Fernando Alonso says he is "extremely happy" with the progress made by his Ferrari team in the early part of the season.
The Maranello squad started the year with a car that failed to live up to the expectations the team had ahead of preseason testing. But Ferrari has bounced back thanks to a strong development program and Alonso has been fighting near the top of the field in recent races. The Spaniard is just two points behind championship leader Lewis Hamilton after seven grands prix.
"I am extremely happy with the effort from the team," said Alonso. "It is true we did not start in the best position, so maybe in that aspect we had a little bit of an advantage because it's easier to improve a bad car than a good car.
"So maybe it's a bit easier to put everything right and start work, but it's true in the last four grands prix every new part we brought to the race normally correlates and works as I expect from the wind tunnel.
"This is where we struggled in the past, particularly during the last two years, so there is more self confidence from the team in the new designs and the information from the windtunnel. This is good not just for now but also for the near future."
Alonso says he is not sure what to expect from this weekend's European Grand Prix, but the Ferrari driver acknowledged consistency will be key from the start of next month given the busy schedule.
"It's a difficult question," he said when asked if he would settle for second in Valencia. "Sure, getting some podiums in the next couple of races – in July with three races in four weeks – it is important to have consistency, but being Thursday we only think about victory because we want to win, especially here in Spain, in front of the fans.
"We will try our best but it's a difficult question because second in this type of championship is also good points."