Alonso unfazed by pace problems

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso (16/1 Japanese Grand Prix outright) says he is confident he can compete with his rivals during Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix, despite trailing in qualifying.

The Championship leader has often struggled to keep pace in 2012 but has managed to beat his rivals through a combination of clever strategy and guile.

The Spaniard will once again be forced to come from behind at Suzuka after only managing to qualify in sixth, with Red Bull duo Sebastian Vettel (1/2 favourite Japanese Grand Prix outright) and Mark Webber filling the front row of the grid.

The qualifying results mean it’s likely to be another tactical affair on Sunday and Alonso will have to use all of his tactical nous as he tries to extend his lead at the top of the standings.

However, having been in this situation plenty of times before, the 31-year-old is confident of his chances and is excited about the race.

“Obviously we’ll have to be a little more fast but we are not, so we need to work, we need to improve,” he said. “Let’s say we are used to this situation, being one second slower than our competitors in the fight for the Championship, so we will try to keep ahead.”

“The points are given on Sunday – and on Sunday we don’t feel less strong than other teams.”

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