Alonso expects Ferrari to close gap on Red Bull
Fernando Alonso has admitted an "overdose of optimism" as Ferrari looks to bounce back and win the world championship in 2012.
The normally-cautious Spaniard said he expects the "dramatic difference" in pace to Red Bull this year to have been curbed in time for next season, with Ferrari having rendered its conservative approach to history with an all-new project.
"There is an optimism, in fact an overdose as with all the winters with Ferrari, just as it is in the preseason for Real Madrid," said Alonso.
"We are the best team in formula one and we have an obligation to be world champion.
"We are optimistic but we will have strong rivals and the championship will be decided by one or two tenths," he predicted.
"The Red Bull was very, very good and it will be improved further, but they don't have as much room to improve as we do," Alonso is quoted by Europa Press.
For 2012, the FIA has clamped down on flexible front wings and also blown exhaust diffusers -- two innovations pioneered and perfected by current champions Red Bull.
Alonso thinks the cream will still rise to the top.
"It doesn't matter what rules they (the FIA) think of because the engineers are smarter," he insisted.
Recently, a specialist magazine surveyed every F1 team principal and Sebastian Vettel was voted the best driver of 2011, with Alonso also trailing behind runner-up Jenson Button.
He smiled: "The first position is for the champion of course, because he has been the best.
"Of the others, several of us have done good seasons and it's difficult to put a value on it due to the differences in the cars.
"F1 goes in cycles," Alonso is quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport. "Sebastian won the last two, I have won two, but we will see in ten years who has the most.
"He has been very lucky to have a competitive car so quickly, but I wouldn't want to swap with anyone. I'm with the team I want to be in."