BARCELONA, May 09, 2013 (AFP) - Fernando Alonso is set to go on the attack in his home Spanish Grand Prix this weekend for the first time since he joined Ferrari -- and remains optimistic that he can mount a serious bid for his third world title.
Speaking on the eve of opening free practice for the first European race of the year, the 31-year-old Spaniard said he hoped he could win his home event for a second time, but stressed that he would need to enjoy a trouble-free weekend.
"I think that maybe it's the first time we arrive with a competitive car, but that doesn't mean you will fight for top places if you don't do everything right and don't put together a good weekend," he told reporters at the Circuit de Catalunya.
"In the first four races we were competitive. We thought we could fight for the top places if the race was without problems. We will try here to have a clean race with no problems and if that will be enough to put us in contention for the victory it would be be nice.
"But if it's not possible then we will try and be as high as possible. It is a weekend we approach with a positive mentality -- and not a defensive mentality like the first three years for me at Ferrari."
Alonso's only previous win on home soil came in the 2006 Spanish Grand Prix when he was with Renault.
After the season-opening four 'flyaway' races in Australia, Malaysia, China and Bahrain, Alonso trails defending triple world champion Sebastian Vettel by 30 points in the drivers' title race.
But he said he felt confident -- thanks to the performances of his competitive Ferrari car.
"Last year we were one second or 1.5 seconds behind the top cars and we won by luck the race of Malaysia," he said. "This year we finished two races without problems and we finished second in Australia and won in China.
"It is a very different feeling and a different package we have this year, which brings us a good feeling that we can have a good championship. We are some points behind now, but the championship is long so I am condident for the future."