Fernando Alonso says he remains convinced that he can win the 2012 F1 title despite losing more ground to Sebastian Vettel in India.
Vettel stormed to his fourth successive win at the Buddh International Circuit to extend his lead over Alonso to 13 points – with Alonso minimising his losses after taking a solid second place.
With three races still to run, a maximum of 75 points are still available and despite his rival appearing to have the upper hand given his recent run of form, Alonso said he remained confident of wining a third crown.
“Of course,” he replied when asked if he still felt he would be champion. “We know that there were still 100 points yesterday and now 75 points [available]. We are 13 behind. We know that we need to improve. We are not fast enough, especially on Saturdays, as I said, but hopefully we can improve the situation in Abu Dhabi or in USA.
“The races are long, and as we saw today with Mark, a KERS problem can happen to anyone, it can happen to Seb, it can happen to me and it can happen to all of us. There are still many points on the table and I'm still very optimistic.”
Although pleased to challenge the Red Bull pair in the Indian race however, Alonso admitted that Ferrari needs to make improvements in Abu Dhabi to ensure he is able to eat into Vettel's lead.
“I think it's good news for us, seeing that we could fight Red Bull in the race,” he said of the Indian encounter. “More or less we knew this. In qualifying we are not close enough to fight for pole position but in the race normally things improve for us. Today was another example but it was perfect for the strategy from the team: very good start, very good top speed and tyre management. Everything set up for the race, everything was fine and I push 120 per cent every lap so the combination was this second place.
“I think we need to bring some new parts to Abu Dhabi, hopefully improve a little bit more then competitiveness of the car, try to be a little bit closer to Red Bulls on Saturday and hopefully on Sunday as well. Obviously three races remaining; championship is the main target so we need to recover some points and will be nice to finish in front of Sebastian in Abu Dhabi, whatever the position it is. And if we can win the race it will be even better – but for that we need to make a step forward. At the moment we are not able to win.”