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Alonso: Ferrari must remain calm for final push 04 Aug 2010

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari celebrates his second position on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 1 August 2010 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F10 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB6.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 1 August 2010 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari celebrates his second position on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 1 August 2010 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari in the FIA Press Conference.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, German Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Hockenheim, Germany, Saturday, 24 July 2010 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F10 checks his tyre in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, 31 July 2010

The dark days following last month’s British Grand Prix saw Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso fall almost 50 points off the championship lead. Now he is riding high, just 20 shy of standings leader Mark Webber, and fresh from his second podium in as many races in Hungary, the Spaniard believes the title is still firmly in his sights.

“I think we have to be happy with our championship so far,” he told Ferrari’s official website. “We had some good races and some disappointing races as well, but overall I think we are in a really close position in the championship to the leader. There are five drivers fighting for the championship and there are seven races to go now. Anything can happen in these seven races, so we need to be the best one in this last part of the championship.”

If they are to emerge victorious at the end of the season Alonso knows Ferrari must remain cool, calm and collected, but with both team and driver more than familiar with the challenges of winning titles he is confident they can stay focused.

“We are in a position now that we are able to take the lead of the championship if we win one race,” he said. “I think we have to remain calm. We know that four or five drivers will fight until the last race, but we need to use our experience as a team. Ferrari have won so many championships, and my personal experience as well, fighting for three championships. We have to stay calm, and in these seven races get as many podiums as possible. I think continuity will be key to winning the championship.

“If you are the leader you are very stressed because every point you lose it fill you with dread and you feel you advantage disappears. If you are behind there isn’t any room to make mistakes. You need to take every opportunity, so it’s also very stressful because you have to recover points. I think in the situation we are now nobody feels they are leader of the championship and no one feels fearful. It is time to deliver now.”

Although Alonso took second place at last weekend’s Budapest race, the dominance of Red Bull’s package, which saw Sebastian Vettel clinch pole by over 1.2s from his third-placed Ferrari, was worrying. The former champion, however, is determined to concentrate on the long game.

“I think we at Ferrari need to think always about the win, we need to aim for pole positions and victories at every race we go,” he explained. “In Hungary obviously this was not possible, we were not as quick as our competitors, Red Bull, so there was a little bit of frustration, a little bit of disappointment in Budapest. I think with the medium to high-speed corners, and with not many straights, it was a perfect circuit for Red Bull, and we knew that. So we have to remain calm.

“The championship is 19 races, and for the overall picture of the 19 races, I think Ferrari has a very competitive package. We know that there will be some circuits that will suit our car, and we need to take the opportunity to win as we did in Germany. And there will be some circuits which maybe are not perfect for our characteristics, so we need to make the best of the race, as we did in Hungary by coming second on Sunday. Overall I think as a team we work very well in the last part of championships, and we always maximise our performance.”

With just over three weeks to go before the next event, and Formula One racing’s annual two-week shutdown to comply with, Alonso will have some time for reflection - and training - ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix.

“I will try to train to be fit for the last seven races,” he concluded. “We know that five of them are away from Europe so it won’t be easy for us. We’ll need to be 100 percent ready mentally to fight for the championship and physically we’ll have to be 110 percent because we can’t lose any chance so I’ll train a lot.”

Alonso and his rivals will be back on track at Spa-Francorchamps from August 27-29.