World championship leader Fernando Alonso believes now is the time for Ferrari to strike as it bids to win the Drivers’ Championship.
The double world champ heads into this weekend’s night grand prix in Singapore acknowledging the next three races suit his car perfectly.
Alonso, who leads his nearest rival, Lewis Hamilton by 37-points — the McLaren driver has won two of the last three races — admits his Pirelli-shod Ferrari will be at its strongest before the season’s climax.
If, as he suggests, that is the case, then the next three races at Marina Bay, Suzuka and Yeongam in Korea — take on added significance.
“There are two or three grands prix that we will have the possibility to attack,” Alonso said on the eve of the dazzling, floodlit Singapore Grand Prix. “I feel confident the car will be in good shape and we can be competitive. If we are competitive, we have to take our opportunities.
“Here, Japan and Korea: in this three-race trip, our aim is to win grands prix and to increase the lead. There’s 75 points on the table, so we need to maximise those.”
And Alonso admitted he confident his Ferrari will be strong enough to fight for pole and victory this weekend.
“Yes, I think we can fight for pole,” he said. “We need to wait and see what the performance is in Free Practice, but our aim is to fight for pole and for the win in this race.
“We’ve been competitive in Monaco and in Canada, which is some kind of street circuit, so we will try to do our best here again. We know how important pole position is, so Saturday is an important day.”
And the Spaniard — who also stated Ferrari need to consider carefully who they sit alongside him in the team for 2013 if it decides to replace current team-mate Felipe Massa — admitted he can afford to make mistakes.
And despite McLaren winning the last three races — Jenson Button took victory in Belgium, with Hamilton winning in Hungary and Italy —Alonso says he doesn’t feel under any pressure.
“Not at all,” he stated firmly. “If I had finished the Spa race the championship lead would keep increasing all the time. It was decreasing just because of that race.
“Now we need to recover in the next two or three races. It is true McLaren are in very good form and are favourites after the last two or three results, but it is up to us to improve a little bit the pace and let’s see what we can do.
“I’m not under pressure at all. We have five or six contenders for the championship and seven races to go.
“It will be tight until the last race but I’m probably the only one can afford one mistake or one retire, the others cannot, so I think it is much more pressure.”