Fernando Alonso says maximizing Ferrari's potential over the next three races will be key to its world title challenge. The Spaniard who believes Ferrari will be at its strongest before the season's climax.
Alonso arrives in Singapore for this weekend's race with a 37-point lead over McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, who has won two of the past three grands prix. But Alonso says now is the time for Ferrari to strike, given that of the seven circuits left on the calendar, Marina Bay, Suzuka and Yeongam will suit F2012 far better than those that follow.
The two-time World Champion added that the possibility of missing out on big points in the final four grands prix make the upcoming races even more important.
"There are two or three grands prix that we will have the possibility to attack," said Alonso in Singapore on Thursday. "I feel confident the car will be in good shape and we can be competitive. If we are competitive, we have to take our opportunities.
"Here, Japan and Korea with this part of the year, we went out two days ago and we will come back after Korea. In this three-race trip, our aim is to win grands prix and to increase the lead. Seventy-five points on the table, so we need to maximize those."
The Ferrari driver admitted he is optimistic his car will be strong enough to fight for pole and victory this weekend.
"I think so," he said when asked if he will be able to fight for pole position in Singapore. "We need to wait and see what the performance is tomorrow, but our aim is to fight for pole and for the win in this race.
"We've been competitive in Monaco and in Canada which is some kind of street circuit, so we will try to do our best here again. We know how important pole position is, so Saturday is an important day."
Despite McLaren having won the last three races, Alonso says he is not feeling under pressure and claims he is the only title contender who can afford to make mistakes.
"Not at all. If I had finished the Spa race the championship lead would keep increasing all the time. It was decreasing just because of that race," he said. "Now we need to recover in the next two or three races, it is true McLaren are in very good form and are favorites after the last two or three results, but it is up to us to improve the pace a little bit.
"I'm not under pressure at all. We have five or six contenders for the championship and seven races to go. It will be tight until the last race but I'm probably the only one can afford one mistake or one retire, the others cannot, so I think it is much more pressure."