Alonso targeting title ahead of Spa

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The Independent Online

Cycling fan Fernando Alonso returns to four wheels this weekend in a buoyant mood as he targets a third Formula One world title.

According to Alonso, who has previously said he would love to set up a cycling team to one day compete in the Tour de France, he "had some fun doing a mini Vuelta (Tour of Spain)" near his home town of Oviedo during the recent summer break.

But now it is back to the serious stuff for Alonso after reviving his championship challenge in the last two races by winning the German Grand Prix and finishing second in Hungary.

A World Motor Sport Council meeting in Paris on September 8 still hangs over Ferrari after the team orders controversy in Hockenheim that may yet cost Alonso points.

For now, the 29-year-old Spaniard heads into the final seven races, starting in Belgium on Sunday, just 20 points behind title leader Mark Webber.

The holidays are over and the hard work begins again in earnest as he said: "Three weeks is more than enough time to unwind, at least after the first few days.

"I made the most of it to recharge the batteries in preparation for the final part of the season.

"Now, I really want to get back on track, but in a positive sense and in a calm way, without any feeling of anxiety.

"I have a good feeling following on from the positive results obtained in Germany and Hungary.

"We have to keep the momentum and that should be our aim in Spa, to ensure we carry on the way we started just before the holidays.

"The Hockenheim and Budapest results were important, not just in terms of the classification in both championships, but also for the confidence it has given us. We have to keep pushing on this way."

As with virtually every other driver, for Alonso the Spa circuit represents a welcome stop of the F1 circus, with Ferrari aiming for a fourth consecutive victory at the track in the Ardennes forest.

Following that will be the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on September 12, and a chance for Alonso to realise a dream in driving for Ferrari on their home soil.

With his anticipation high, Alonso added: "I am happy the return to racing means going to two particularly special venues.

"The Belgian track is possibly the most appealing of the entire season, while Monza will be something special for me.

"It will be my race debut as a Ferrari driver in front of the Italian crowd, in addition to the circuit itself having played such an important role in the history of motor sport."