Fernando Alonso believes Ferrari is part of "quite a fight" for third place in tomorrow's Spanish Grand Prix.

Kimi Raikkonen and Alonso qualified sixth and seventh respectively, with Alonso 1.9 seconds slower than pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton. While admitting that Mercedes is uncatchable, he believes third place is a realistic target for any one of the drivers starting in the top ten to aim for.

"Obviously I would like to start a little bit more at the front," Alonso said. "Not Mercedes - because they are very dominant - but from third to tenth we are in quite a fight. So if we are seventh we would like to be a little bit more towards the front but today it was not possible. I'm seventh because I was seventh fastest, and with Vettel and Massa who had problems I don't know what the final position would be.

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"Unfortunately we had a difficult qualifying but I still feel confident that we can have a good race. We know that it's going to be a challenge for everyone; there is very low grip, we saw cars sliding all weekend. So tomorrow I think all 66 laps will require very high concentration and zero room for mistakes."

While Alonso says this weekend's race shouldn't be seen as an indication of form for the rest of the season he admits the gap to Mercedes is tough to stomach.

"Barcelona I think in the past used to be a reference; I'm not sure these days it's a reference any more for how the championship will develop because last year we won here 60 seconds in front of Mercedes and we didn't win any more races since then.

"So we need to see it in a different way, but that's probably the worst thing today. It's not the seventh place or how far or close we are from a podium or whatever, it's that 1.8 seconds is a lot and we want to change this as soon as possible."