Fernando Alonso insists that he can still challenge for the F1 title, despite losing ground to Sebastian Vettel again in Belgium.

While the Ferrari man took second place at Spa, victory for Vettel allowed the German to extend his lead in the title race to 46 points.

Issues for Kimi Raikkonen mean Alonso is now Vettel's closest rival in the race for the 2013 crown and the Spaniard said he wasn't giving up hope of beating him to the crown with the way in which last season panned out being an indication that anything that could still happen.

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However, the double champion also admitted that Ferrari still had to improve to keep pace with its rivals.

"I'm happy with the feeling that I had this weekend," he said. "I'm happy with the parts that we brought here, seems that they are working fine. We need to take things very carefully because, as you say, this is a very specific circuit and we are not first and second in any practice or any qualifying or any race. We are ninth and tenth in quali and now we are second and seventh in the race. At the moment it is still work to do.

"We cannot forget that in the first five races we were a very competitive team. We won two of the five races and we were in a position to fight for the podium all the time. At that point, we were a very few points behind the leader. Then there were some races in the championship where we went backwards in terms of a step in the car and we lost direction a little bit. We understood the problem, we analysed everything and all the things that we are now bringing to the races are delivering what we expected, finally, so this gives us the possibility to get our good form back.

"We still have to recover some of the gap, to fight for pole positions but the championship is very long, and as I said before, the example is what happened to us last year. If you have a competitive car and you win four or five consecutive races like Sebastian did last year, you recover very quickly. I was leading with 41 points ahead of Sebastian after the Monza race [last year] and I arrived in Texas 15 points behind, so things can change very quickly. Our hopes are to keep developing, to keep improving performance and try to repeat what happened last year the other way around."