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Alonso confident he can take the fight to Red Bull
Fernando Alonso is hoping to close the gap of "a few tenths" that he believes stands between Ferrari and Red Bull at the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend.
Alonso set the second fastest time in Friday practice, nearly 0.5 seconds off Sebastian Vettel's best time and ahead of Mark Webber. After beating the Red Bulls at the German Grand Prix last week, Alonso is hoping to kick-start his title campaign with another win at the Hungaroring on Sunday.
"I hope we can stay close to our main rivals, who seemed very strong today and be able to fight them in Q3 tomorrow afternoon," he said of Red Bull. "For now, we are still a bit behind by a few tenths, even if we won't know the truth until qualifying. We certainly need to work on the set-up of the car to improve its performance, especially in the second and third sectors."
He added that the nature of the tight Hungaroring circuit was creating problems with the balance of the car.
"Compared to Hockenheim, where the car was well balanced, here we are suffering with a bit too much understeer, but all the same it feels pretty good," Alonso said. "We did various aerodynamic tests and, in the end, it seems the car is more competitive without the blown rear wing. Overall, we are happy with how things went today, even if we are well aware that one cannot rely much on Friday's times."
He also refused to count out McLaren.
"As for McLaren, whom one should not forget lead both championships, we seem to have the upper hand, but so often we have seen them struggle on a Friday before then being very competitive," he added. "Tomorrow afternoon, it will be very important to secure a place in the top three because it would be hard to fight for the win starting further back."