Fernando Alonso has claimed Sebastian Vettel is the man he is fighting with for this year's world championship, backtracking on a claim he made last year that designer Adrian Newey was the key man in Red Bull championship challenge.
Many saw that comment last year as a poke at Vettel who continues to have doubts about his overall ability despite winning the last three championships.
"Right now we are fighting against Sebastian," he is quoted by Germany's Auto Bild.
"I said in the second half of the year (2012) that I was not any more fighting against Sebastian or Mark (Webber), but against an aeroplane -- so strong was the Red Bull.
"Maybe some people misunderstood; I was simply trying to say that it's hard to fight against the car that can potentially be first and second in every race.
"This year it's no longer the case. Sebastian is ahead because he does the best job," Alonso added.
The Spaniard has vowed to continue the fight despite the 34 point deficit to Vettel in the championship.
"As long as we are not 50 or 60 points behind, we do not give up," said the Spaniard.
"Sebastian was 44 points behind last year and still won the title in the end. Everything is possible."
Alonso also suggested something that is seen as impossible by some in the F1 paddock, the idea of an Alonso - Vettel partnership at Ferrari.
"I think we respect each other very much," said Alonso, "and it would also be good for the team, maximising the performance of the car and also the points."
Next Alonso spoke of the performance of his Ferrari team this season, a topic he has been very vocal about in recent races, especially considering how the Scuderia appear to be falling behind in the development race and are struggling for qualifying pace.
"It has been good," he said, "so I think we can give it an eight (out of ten) -- a good score," claimed Alonso
"Clearly we are not the fastest," the 31-year-old admitted, "but our car is very complete, so I would say I am satisfied."
Despite Alonso's praise team boss Stefano Domenicali says there is still plenty to be done.
"Now it is vital that we optimise the performance of our car, just as our rivals have managed to do, because we want to get back to fighting for the top places as soon as possible."
Alonso agreed claiming that despite only having two wins this season, the two second place finishes he also has are just as satisfying.
"Sometimes it (finishing second) is a great satisfaction, at other times a big disappointment," he said.
"There are never two results alike, as it depends on the circumstances and who is in first place.
"If your biggest rival is not the winner, it may be a very good result," Alonso added.
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