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Statistics buff Alonso convinced of his title chances 11 May 2011

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Saturday, 7 May 2011 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari 150 Italia leads Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB7.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Race, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Sunday, 8 May 2011 The podium (L to R): Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Race, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Sunday, 8 May 2011 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari 150 Italia and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari 150 Italia in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Saturday, 7 May 2011 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari 150 Italia.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Saturday, 7 May 2011 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari 150 Italia. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Friday, 6 May 2011

Despite a disappointingly slow start to his season, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso is certain he can still claim the title. Buoyed by his first podium finish of the year in Turkey, and after carrying out his own statistical comparison between 2010 and 2011, Alonso believes his championship fight is far from over, as long as the Italian team continue to improve.

“We were all unhappy with a start to the season that did not live up to expectations and we know how much good it does to see that the efforts expended every day are paying off,” he told Ferrari’s official website. “What matters are results and we’ve started to make the podium. We must do that regularly and if so I’m convinced that we will again be able to fight for the title.”

Although currently sitting fifth in the table, 52 points shy of championship leader Sebastian Vettel, Alonso is satisfied his study of last year’s stats proves he remains a strong championship contender.

“I like playing with numbers - and as I travelled backwards and forwards between home, Maranello and Turkey, I made a comparison between my first four races of last year and those of this year in the corresponding Grands Prix,” he explained. “What came out of this little game was that compared to 2010 I’m eight points short (49 to 41) but in the same four races, this year I’ve brought home 13 more points compared to last year (41 to 28).

“It’s true that my current gap to the top of the drivers championship is much greater (52 points) compared to what I had after Shanghai 2010 (11 points) but I well recall that after Silverstone we were 47 points away and we only had eight races left. Today we still have 15 Grands Prix to come. This shows that you can look at the same thing in two different, even completely opposite ways.”

After stepping up their car’s development programme and changing working practices back at their Maranello factory, Ferrari are fully focused on salvaging their 2011 campaign. For Alonso, one of the most important changes required is an improvement in qualifying pace. Neither the Spaniard, nor team mate Felipe Massa has qualified higher than fifth since the season began.

“What matters most is that we must be much more competitive in qualifying,” he concluded. “If we always start from the third row or lower it’s a struggle to fight for the podium. We have a lot of irons in the fire and we hope that as early as next week in Barcelona we will have new parts that allow us to take an important step forward in qualifying as well.”

After completing a session on the simulator on Tuesday, Alonso is set to return home to rest up before the Spanish round of the championship gets underway at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya from May 20-22.

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