Alonso 'very optimistic' about title chances

Sunday 14th April 2013, 12:05 by Ryan Wood 

Ferrari

Fernando Alonso's victory in China and his second place in Australia have left him in a very optimistic mood with regards his title chances this season.

The Spaniard took a comfortable win from third on the grid on Sunday in Shanghai to come within nine points of championship leader Sebastian Vettel, despite a DNF in Malaysia.

"It was a fantastic race for us from the start to the end without any big problems from the car," he said.

"It feels great after the retirement in Malaysia because we had some pressure to finish the race. The two races we have finished this year, one was in second place and the other a victory so definitely the start of this 2013 campaign is looking good and I'm very optimistic."

He admitted he had "pace in hand" as he led at the front by a comfortable margin to the chasing pack which included Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

"You always push in a Formula One race; it's impossible not to push," added the Ferrari driver. "But it's true that we had some pace in our pocket, but it's difficult to know when to use it depending on the state of the tyres. We have more potential and hopefully we can show that in Bahrain next week."

He is hoping for another podium next weekend: "We expect a tough race again and I think in Bahrain we will see maybe different conditions. Who knows how competitive anyone can be but definitely, as I said before, the races that we've finished this year the car seems to be able to be on the podium again in Bahrain."

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