Formula 1

Fernando Alonso admits he must start beating Vettel

Alonso has two race wins; Vettel has four (©GettyImages)
Alonso has two race wins; Vettel has four (©GettyImages).

Fernando Alonso claims he needs to start beating Sebastian Vettel if he wants to close down the 34-point gap to the German in the championship.

Speaking ahead of this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix Alonso says Ferrari are working "night and day" to make up ground in the developmental race.

"We must try to finish ahead of Vettel," the Spaniard told Italy's Rai TV ahead of this weekend's race in Budapest.

So far this season Alonso has two victories to his name (China and Spain) compared to Vettel's four (Malaysia, Bahrain, Canada and Germany) so Alonso believes a good result in Hungary is crucial ahead of the summer break and factory shutdown.

"The gap to Vettel is beginning to be a bit too much in terms of points. We have to reduce this gap as soon as possible," he said.

Recently Alonso backed down from his claims that Vettel was not the person he was battling with in the championship, rather it was Red Bull's chief designer Adrian Newey, though the double world champion does still believe the German has a clear car advantage.

"Any driver who goes into the Red Bull manages to go very strongly," he said.

"We saw that in the tests for young drivers (at Silverstone)," Alonso added, referring to tests last week for Antonio Felix da Costa, Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz jr.

"Whoever goes into the Red Bull is very fast -- it is a fact that it is stronger than the others," said Alonso.

No matter what happens with Alonso in the second half of the season, some eyes are already turned to who will partner the Spaniard at Ferrari in 2014.

Former world champion Emmerson Fittipaldi admitted Alonso's current team-mate Felipe Masa will need to improve in the final 10 races if he wants to keep his place.

"I see Massa's future as depending on how well he will go in the second half of this year," Fittipaldi told Brazil's Totalrace.

"He's aggressive, he has talent and is very fast, but sometimes an athlete has phases where he cannot put it all together," he explained.

"But I'm sure he will come out of it."


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Formula 1

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