May 9, 2013, 5:15 PM EDT
Fernando Alonso has written off the 30 point gap to championship leader Sebastian Vettel, believing that the F138 has given him a great shot at the 2013 world championship.
“Last year we were 1.5 seconds behind the top cars. This year we have finished two races without problems and we were second in Australia and won in China. It’s a very different feeling – and very different package which brings us optimism and confidence,” Alonso explained during the drivers’ press conference.
When talking about the gap to Vettel, Alonso compared it to the way in which the Red Bull driver overcame his own lead last season.
“It’s true we are some points behind, but the Championship is long and we have seen last year that Sebastian was 43 points behind us after the summer break and arrived with the lead in Austin.
“In five or six races you can recover 50 points with some consistent results.”
However, Alonso did say that should the gap become too great, his championship aspirations would be over.
“Until we are 75 or 80 points behind, we should be optimistic.”
Ferrari has endured a mixed start to the season. Despite the F138 being ‘on a different planet’ compared to the 2012 car according to the drivers, two difficult races for Alonso has seen him drop back from the leaders. However, the team will be pleased to have already scored one win so far this season, and Alonso will be keen on impressing in front of his home fans this weekend.
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