Fernando Alonso has said Ferrari 'still lack something' despite the fact that the Spaniard is F1's form man going into this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix.
The Ferrari driver has finished in the top two in each of the last three races – winning at Silverstone in the British Grand Prix – but is still 86 points behind championship leader Sebastian Vettel going into the final race before F1 enters its summer break.
Ferrari's recent run of form has come after a difficult start to the season but Alonso insisted that the team had to keep improving if it was to try and challenge for more victories and make an attempt to challenge Red Bull for honours.
In particular, Alonso again insisted that qualifying was where the team needed to focus given he has only qualified inside the top three on two occasions this season with it not always possible to rely on making up places on race day.
“We have made up a lot of ground compared to the very early part of the season in terms of performance, but we must take a further step forward, as I have said so often before,” he said. “We still lack something, especially in qualifying: it's true that in the race we can make up for this, but it's not always possible to move up two places compared to our grid position, as happened in Monaco, Valencia, Silverstone and Nurburgring.”
Alonso's second place finish in Germany last weekend came in cool conditions that didn't play to Ferrari's strengths and with warmer weather expected in Budapest, the double champion said he was hopeful of an improved performance from the 150º Italia on the weekend when he will celebrate his 30th birthday.
“At the Hungaroring, the weather should be more in keeping with summer, which is no bad thing as I've had enough of the cold and damp we experienced in England and Germany!” he said. “That goes not just for me, but also for our car: it would definitely work better in temperatures higher than the 13 degrees we had last Sunday.
“I know the Hungarian Grand Prix has a special significance for the Scuderia, as it has experienced some great moments, but also some dramatic ones, like when Felipe was injured in that fluke accident when he was hit by a part of Rubens Barrichello's Brawn. Budapest is special for me too, as it was at this very race in 2003 that I took my first ever Formula One win. It was a very emotional day, the memory of which will always stay with me.
“As was the case in 2010, I will again celebrate my birthday at the track with the Scuderia. On Friday I turn 30: who knows if I will get a nice birthday surprise…”