Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, 2013

Alonso not concerned by points gap to Vettel

2013 Spanish Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, 2013Fernando Alonso says he is optimistic about his championship chances this year and isn’t concerned he is 30 points behind Sebastian Vettel after four races.

Alonso believes Ferrari are in a more competitive position than 12 months ago.

“Last year we were 1, 1.5 seconds behind the top cars and we won by the weather and by the luck the race of Malaysia,” he said. “This year we’ve finished two races without problems and we finished second in Australia and we won in China.”

“So it’s very different feeling and very different package that we have this year that brings us some optimism and some confidence that we can do a good championship.”

“We need to deliver and we need to do some consistent results now and some consistent points for the next Sundays. But we are more optimistic.”

He points out that other drivers have recovered larger points deficits at later stages in the season than the only he faces now: “It’s true that we are some points behind now but the championship is long and we saw many examples as we said many times last year.”

“I think the most recent was Sebastian’s recovery last year he was 43 points I think behind us after the summer break and arrived leading to Austin in Texas. In five or six races you can recover 45, 50 points if you get some consistent results.”

“Same with us, 2006 I was 33 points in front of Michael which means 75 or 80 points with the current points system. And he was leading the championship in Suzuka, two races to the end. Until we are 75 or 80 points behind we should be optimistic until that point.”

He agreed that this is the first time since joining Ferrari that he has arrived at his home race with a car capable of competing for victory: “But that doesn’t mean that you will fight for top places. If you don’t do everything right and you don’t put together a good weekend.”

Alonso added the team did not need to prioritise qualifying performance at this race: “I think this year we see how important the race is, the race pace.”

“The tyres this year are a key factor, more than previous. Obviously it’s good to start at the front and if you start at the first row you know that your chances are high. The podium you already can touch with your hands if you start at the front row. I think we need to have a very normal weekend like we did in the first four races and to find the right balance between qualifying and the race.”

“The first really important qualifying will arrive in two weeks’ time in Monaco where we know that qualifying is extremely important. Here is still more or less normal circuit and we need to find a compromise.”

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