Fernando Alonso says he hopes Ferrari will show that its relative lack of pace at Silverstone was nothing more than a blip in this weekend's German Grand Prix.

Alonso managed to rescue a podium finish from the race to cut the deficit to Sebastian Vettel in the title race, although the Spaniard was again forced to work his way forwards on Sunday after a challenging qualifying session saw him only post the tenth quickest time.

That marked the Spaniard's worst qualifying result of the season so far and he said Ferrari now needed to wait and see if it was simply a one-off or a sign that the team has dropped away from its rivals in the championship race.

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"Obviously we said we were happy with closing the points gap to Vettel," he said, "but I wasn't happy with our performance. It's something we need to investigate here, to see if Silverstone was a one-off because we didn't have the right balance on the car, or if it's because everyone else made more progress and we made a step backwards.

"Hopefully, this weekend we can return to the form we showed earlier. We went very deep in the analysis of Silverstone, as we were not competitive and we did see some issues with the car in terms of its aerodynamic characteristics and also the set-up. So maybe we can do things better here."

Alonso added that the upcoming races were ones where Ferrari could gain an advantage by quickly coming to terms with the latest Pirelli tyres, with teams unaware of how the tyres will perform.

"This race and the next one in Hungary will be dominated by the tyres and which cars they suit best," he said. "This means we must learn to interpret the new tyres as quickly as possible and get them to work for us and we will be putting a lot of effort into this.

"We need to wait and see how it will affect our performance: it's the third or fourth change they've made this season: some have hurt us, some were good for us and that is another question mark for this weekend. However, they have only changed the rears and usually they are less problematic in terms of the warm-up that we can suffer from with the fronts.

"But today, performance is the second priority. What we need to have is a tyre with which you can finish the race and get home at night."