Alonso: This year we are convinced that we will fight for the world title 23 March, 2012 Fernando Alonso's Ferrari F2012 gets a nose change during the first practice day at Sepang Mar.23 (F1 Media) Fernando Alonso has insisted that Ferrari can still challenge for this year’s Formula 1 titles, despite a troubled start to the season in Australia last weekend. Fernando remains optimistic despite a torrid start to the 2012 season for the squad from Maranello The Spanish driver could only qualify 12th in Melbourne, after sliding off track in Q2, while team-mate Felipe Massa didn’t get that far, being knocked out in the first 20-minute segment of the session and lining up 16th on the grid. In the race Alonso recovered to take fifth but Massa was forced to retire. Alonso, though, believes the team can recover and said he is relaxed about the team’s ability to challenge for the championships. “I’m calm,” he said during the official FIA press conference at Sepang circuit ahead of this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix. “Obviously, knowing we need to work, we need to catch up to the guys in front. We are not in the situation we wanted to start the 2012 championship but after 11 years in Formula One I think you understand how long the championship is, what you need when you have the best and what you need when you don’t have the best car. “As far as our targets and our goals (are concerned), we need to score as many points as possible in this couple of races and in a very short period of time try to be on the podium and win races,” he added. “If we manage to do that we have plenty of races to recover the gap. If we don’t manage to do that it’s because someone else did a better job than us. We just need to wait and see but I have 100 per cent trust in the team.” Fernando in the Ferrari F2012 at sepang Alonso added that while Ferrari have struggled to match arch-rivals Red Bull Racing and McLaren since he joined the Scuderia, the team remains positive. “This is Formula One. There is not an easy time for anybody,” he said. “We needed to work hard every day and night to catch up in these three years. But the experience has been fantastic. As you all know, (we were) fighting for the world championship in the first year and then last year (we had) one win and ten podiums. Obviously, the target is always to win the world championship but it was not possible in the last two years. “This year we are convinced that we will fight for it,” he concluded. “We need to stay focused and work more than the others knowing that we are a little bit behind now. But the championship is long. We stay calm, we stay focused, because we see a lot of determination in the team. We see the team with a very good atmosphere, (we) trust each other in the team, we are very united, so the time will come to us very soon.” Related NewsDomenicali: I think the car has improved but not enoughFerrari: We cannot be happy with today’s resultAlonso: It’s probably the biggest smile for a fourth position in my careerFerrari: We can regard this as a positive resultRaikkonen happy as he gets the better of Alonso on day one at SepangFerrari: The actual pecking order will only be seen in QualifyingFerrari honour victims of flight MH370 with helmet stickersAlonso: Not a perfect start but I believe we can fight for the championshipRaikkonen: We have plenty of good people working flat out as a group to improve thingsVilleneuve: In the first three races Fernando is trying to destroy Kimi psychologically visz963 Anyone else convinced? kaka007 yup title for the dumbest manager of any team………. kaka007 i.e. domenicalli aka dumbenicalli Firoze Munzeer Do’nt write Ferrari off. I am a McLaren fan but leave it to Fernando Alonso. They will catch up in the next 2 or 3 races. Tamburello_1994 The goal was to be ready on day 1, not to be in catch up mode… So to me, The season is already a bust for Ferrari. http://www.gmofilm.com fools To editor named Roy, please block visz. Alonso is doing quite well in a half decent car. 12th to 5th convinces me anytime. Lets go Ferrari! fawxx @fools please do not feed the troll. Bruce This years Ferrari is a dog… It even looks ugly. Alonso makes this car look better than it really is. 12th to 5th convinces me that he is a great driver. But… not possible to win in the last 2 years..? 2010 was only lost because they had a melt down at the last race- for the championship! Its been down hill since then. 4 years is not really a long time between championships, but probably at the end of this year it will be 5, just say’n.