Formula One: Alonso fitter than ever, ready for third title

Championship leader Fernando Alonso said on Thursday that he is in the best shape of his career and determined to fight for his third win of the season in this weekend's German Grand Prix.

The two-time champion added that though he felt confident he and Ferrari will be competitive, he was aware that Red Bull had a faster car and were likely to be a major threat in Sunday's race and the scrap for the world title.

Spaniard Alonso said: "I think this year is my best for my condition in my career.

"You are a better driver every year because you improve from mistakes - that is the way it is, you always learn constantly in Formula One and you have to go with it.

"Physically it's my best season so far because in previous years, you didn't know, but all the leg and the shoulders, something always had some pain or I didn't have good preparation.

"This year so far, and hopefully it stays like this, I have arrived 100 per cent at every race, so it's good. I'm quite pleased with my performance.

"I am feeling good, very good and I am ahead in the championship and this weekend it is an important race so I hope to fight hard and to do well again."

Alonso leads this year's title race by 13 points from Mark Webber and was the first driver to win two races in this most open season in Formula One history. He agreed that he has been lucky.

"It's true that the factors that play around this championship so far have been good for us," he admitted.

"I made a mistake in Q2 in Australia. Apart from that mistake, I probably wouldn't change too many things that I've done so far, so this is good news, because you always have mistakes here and there.

"I think Red Bull has been a little bit quicker than everybody else, not for just the last two or three Grands Prix, but I think since Bahrain.

"They lost pole position in Barcelona and at Silverstone, but the rest (of the poles) were all Red Bull. This shows you how fast they are.

"In the last six races, they have had pole position in four, so they are definitely a little bit ahead in terms of performance and we we need to catch up and find the speed.

"I know everyone at Ferrari, everyone in the team, is working so hard to do that so we can stay competitive for the rest of the season and, of course, this weekend."

At Silverstone last time out Alonso was satisfied with his second place finish to Webber.

The Spaniard, who set off from pole, led from the start but could not match the pace of the rapid Red Bulls and was eventually passed by Australian Webber.

The 30-year-old added that he was impressed with the overall performance of his car, and hopes his Ferrari team can close the gap to the ever-impressive Red Bulls in the next few races.

"We still need that last step to close the gap to these guys. We need to be quicker in some conditions."

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