VALENCIA, Spain, June 24, 2011 (AFP) - Fernando Alonso said on Friday that he still believes Ferrari can take the fight to rivals Red Bull and win this year's Formula One world championships.
The 29-year-old Spaniard, now in his second season with the Italian team, has had a disappointing start this year and is currently 92 points adrift of defending drivers' champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull.
But the two-time champion said he is in the best form of his life and insisted there is still room for a resurgence if Ferrari can improve the performance of their car to match his personal efforts.
He said: "These seven races. I drove the best seven races of my career, the best qualifying laps and the best starts. Now we need to have the best car.
"If we have the best car we can win the title. There is plenty of time, plenty of races to recover. We need to try and win every race we go in. Sometimes it is impossible, but that is our aim.
"We need to respect our opponents and we need to understand that some races and some places we cannot do that (win).
"There is also some pressure that you have when you are Ferrari -- you need to win every race you go to, you need to win every championship you go to."
After a hectic and rain-soaked race in Canada, Alonso hopes that this weekend's European Grand Prix on his home soil in Spain will give his team a better opportunity to take advantage of the upgrades they have made to the car.
He said: "In the races you seem a little bit closer, but we are not desperate to go here and win the race. We need to know where we are at the moment. We know we need to keep working in the direction we took.
"It seems we are more competitive but we cannot underestimate or forget how quick our opponents are." Alonso added that he believes his car has been more competitive in recent races and is hoping for a strong result in Valencia this weekend.
"At the moment it is difficult to win a race, but there is no doubt that in Monaco and Canada we had the opportunity to win," he said.
"That is fact -- that is not a dream. We were very close, we were on the front row of the grid in Canada and we were 10cm from winning in Monaco.
"The trend is quite good, we are improving. The Valencia (circuit) characteristics are similar to Montreal and Monaco, but we have to remember we are one second behind sometimes in qualifying."