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Alonso: Don't write off Ferrari

Fernando Alonso (R) could only finish third behind McLaren's Lewis Hamilton at the Canadian Grand Prix.
Fernando Alonso (R) could only finish third behind McLaren's Lewis Hamilton at the Canadian Grand Prix.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Fernando Alonso says it is premature to write off Ferrari's F1 chances
  • Alonso says improvements to his car will add extra pace
  • Spaniard finished third at the Canadian Grand Prix
  • McLaren's Lewis Hamilton leads the drivers' championship

(CNN) -- Fernando Alonso insists it is too early to write off Ferrari's chances of mounting an assault on the Formula One title as the Italian team prepare to revamp their car.

The two-time world champion has rejected claims that the upcoming Spanish Grand Prix in Valencia is do-or-die for his team, after struggling for pace in recent weeks.

Alonso has only one win to his name in 2010 -- at the opening Bahrain Grand Prix -- but he is predicting changes to his car will give Ferrari extra impetus.

"The next round is in Valencia in my home country," he told Ferrari's official Web site. "It will be nice to race in front of my fans and I would like to get on the podium again.

"We will have major updates on the F10 which I hope will allow us to up our performance level. Following on from that, we have further developments in the pipeline which should arrive for England and Germany.

The European Grand Prix is .. not a last-ditch effort for Ferrari, which I heard some people saying.
--Fernando Alonso, Ferrari
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"The European Grand Prix is simply the ninth round of the championship, not a last-ditch effort for Ferrari, which I heard some people saying.

"I don't see how they can say that given that we have not even reached the halfway point of the season and that after Valencia there will still be ten grand prix's to go.

"I've said it before and I'll say it again now, this is a stage event and the final one of those stages will not come until November in Abu Dhabi. There is still a long way to go and things can change very quickly, going either one way or the other."

Alonso had to settle for third behind McLaren's British pair Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button at Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix.

The Spaniard is currently fourth in the drivers' championship, 15 points behind former teammate Hamilton, but he insists Ferrari should be pleased with a podium finish.

"The sense of disappointment that we missed out on a win that was within our grasp has been replaced with the awareness that we did actually get a great result," he added.

"We have to look at it as a glass half full because, on the Thursday we would have been satisfied with the thought of a podium finish. We were competitive throughout the whole weekend, both in qualifying and the race, which is very positive.

"We were back to where we have been in practically all the other races, the one exception being Turkey, where for various reasons everything about the Grand Prix went wrong, from every point of view."