Championship challenge still on track says Alonso 11 April, 2013 Fernando Alonso retired early in Malaysia Fernando Alonso is adamant that his 2013 Formula 1 title challenge is still on track, despite a difficult start to the new season. After a podium in Australia, the Spaniard’s campaign hit the gravel in Malaysia recently when he made contact with eventual winner Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull on the first lap. Instead of pitting, Alonso gambled on staying out but retired when the damaged wing broke underneath his car. “In any case, the race simulations state that if I would have stopped to change the nose, I would have finished ninth or tenth, so we didn’t lose anything,” he said during a Twitter interview hosted by Ferrari. Some think the early setback – he is already just sixth in the points standings – is a major dent in the 2012 runner-up’s new championship campaign, but the 31-year-old insists: “It’s looking good. “My options, of course, are still intact.” Alonso said retirements are simply a part of every world championship campaign — even an ultimately successful one. “The stats show that there are between two and three retirements per season, therefore it would be logical for us to not finish on another Sunday,” he said. “The season is very long, we’ve only completed two grands prix!” added Alonso. (GMM) Related NewsAlonso reveals intention to extend deal with FerrariFerrari: Spa and Monza will be tough weekendsAlonso: Hopefully our new people can find extra horsepower!Mattiacci: Allison is head of the 2015 Ferrari projectSauber: Ferrari delivered slow power unit lateFerrari View: Bittersweet memories from BelgiumAlonso: The strongest in F1 was Michael SchumacherMarmorini: Ferrari is giving trust to inexperienced peoplePiero Ferrari: I hope Alonso remains at MaranelloAlonso: The important thing is to win Forza Ferrari Of course the title challenge is very much alive for Fernando! The season has barely begun and there are 17 races still to go, so nothing is over! That retirement in Malaysia was just a small set back, everything can’t go perfectly during the season anyway. Hopefully China will be the place where Fernando’s and Ferrari’s title challenge really starts. Forza Ferrari!!!