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Alonso aims to reign in Spain

May 9, 2013 -- Updated 2059 GMT (0459 HKT)
Fernando Alonso is hoping to claim a second victory of the season on Sunday.
Fernando Alonso is hoping to claim a second victory of the season on Sunday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Fernando Alonso targeting home success on Sunday
  • Ferrari driver won in China earlier in the season
  • Sebastian Vettel hoping to increase lead at top of championship
  • Vettel won last time out in Bahrain

(CNN) -- Fernando Alonso is revved up and ready to go ahead of his home Grand Prix at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya Sunday.

The 31-year-old has not won on Spanish soil since triumphing with Renault in 2006 but is in confident mood after taking 47 points from the opening four races of the season.

And the Ferrari driver says the extra incentive of winning in front of his adoring supporters has given him an extra edge going into the first European race of the year.

Read: Ferrari strive for perfection

He told a press conference: "I think it motivates you to race at home and you give an extra 10% on what you normally do, to take care of every detail of the weekend, starting from practice into qualifying and into the race.

There have been protests against Formula One's arrival in Bahrain as the race returned in 2013. Some protesters, pictured here on April 16, wanted F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone to cancel the race. There have been protests against Formula One's arrival in Bahrain as the race returned in 2013. Some protesters, pictured here on April 16, wanted F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone to cancel the race.
F1 makes uncertain Bahrain return
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A Bahraini protestor holds up a poster against the country's upcoming Formula One Grand Prix during a demonstration in the village of Jid Ali, north-east of Isa Town. Protesters in Bahrain plan to step up demands for reform ahead of Sunday's race. A Bahraini protestor holds up a poster against the country's upcoming Formula One Grand Prix during a demonstration in the village of Jid Ali, north-east of Isa Town. Protesters in Bahrain plan to step up demands for reform ahead of Sunday's race.
People's protest
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Bahrain Grand Prix: The protests Bahrain Grand Prix: The protests
"Get him (Webber) out of the way, he is too slow," Sebastian Vettel disdainfully remarked over team radio at last month's Malaysia Grand Prix. The German was instructed not to challenge Webber, who was leading the race, but ignored orders and overtook the Australian with ten laps remaining. Vettel's tactics caused much consternation on social media and reopened the debate about the practicality of team orders in Formula 1. "Get him (Webber) out of the way, he is too slow," Sebastian Vettel disdainfully remarked over team radio at last month's Malaysia Grand Prix. The German was instructed not to challenge Webber, who was leading the race, but ignored orders and overtook the Australian with ten laps remaining. Vettel's tactics caused much consternation on social media and reopened the debate about the practicality of team orders in Formula 1.
Team orders: needless or necessary?
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Team orders: needless or necessary? Team orders: needless or necessary?

"You try to do everything well, because you know that a nice result here, a nice podium finish or whatever will make you happy, will make the team happy and make many people in the grandstand happy.

"So, it's a special weekend, but after all those years I think you're OK with that extra motivation and it's not any more pressure.

"Now you've proved for many years that there's not a pressure or anything that will stop you doing well."

Read: CNN guide to Circuit de Catalunya

If Ferrari are to succeed in seeing off Red Bull and Lotus, then the team will need to avoid any trouble on the track -- a point not lost on Alonso.

"I think that maybe it's the first time we arrive with a competitive car, but that doesn't mean you will fight for top places if you don't do everything right and don't put together a good weekend," the double world champion added.

"In the first four races we were competitive. We thought we could fight for the top places if the race was without problems.

"We will try here to have a clean race with no problems and if that will be enough to put us in contention for the victory, it would be nice.

"But if it's not possible then we will try and be as high as possible. It is a weekend we approach with a positive mentality -- and not a defensive mentality like the first three years for me at Ferrari."

Read: Bahrain clash ahead of Vettel's F1 victory

An unhappy Mark Webber, left, with Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel at the postrace press conference in Malaysia. An unhappy Mark Webber, left, with Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel at the postrace press conference in Malaysia.
Vettel defies team orders
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The 2013 Formula One season
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Monisha Kaltenborn, seen here at the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim in July 2011, is the first woman to become CEO and team principal of a Formula 1 team. Monisha Kaltenborn, seen here at the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim in July 2011, is the first woman to become CEO and team principal of a Formula 1 team.
Monisha Kaltenborn
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Monisha Kaltenborn Monisha Kaltenborn

One man who Alonso will need to be wary of is triple world champion Sebastian Vettel, who currently sits 30 points clear of the Spaniard.

Vettel, who won last time out in Bahrain, is expecting a difficult challenge with just ten points separating him from Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen.

"It is much too early to make any predictions," Vettel said.

"Who would be so bold as to predict the outcome of a 19-race championship after only four races?

"This weekend we have to concentrate on the modified tires and the work that we have to do before Sunday to get our car right."

Read: Raikkonen claims 'easy' victory

Raikkonen, a two-time winner in Barcelona, finished second in Bahrain after coming home behind Vettel's Red Bull.

And the Finn insists his team has much to do if they are to bridge the gap and claim a second victory of the season.

"To catch the leaders, we have to work twice as hard as they are," he told the Lotus website.

"It's no secret that we want more speed from the car in qualifying; it's so tight up there at the front and we really need to be on the first two rows to fight for victories every time.

"It's good to be able to start the European season where we are as this is when you see teams starting to push on with lots of new parts for the cars.

"It's still early days, but to have scored strong points since the start of the year is obviously better than not having them.

"We need to keep scoring points in the same way; even if it's a bad weekend for us, we need to keep finishing as well as we can. That's how we will fight to the end of the season."

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