Alonso: Red Bull are now ahead

But Spaniard believes he is in peak condition for the challenge ahead

Last Updated: 19/07/12 5:21pm

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Fernando Alonso has acknowledged Red Bull are once again the leading outfit in F1 and that Ferrari, despite their vast recent improvement, are currently playing catch-up.

The Spaniard has, by common consent, comprehensively out-driven the F2012 to claim the lead of the Drivers' Championship as the season reaches its halfway stage. Yet the threat from Red Bull is assuming ominous proportions with Mark Webber victorious in the British GP and World Champion Sebastian Vettel streaking away with the lead of the European GP at the end of June before suffering engine failure.

Alonso is thus in no doubts about where the threat to his position at the summit is likely to come from.

"Red Bull have perhaps been quicker than everybody not just in the last two or three races but ever since Bahrain," Fernando told Ferrari's official website. "They missed pole position in Barcelona and Silverstone but the rest of the poles have all been Red Bull. So they are definitely a bit ahead in terms of performance and we need to catch up."

Yet it's also surely true to state that both Vettel and Webber would identify Alonso as their strongest challenger with the Ferrari driver himself admitting that he is currently in the best shape of his career.

"Physically it's my best year so far. In previous years I've had to race with pain, whether it's in my leg or my shoulder, but so far this year it has been 100 percent in every race," he revealed. "Hopefully it will stay like this. Obviously a driver's life is not normal as we don't go to an office for eight hours so we wake up and have four or five hours of training. That's something I enjoy but yes, so far I've been in the best condition of my career."

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It could be also be stated with little likelihood of dissent that in addition to being at peak condition, Alonso has been driven at the peak of his powers in 2012. Asked where he could have improved this term, Alonso could only identify a mistake in qualifying in Melbourne as reason for reproach.

"In Formula 1 you are probably a better driver every year because you improve and you constantly learn from mistakes so I'm sure next year will be better. But it's true that this championship has been good for us so far. I remember a mistake in Q2 in Australia where I touched the grass in Turn 1 and I spun. But apart from that mistake I probably wouldn't change too many things about what I've done so far. This is good news because there are always mistakes here and there so I'm quite pleased with my performance."

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