Fernando Alonso has said he is feeling optimistic ahead of the Scuderia's home race this weekend.

Alonso fought his way back to finish second in Belgium two weeks ago, despite only qualifying in ninth place.

The Spaniard is now hoping for another strong result this Sunday, with his focus firmly set on Sebastian Vettel and trying to ensure the German doesn't extend his considerable 46-point lead in the Drivers' Championship.

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"I am optimistic," Alonso said ahead of Sunday's Italian Grand Prix at Monza, the 12th and final European round in the 2013 F1 World Championship. "For sure at Spa I think we saw a step forward from us and we hope to continue in that direction now and keep improving.

"Also, here in Monza, the characteristics of the track should help our performance as well. We have everything in place to do a good weekend. We need to deliver when the time comes on Sunday in the race. But we arrive with some good confidence and ready to fight.

"I think for us, Singapore [the next race] will be a better test or a stronger test, when we get back to a maximum level of downforce [set-up]. Then we will see how much of a step forward we have done.

"Let's concentrate on this weekend for now, however. We will try and do the maximum and finish in front of our main rivals."

Pressed on his aims for the weekend, and for Singapore, and if two wins is the goal, the Spaniard added: "I don't think we would put two wins as a target. We have only won two grands prix so far in the championship this year. That would be too optimistic."

"We will try to do what we can and hope for the best. A more realistic target is to finish in front of Sebastien. We need to change the situation and close the gap. I will be happy finishing in front of Seb and finishing in front means being on the podium minimum because we know how strong he is and how competitive Red Bull will be.

"Two podiums and in front of Seb - that is the target. If we keep losing points we will need to start thinking about 2014 [and switching our focus to next year].

"We have an important few weeks coming..."