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Next few races will be hard: Alonso
August 04, 2006 11:41 IST
Renault's Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso fears he will struggle against Ferrari's Michael Schumacher in the next three races.
But the Spaniard also believes that he will be able to fight back strongly in the last three and retain his title in a knife-edge finale to the season.
Alonso has seen his lead over Schumacher, winner of the last three races, whittled down from a peak of 25 points to 11 with six rounds remaining.
"I think it will be close, and especially the next three races will be difficult for us," the Spaniard told a news conference on Thursday.
"We do not have time to react from Hockenheim to this race, so we will be struggling probably here and also in Turkey because there are no tests [before then]," added the 25-year-old.
"After that I think Monza is maybe a good circuit for Ferrari, with high speeds, but I am really confident in the last three races.
"We have time to react, we have the capacity and so I put the money on myself."
Monza, in September, is the final European race before the championship travels to China, Japan and Brazil.
Although Alonso won in Hungary in 2003, he finished only 11th last season -- the last time he failed to score points -- when McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen won.
The Spaniard arrives in Budapest after a disappointing last race in Hockenheim, where he finished fifth with severely blistered rear tyres.
Schumacher, hungry for a record eighth title in what could be his final season, could only agree with his rival's assessment.
"I'm pretty sure they will not give up, they will fight back and they will get their opportunities," the 37-year-old German told reporters in the Ferrari motorhome.
"That's why it is so important that we use this momentum as long as we have this strength to come down to zero or even build up a cushion for the moment when maybe they become strong again," he added.
Schumacher has won four times in Hungary and another victory on Sunday would be the 90th of his extraordinary career.
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