Fernando Alonso relieved after qualifying in fifth place for the Hungarian GP
Spaniard still believes he can beat Sebastian Vettel to the line
By Pete Gill. Last Updated: 27/07/13 4:41pm
Fernando Alonso: Still chasing Red Bull
Fernando Alonso still believes he can close his World Championship deficit to Sebastian Vettel after qualifying in a respectable fifth place for Sunday's Hungarian GP.
While Vettel jousted with Hamilton for pole position, Alonso was just relieved to have returned to the third row after Ferrari's Saturday woes for the British and German GPs.
"It is a positive weekend. This track has historically not been so good for Ferrari, so to be a bit closer to pole position is good news, especially after tenth on the grid at Silverstone, and eighth at Nurburgring. So being back in the top-five is good news," said Alonso.
"The lap felt good. Hopefully soon after the summer break we can have a winning car, but today's result cannot hide that the fact Mercedes, Lotus and Red Bull is above us and having the fourth fastest car is difficult."
Having become something of a damage-limitation expert last season as he sought to stay in front of Vettel, Alonso's task this season is to catch the Red Bull driver after Vettel built up a commanding lead of the World Championship through the opening nine rounds.
Alonso told reporters on Thursday that it was vital for him to beat Vettel this weekend in order to maintain morale at Ferrari, and he remains confident he can overcome his longstanding rival in Sunday's grand prix despite the German lining up three places further up the grid.
"We have a chance. If we start eighth and he starts on pole then there is no way that we can arrive on him," Alonso reflected. "But he is second and we will start fifth, we can try different strategies, and there will be a chance around the pit-stops.
"Hopefully tomorrow we will be able to recover some positions."