41-year-old continued: "Time will tell if the level of his results is right or wrong and what his level of personal satisfaction is.
"If he has said that he is happy where he is, then clearly it is the decision that he wanted to take.
"If you focus on what we have seen in 2015," Gene added, "then undoubtedly the best option was to stay at Ferrari.
"But I guess he made the decision thinking more about the medium term, because no one forced him, the decision was his and he thought about it carefully."
At the same time, however, Gene acknowledged that Alonso was not the only former or current Ferrari member caught by surprise by the team's 2015 resurgence.
"In the 15 years that I have been in F1," he said, "I've never seen a jump like this from one year to the next without a change in the regulations."
And he said the leap has been so big that even taking on Mercedes for the world title is not being ruled out at Ferrari.
"If we keep improving then there is still time to compete for the championship, definitely," said Gene.
"It was not our goal before the start of the season, and we know we are not the favourites, but we are close enough at least to try."