Alonso: Ferrari will keep me in the title hunt

Fernando Alonso remains confident that Ferrari will be able to remain in the title hunt for the remainder of the season – revealing that the teams plans to introduce an agressive programme of upgrades.

Alonso managed to take second in Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix, but was largely fortunate after the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel suffered problems during the race and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton crashed out of the position with a puncture.

The weekend also saw Ferrari fall further behind Red Bull, with Alonso qualifying more than a second off Mark Webber’s pole position time and finishing a further 24 seconds behind in the race. However the double world champion believes that the Milton Keynes-based team are still catchable and that Ferrari plan a raft of new upgrades for the upcoming races.

“Well, regarding the improvements on the car, there is a very aggressive plan of developing the car with some good gains and good improvements to come in the next races, so we are very optimistic on that,” he is reported as saying by ITV F1.

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“The championship is long.

“There will be some circuits where we will be closer to Red Bull and some circuits like this weekend where we know it’s going to be more difficult but overall, for the 19 races, I think we have a package, a car that can fight for the world championship which is the main goal.”

Although Alonso admitted that the F10 currently lacks the downforce needed to stay in touch with the Red Bulls, he is confident that Ferrari have identified the problems and are working to rectify them.

“We know the areas which will give aerodynamic improvements,” he said.

“Basically, I think, we saw this weekend here in Barcelona how important the aerodynamics of the car are and the maximum downforce and we were struggling a little bit more than we wanted.

“Nothing new.”

Despite having not won a race since the season opener in Bahrain, Alonso still remains in the hunt for the drivers title and used his second place finish at the Circuit de Catalunya to close the gap on Jenson Button to within 3 points.

As a result, the Spaniard believes that there is still alot to play for in 2010 and that he is still in with a fighting chance to take the crown.

“It’s just a very early part of the championship,” he added.

“Better to be in the first three or four positions than to be eighth or ninth in the championship for sure but I think you need the consistency, you need good results all through the year, but as you said, we had two engine problems, one gearbox problem, one jumped start and some chaotic races and we are three points behind the leaders, so we are happy.”