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Alonso: Being in contention is what counts 27 Apr 2010

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F10 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Saturday, 13 March 2010 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari (Centre) with Marc Gene (ESP) Ferrari Test Driver (Left) and Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Ferrari (Right).
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Australian Grand Prix, Race Day, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, 28 March 2010 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F10.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Australian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Friday, 26 March 2010 Race winner Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault celebrates with Renault team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Spanish Grand Prix, Race, Barcelona, Spain, 14 May 2006

After mixed fortunes in the season’s opening flyaway races, Fernando Alonso has dismissed fears over Ferrari’s engine reliability, insisting he is simply glad to be a championship contender as he heads to his home Grand Prix in Spain.

Alonso won the first round in Bahrain, but has not appeared on the podium since. Nevertheless, fourth places in Australia and China mean he is a competitive third in the driver standings on 49 points, just 11 shy of leader Jenson Button.

“We didn’t always gain what we could have according to our potential, but we’re fighting for the title and this is what counts more than anything else,” said Alonso. “In the last two years after four races it was already clear that I didn’t have a chance.

“I wasn’t happy with things Sunday night in Shanghai, but now, with a cool head, I can be really satisfied with this start of the season.”

Both Alonso and team mate Felipe Massa have already used three of their permitted eight engines for the season and the former champion lost out on a points finish in Malaysia after a failure in the closing laps. He is confident though, that Ferrari are on top of the issues.

“The problems with the engines? I’m not worried at all,” he said. “I know that the team is working hard to fix them and I’m convinced that I’ll have a reliable and strong engine available, just as I know that they are giving it their all in Maranello to introduce several new solutions for the F10 for the Spanish Grand Prix.”

With the build-up to Barcelona providing teams with their first real chance to update their cars, Alonso knows it will be an important race. He also knows it will be a special one, as he makes his debut on home turf in the Scuderia’s famous colours.

“I will race there for the first time with a Ferrari, so the grandstands will be covered in red, I’m pretty sure about that, just my fans from Asturias might contrast to it a little, because they’re usually dressed in blue.”

Alonso has previously won his home race on one occasion, back in 2006 en route to his second world drivers' title with Renault.