New delhi, Oct 28, 2012 (AFP) - Fernando Alonso remained defiant and optimistic on Sunday despite finishing second as Sebastian Vettel extended his lead in the Formula One drivers championship with victory in the Indian Grand Prix.
Two time champion Alonso of Ferrari said he his hopes of landing a third title had not been dashed despite the 25-year-old German increasing his advantage to 13 points with three races remaining.
"No, nothing has changed," he told reporters. ""There are 75 points and we are 13 behind and we know we need to improve. We are not fast enough, especially on Saturday, but we can improve the situation in Abu Dhabi or USA.
"As we saw with Mark (Webber) with the KERS problem, it can happen to Seb or it can happen to us, so I am optimistic..."
Vettel has steered his Red Bull car to four straight wins and outscored Alonso 100 to 48 in those events and will head into next weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as the hot favourite for another victory.
Alonso added that he felt Ferrari must take a step forward in performance to be able to fight Red Bull and not just limit the damage in the remaining races.
He added: "I think we need to bring some new parts to Abu Dhabi and hopefully improve a little bit the competitiveness of the car and get closer to Red Bulls on Saturday and hopefully Sunday as well.
"There are three races remaining and the championship is the main target. We need to recover some points. It would be nice to finish in front of Seb there and if we win even better.
"For that, we need to make a step forward as at the moment we are not able to win. I think Brazil will be quite good and hopefully I am going to be happy."
He rejected suggestions that Red Bull's apparent domination in speed and performance had given them a major advantage and said, instead, that his drive to second, passing Webber on the way, was a good sign.
"I think it is good news for us seeing that we could fight Red Bull in the race," he said. "I believe, of course, that we can win the title again."