Hungary GP: Fernando Alonso says Ferrari are back on form

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton

Fernando Alonso says his fifth place on the grid in Hungary is a sign Ferrari are back to form after a tough period.

Alonso qualified only 10th and eighth at the last two races and has slipped to 34 points behind Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel in the title fight.

"This is a very positive weekend," Alonso said. "No doubt we were a little bit lost in Nuburgring and Silverstone.

"Here we are a little happier, especially as we were worried we would not be competitive at all."

Vettel starts second, behind Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, with Lotus's Romain Grosjean and the second Mercedes of Nico Rosberg between the championship leader and Alonso, who is one place ahead of Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen, the other title contender.

Alonso said he believed he could battle with Vettel in the race.

"We have the chance [to beat Vettel]" Alonso said. "If we start eighth or ninth and he starts on pole there is no way we can.

"He starts second, we start fifth so the first opportunity will be in the first corner."

He added: "I don't know if we are in a position to win. We will try to do a good race.

"The long-run pace we saw [in Friday practice] was a little bit worse than we are used to, normally it is our strongest point.

"So we made some changes to the car; hopefully they work tomorrow. It will be an interesting race - we have not seen 50C track temperature in F1 for three or four years so it will be a challenging race for all of us."

Alonso said his target was to "finish in front of Sebastian, whatever position he is. If it is fourth and fifth, sixth and seventh it is a good result for us - we want to go into the August break with a little smaller gap than now.

Lewis Hamilton

"It will be not easy because he will be very strong in the race but we cannot afford to finish behind once more."

After this race, F1 heads into a four-week break before the Belgian Grand Prix at the end of August.

Alonso said his qualifying performance "boosted the motivation that we can have a winning car very soon after the summer.

"But the result of the very good lap today cannot hide that Mercedes, Red Bull and Lotus are in front of us. When you have the fourth fastest car it is a little bit more difficult."

Hungarian Grand Prix, day two

Saturday 27 July:
TV qualifying highlights at 17:15 on BBC One

Hungarian Grand Prix, day three

Sunday 28 July:
Race coverage at 13:00 BST on BBC Radio 5 live plus live text commentary online. TV race highlights at 17:05 BST on BBC One

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Hungarian Grand Prix forecast

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