Alonso at his 'best level' and inspired by Rossi


Fernando Alonso believes he is driving at his "best level" and sees Valentino Rossi as proof he could still challenge for the Formula One championship despite his advancing years.

The two-time world champion finished 17th in the drivers' standings in a disappointing first year of his second spell at McLaren and has accumulated just 24 points across this season's 12 races - though he did not compete in Bahrain after crashing out of the Australian Grand Prix.

But the 35-year-old feels he still has plenty to offer and is driving at the peak of his powers.

"I don't think that my time in Formula One is over," he told

"I think I am driving at my best level now, and I have knowledge about the cars and the technical situation that allows me to push the car a little bit more to the limit.

"I'm very calm about the situation, I have a contract next year with this team again."

To remind himself he can still challenge for the drivers' title, Alonso looks to seven-time MotoGP champion Rossi, who is still chasing further glory on the bike at 37 years old.

"After some years that you are not fighting for the championship but you keep going, going, going, you know, sooner or later you will show your talent - as Valentino is doing now," said Alonso.

"That's a kind of inspiration for us. You need to trust in yourself, and when you have the bike or the car that performs at the best level you will be there, because you cannot forget how to ride a bike, or how to drive a car, in two or three years."