Fernando Alonso has said the Scuderia must 'work harder' to close the gap to Red Bull Racing.

Alonso is currently only fifth in the drivers' championship and going into this weekend's F1 2011 British Grand Prix trails defending champion and current leader Sebastian Vettel by a massive 99 points. While that may be a big margin though, the Spaniard insisted there is still 'hope'.

"We were not quick enough in Australia, then we faced some difficult races in Malaysia and China," Alonso told SPEED.com. "Then we recovered a little bit in the last three, but obviously the gap in points with the leader is quite big, a hundred points or 99 or whatever.

"Obviously after eight races it's not the best position or the position we wanted, but it's the way it is. We need to work harder, we need to keep improving the car, because at the moment we're not quick enough."

Pressed on if Vettel can be caught, Alonso added it all depends on what happens this weekend at Silverstone.

"We need to wait and see if either Ferrari or McLaren has made a big improvement which would allow us to fight with Red Bull this weekend," he continued. "At the moment, their car has been too dominant and, if it had not been for his mistakes in Canada and China, we would be talking about eight Sebastian wins in eight races. We have not seen this sort of dominance since maybe Michael [Schumacher]'s time in 2004.

"Hopefully, here in Silverstone we can see a turn around in this situation. There is always hope and there is the motivation to win every race, but we need to make a step forward in terms of performance. All we can do is concentrate on our own job, do the best we can, try and win every race."

Like all the runners, Ferrari's programme today was disrupted by the wet weather, and Alonso admitted that was frustrating: "The rain definitely did not help on a day that was meant to allow us mainly to test the new aerodynamic components we have here," he explained. "We tried to do what we could, using just one set of intermediate tyres, both because we wanted to save the others for tomorrow and Sunday and because that way, we have at least one stable parameter with which to evaluate the aerodynamic findings.

"Only at the end of the first session did I risk trying a set of slicks to see if the conditions were acceptable, but the track was still too wet.

"From what a driver can learn at the wheel, it's difficult to say if the new aerodynamic parts have helped us make progress, but at least they seem to work well. In the wet, the car was not bad."

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