Indian GP: Ferrari's Fernando Alonso defiant about his title hopes

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer in Noida
Abu Dhabi GP highlights

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso is confident he can win the title despite losing further ground to rival Sebastian Vettel.

The Red Bull driver won the Indian Grand Prix on Sunday, with Alonso second, to extend his lead to 13 points with his fourth win in succession.

Alonso said: "It's not easy to fight with Red Bull but we will never give up. They were fantastic this weekend.

"But we want to be happy and enjoy in Brazil and I'm sure we will do it."

The Brazilian Grand Prix is the last race of the season on 25 November, before which there are events in Abu Dhabi next weekend and then Austin, Texas on 18 November.

Alonso - remains in title contention

Alonso spent the Indian race fighting with Vettel's team-mate Mark Webber, eventually passing him to take second place.

Alonso said: "It is good news for us, seeing we could fight Red Bull in the race. We more or less knew this, in qualifying we are not close enough to fight for pole position but we are closer in the race - this was a perfect example.

"Everything was fine in the race and I pushed 110% every lap.

"We need to bring some new parts to Abu Dhabi, hopefully improve the competitiveness of the car, and be a little closer to the Red Bulls on Saturday and Sunday.

"There are three races remaining, we need to recover some points and it would be nice to finish in front of Sebastian in Abu Dhabi whatever the positions. And if we are able to win then even better. But at the moment we are not fast enough to win.

India was the first race for some time that upgrades introduced by Ferrari worked as planned and were kept on the car throughout the weekend.

This clearly had an effect as Alonso was more competitive compared to the Red Bulls than he had been in the last race in Korea.

Asked if he was encouraged by this following the difficulties Ferrari have had improving their car this season, team boss Stefano Domenicali said: "I don't know if encouraged is the right word but for sure it is something that in terms of approach we need to keep for the future.

"We know that in every race everything is a bit different. It is clear at the moment that Red Bull have a better car but what can we say, we cannot cry. We need to work hard, full stop.

"In 1982, in the [football] World Cup our team [Italy] was not the strongest but we won the title.

"We have the luxury of having Fernando with us who is the number one driver.

"We know Red Bull are very strong but don't forget that up to two grands prix ago, McLaren seemed to be untouchable but now we have matched that pace.

"Unfortunately we have to fight with the other one and we will fight until the end."

Vettel said: "This was another good step but there it as long way to go and things can change.

"It was fantastic to have a race like this where everything works the way you want it to. There is a lot more to come and we have to take it step by step."

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said: "Fernando is a quality driver and Ferrari are a quality team. They are doing a strong job. He is remarkably consistent.

"We are going to have to perform at our very best if we are to maintain our lead ahead of him. We have worked hard to get ahead of him and there is a real determination in the team to carry this momentum into the remaining three races."

In the constructors' championship, Red Bull are now 91 points ahead of Ferrari, with McLaren a further 10 adrift.

Red Bull can clinch the constructors' title in Abu Dhabi if results go their way.

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