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Fernando Alonso: Valencia qualifying shows Ferrari back on course

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Montreal 2011Fernando Alonso is confident that Ferrari's season is now back on track, after another strong performance so far in Valencia.

Having qualified fourth for the European Grand Prix, Alonso says he is hugely encouraged that the deficit to Red Bull Racing has been slashed by his team - and that is before potential changes in the competitive order come at the British GP.

"This is the best qualifying of the year for us, apart from Canada," explained Alonso. "We are half a tenth behind McLaren and we are half a second behind Red Bull.

"We were more than one second behind at some of the races. We said many times that the engine map rule is going to change nothing. It's the same for everybody, everybody will lose. The biggest test is in Silverstone.

"We were able to fight with McLaren in qualifying and we have one McLaren in front and one behind. So more or less the goal is achieved in qualifying. The goal in the race will be to beat McLaren again and that means to be on the podium.

"In terms of performance, the car is improving all of the time because the last three races - Monaco, Canada, Valencia - were the best for us. So that is a good trend and hopefully we can keep this direction."

Alonso believes that the European GP will be interesting from a strategic point of view thanks to the characteristics of Pirelli's soft and medium tyres.

"We will see different strategies for different people because the soft tyre will be the better tyre for everybody," he said.

"It seems to be quicker for one lap and quite good on degradation. But we need to see how long the soft tyre can run. I guess between one and three stops will be the strategies."

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