Fernando Alonso says Ferrari needs to end McLaren's recent run of strong form when F1 heads under lights this weekend in Singapore.
Although he still holds a 37 point lead in the standings with seven races to run, Alonso has seen rivals McLaren win the last three races, with Lewis Hamilton emerging as his closest rival in the championship having taken two of those victories.
Given the pace of the Woking-based team, Alonso insisted that McLaren would start this weekend as favourites to win but said Ferrari would work hard to bring its winning run to an end.
"McLaren are favourites to win this week so we need to stop their domination,” he was quoted by Reuters
. “Hopefully, we have brought some new parts to the car since Monza and it means we can do well here and at the races after that. Everybody is strong at the moment and everybody is a contender. There are still five or six drivers that can fight for the title.
"Sure, Lewis is a strong driver and someone I respect as we know how good he can drive with a good car or a bad car and he is second in the standings. But it is hard to focus on five drivers at once, with the strategies and the stops, so it is best to be aware of the closest one and at the moment that is Lewis."
Alonso will hope to extend his strong run of form in Singapore to at least maintain his points lead, with the Ferrari man having won two of the four races run so far
"I have always been competitive apart from in 2009 when I didn't make the podium," he said. "It is a challenging track and there is no room for error and, like Monaco, you need to know your limits. On a normal track, if you touch the grass you lose the lap. Here, if you touch the wall then you lose the session.
"So it's quite challenging...not only physically, nearly two hours of racing and the humidity makes it a mental test too. The stress of not making a single mistake over the whole weekend means it is a difficult race.
"We were competitive in Monaco and Canada - which is a sort of street circuit - so we hope to do similarly well here. So Saturday is a very important day for us."