Fernando Alonso says Ferrari must rely on their own 'strong points' to win the title
Spaniard not banking on winning in either Austin or Brazil
Last Updated: 05/11/12 2:44pm
Although the Spaniard outscored his German rival for the first time since the end of the European season with second place in Sunday's Abu Dhabi GP, the fact he only clawed three points back on Vettel, who recovered to third, is widely not thought be considered enough given the German had started from the pitlane.
And with McLaren, Lotus and Red Bull all arguably faster than Alonso's Ferrari at the Yas Marina circuit, the Spaniard has suggested any title win for him is unlikely to be purely won on performance.
Indeed, asked if he thought he needed to score victory in either one or both of the remaining grands prix to win the title, and if he indeed thought such a scenario was even possible, Alonso replied: "That will help, for sure, but I don't think so."
The 31-year-old, however, insisted he remained "confident" that he could end the season as World Champion again and said that Ferrari's other "strong points" - likely to be there so far bullet-proof reliability and operational record this season - could be their ace cards.
"Yes, I'm confident. We will fight until the end," Alonso added.
"We are not fast enough, this is true and we are honest with ourselves, we know this. We need to accept this. It's a weak point, the performance that we have at the moment in our package, and we have some strong points which we will try to use."
In a bid to hit back at Red Bull's recent relentless step forward in performance, Ferrari had brought a series of new parts onto the F2012 for the Abu Dhabi weekend in a bid to get Alonso closer to the front row of the grid.
And although, on the qualifying timesheet in particular, they seemed to have little impact as Alonso set only the seventh-fastest time, the Spaniard insists they did provide an improvement - but only in hundredths, rather than the required tenths, of a second of lap time.
However, he says Ferrari will continue striving to improve the car both at their Maranello base and the race tracks in Austin and Brazil.
"I think it helped for sure because when we tested it on Friday, they gave us some performance but we are talking very few hundredths of advantage that for sure when you have a gap to close that is a couple of tenths, when you bring hundredths and your opponents bring also some new parts, I think more or less you are in the same position," he said.
"So, we need to keep working and in Maranello they work day and night very hard to bring new parts. Here in the track, mechanics work 24 hours and we are doing our maximum and we sure that hopefully it will be enough."