Ferrari must continue to improve says Fernando Alonso ahead of British Grand Prix
Fernando Alonso has hailed Ferrari's turnaround in form that has thrust him into the lead of the Formula One world championship as "amazing", but knows more is required if he is to win a third title.
In pre-season testing Ferrari were a laughing stock, unveiling a car described by some as the "ugliest" in the team's history, with their woes compounded when it took to the track as it was worryingly slow.
But over the course of those first few weeks in the build-up to the start of the campaign, Ferrari dug deep into their reserves of wealth and manpower to provide Alonso with a winning car by the second race in Malaysia.
There was a touch of good fortune allied to the triumph given the climactic conditions that prevailed over Sepang, but since then there can be no doubt the Spaniard has extracted every last ounce of performance out of the car.
Alonso is the only driver to boast the facts he has scored in every single race, and with his triumph on home soil in Valencia 12 days ago he became the first to win two grands prix this year.
The 30-year-old goes into this weekend's British Grand Prix at Silverstone, where wet weather is set to dominate, with a 20-point cushion over Red Bull's Mark Webber.
As for rivals Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, who failed to finish in Valencia for varying reasons, they are 23 and 26 points adrift respectively.
With the margins slender, Alonso knows much-needed improvement is required to a car that continues to struggle in qualifying.
"We are definitely quite happy with the situation now in terms of points. It's a situation we were not expecting," Alonso said.
"But we are also very honest with ourselves because in terms of performance we know there are still a few cars quicker than ours.
"We need to close that gap in the next couple of races if we want to fight for the championship, so we are still not completely happy.
"If not, and if we don't work better than the others, we know sooner or later they will be in front.
"This is race nine of 20, so at the moment championship positions and points are important, but not our main priority. First thing is to improve the car."
Alonso appreciates, though, what has been achieved by Ferrari to get him on to the top of the podium from a position of doom and despair just five months ago.
He added: "The job the team has done over the last few months has been amazing, recovering maybe 1.5 seconds, or something like that, that we were off the pace in Australia.
"This is good news, not only for this championship or for this moment, but also for the near future of the team.
"We faced some difficult times, but now we are definitely going in a good direction.
"But as I've said, there is still a lot to come from the team in the next couple of races, the next couple of months, in terms of performance in the car.
"So hopefully they will continue to work as they are working now."
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