• Bahrain Grand Prix

Alonso aims to stay in touch

ESPNF1 Staff
April 20, 2012 « Close races 'very exciting' - Schumacher | Changes made to Monaco layout »
Fernando Alonso is currently third in the drivers' championship, eight points behind Lewis Hamilton © Getty Images
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Fernando Alonso says that his target is to stay in touch with the leaders once the championship settles down in to a more obvious pecking order.

The 2012 season has been extremely close so far, with three different race winners coming from three different teams. While no dominant outfit has emerged, Alonso expects that to change as the season goes on and believes the battle will eventually be between two teams. With Ferrari currently having an uncompetitive car Alonso said that it's important he's in a position to challenge for the title once the order becomes established.

"So far in three races we have seen three different scenarios," Alonso said. "But I expect the championship will settle down and while now there are maybe four teams and a few drivers fighting for the championship, I expect later it will be a couple of drivers and two teams and we need to be in that group."

Alonso put the close field down to the strict regulations and the fact that the cars are still relatively new at this point in the season.

"One factor is that it's the early stage of the championship, but eventually the teams with greater development potential will gain a little bit of an advantage. Also, the rules get stricter every year, so we no longer have the blown exhaust and there are more limitations on the aerodynamics: this means when you look at the shapes of this year's cars they are more or less similar apart from the colour! This is making Formula 1 more challenging from the engineering point of view and combined with cost cutting measures, it is making F1 more spectacular and that is good."

In order to challenge at the front of the field, Alonso said that the mid-season test in Mugello would be crucial and the team would have to ensure that it made more progress than its rivals.

"We are hoping for a good step forward for the start of the European season because, at the moment, we are too far behind and not in a position to fight for the championship. We hope the change comes soon: Mugello will be an important test and then Barcelona is traditionally a race where all the teams bring improvements, so we will have to make a bigger step than the others and recover some of the gap."