SILVERSTONE, United Kingdom, June 27, 2013 (AFP) - Fernando Alonso oozed cool self-confidence on Thursday when he arrived in the paddock at the British Grand Prix and said he still believed that he can overhaul Sebastian Vettel and win a third drivers world championship.
The 31-year-old Spaniard acknowledged that Vettel's 36-points lead was significant, but stressed it was not insurmountable -- particularly if he could steer his Ferrari to victory ahead of the Red Bull driver in Sunday's 52-laps race.
"Being 36 points behind the leader, we don't have much more room to make mistakes or lose many more points," said Alonso.
"But on the other side we need to remain calm and do our job. If we can win races and if we can finish in front of Sebastian it will be great, but if we cannot, then we try and lose the minimum points.
"Last year I had an advantage around Monza time of 42 points and it was not enough. So being the eighth race and 36 points behind is not an ideal position, but it is not the end of the world."
Alonso paid due respect to Vettel's consistency this season while both he and Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus have endured poor Grands Prix that have gifted the defending triple world champion a bigger lead.
He said: "I think he (Vettel) is doing a fantastic job in all the races. He has been nearly perfect with no down races, always performing well in qualifying and with very good races.
"Obviously I had two unlucky situations, one in Malaysia and one in Bahrain. Kimi was leading the championship and then was very close until he had two unlucky situations, one in Monaco and one in Canada which was a mixed race for him.
"So we need to keep fighting, we need to keep pushing to recover now these bad races we have had. Red Bull is improving really well, compared to the first part of the championship. We need to raise our game if we want to challenge him."
Ferrari's form on high speed circuits so far this year has given them and Alonso optimism ahead of this weekend's contest.
He said: "It should be a good circuit for us. We have been more or less competitive here for the last three or four years, and it is the first circuit that is similar to China and Barcelona, which have been the best circuits for this year's car.
"We have some high hopes for this weekend. But, on the other hand, Red Bull has been quite strong and dominant here since 2009, so it will be a close and challenging weekend - with Mercedes as well who I am sure will be very, very strong as well.
"We have an interesting weekend ahead of us, but we can approach it with confidence, knowing we have a good opportunity."