Fernando Alonso fears Ferrari faces an unpleasant summer Formula 1 break if it cannot regain ground on Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull in the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Alonso is now 34 points behind Vettel in the drivers' standings, while Ferrari is third in the constructors' race, 70 points off leader Red Bull. With the summer break and mandatory factory shutdown following the Hungaroring race, Alonso said the psychological blow of defeat this weekend would be much more costly than usual.
"A good result is important because it is the summer break now and it will be good for the motivation of the team and our focus if we can close the gap with Sebastian a little before the break," he said. "If this gap increases, it will be a very stressful summer break for all of us and hard for motivation, so it's important."
Last year, Alonso finished behind eventual title rival Vettel in Hungary as both had disappointing races, but still kept a 40-point cushion heading into the break. He ultimately lost the championship to Vettel by three points.
The Hungarian weekend features the introduction of Pirelli's new tires and could be one of the hottest races in F1 history. But Alonso does not think either factor will necessary shake the order up.
"We'll do our normal routine, we just need to maybe be more open with our strategy in case in those temperatures there is any need for an extra stop for tires on Sunday," he said. "We'll try to understand this in practice."