Fernando Alonso has said that everyone at McLaren-Mercedes will have to 'push hard' at the Nurburgring next weekend if they want to come out top and beat Ferrari.

Alonso tested for two of the three-days at Spa last week and was pleased with the work done, even if he did finish up behind the Ferrari of Felipe Massa on day two and third quickest on day three, when Kimi Raikkonen led the way for the Scuderia.

"We had a positive test at Spa last week, with a lot of dedication from everyone within the team. This season is very competitive and we all have to push hard to find more performance from every part of the car, particularly for the N?rburgring," he confirmed.

Asked about will be required for the European Grand Prix, the tenth round in the 2007 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, the double world champion added that finding a 'consistent balance' will be the key to getting the most out of the MP4-22.

"It is not a track that depends on a particular part of the car and it is difficult to get the maximum performance here. The layout of the track, with the range of corners, means that you have to have a consistent balance for the different speeds, so there will be a lot of hard work with my engineers to get a competitive set-up," he explained.

"As with Silverstone there are some bumps here on the track, that you have to watch out for, and you have to use the kerbs very aggressively to be fast. You can overtake here. The changes to the track a couple of years ago have added another chance, under braking into the Mercedes Arena at the first corner."

As for what it will be like to compete in Germany as a Mercedes-powered driver, Fernando noted that it will be a privilege to race on the manufacturers' home soil: "This will be my first time as a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver racing in front of all the Mercedes-Benz employees from Stuttgart, who, I have been told, mostly sit in the Mercedes Arena section of the track. I am really looking forward to it and hope we can give them a good race," he summed-up. "I've had a positive couple of races here over the past two years and I hope to continue that into the race next weekend."



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