Alonso: Podiums Not Enough to Win Title

Renault's Championship leader Fernando Alonso feels sure he will have to win more than three races this season to take the Formula One title

Although the Spaniard has a healthy 22-point lead over McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen in the standings, the Finn has won the last two races and the competition is getting increasingly intense.

"There are still 13 races to go and we'll have to win races for sure because our competitors are there and even to finish second every race is really, really difficult," Alonso said on Friday at the European Grand Prix, the seventh round of the 19-race championship.

"There are several teams in the fight for the podium and to finish in the top three is difficult."

Alonso won three of the first four races of the year - his teammate Giancarlo Fisichella won the other - but the 23-year-old said he did not expect Renault to dominate like that again this season.

"Obviously Malaysia and Bahrain were easy victories ... we know that this is not normal, normally we have to fight to gain positions and to be clever with pitstops," he said.

"It's tough and I don't think we'll see many races like Bahrain and Malaysia.

"Now Williams, McLaren, Toyota, Ferrari and Renault are all fighting it out for the podium, I think it's a very exciting time in Formula One.

"All we have to do is improve the car every race, make no mistakes and score points every race."

Last week's Monaco race was Alonso's first without a podium this season, but he was relieved to finish at all after his tyres deteriorated badly.

"I was disappointed at one point when I saw I wasn't fighting for victory because on the grid I really thought we were quite strong in the race," he said.

"But when I saw the tyres I thought it was a miracle to finish the race in fourth position.

"The tyre choice was right in Monaco, we need to find out what was wrong with our set-up that caused this problem with the rear tyres."

The Spaniard is determined to make amends for Monaco this weekend and said he was not too bothered about finishing eighth fastest in Friday's practice sessions.

"It's a bit boring for us because the only thing we do is choose the tyres and we've got to save the engine and do safe laps," he said.

"Even the positions are not important today. We did our job, the car is fine and we are happy. Nothing more.

"I think qualifying will be decisive, it's not so easy to overtake here and there are 12 drivers with possibilities and so we need to do a good lap tomorrow to be in the top four or five."

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