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Ferrari still needs to improve - Alonso

ESPN Staff
June 25, 2012 « Maldonado hit with penalty for Hamilton clash | Red Bull made big step in Valencia - Domenicali »
Fernando Alonso: "We need to work" © Sutton Images
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Fernando Alonso has warned Ferrari that it still has plenty of work to do to challenge for the title this year, despite his 20-point lead in the drivers' standings.

Alonso became the first driver to win two races this season at the European Grand Prix, and with rivals Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton failing to finish he is now 20 points clear of Mark Webber in second. But after he qualified 11th on the grid in Valencia, he said there was still plenty of work for Ferrari to do.

"I think we always need to be cautious and we always need to be honest with ourselves first and with our supporters, saying that we will fight, will work day and night to be competitive and to fight for the title which is the ultimate goal for Ferrari," Alonso said. "Any championship in which we participate, the championship should be the target, regarding the history and the level of the team, but yesterday we were P11 and P13 so we need to work.

"It's true that we believe and we will never give up, we will have confidence in ourselves and we will arrive with optimism at every grand prix we go to, but at the same time, apart from winning today or finishing sixth today, we know that we are not in the position that we want to be and there are a few cars quicker than us and we cannot be blind to that. We need to work."

But Alonso said the European Grand Prix was proof that qualifying has less importance this year and race pace is ultimately what will win championships.

"Yeah, it was another example of Fridays and Saturdays in Formula One, which are OK, are fun, are good to make some grid order in terms of performance of the car and it's good to check where you are exactly, but at the end of the day, Friday practice is one thing, when we all normally test different parts of the car, and then Saturday is OK, it's much better and easier to start on the first rows of the grid, for sure, to make a clean race, but until the chequered flag, anything can happen and until today at two o' clock we had quite a bad weekend and now we have had a very good weekend. It's something that we need to remember, always, that until the last lap in the race, we need to be positive and to trust in ourselves."