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Last Updated: Sunday, 30 July 2006, 16:26 GMT 17:26 UK
Alonso brushes off title pressure
Fernando Alonso
Alonso is forced to put on a brave face as his lead narrows
Fernando Alonso said he was unconcerned after German Grand Prix winner Michael Schumacher reduced his championship lead to 11 points.

But the Spaniard, who finished fifth, admitted that his Renault team need to improve in the coming races.

"I'm not worried as far as I'm in front of him," he said afterwards.

"But it's true that if we keep going like this, in three or four races we will be equal in points and this is not good for me."

Alonso started the day at Hockenheim with a 17-point lead over Ferrari rival Schumacher but saw that gap slashed as he matched his season's worst finish.

But the defending world champion, who turned 25 on Saturday, refused to blame Renault's performance on a ban introduced by the sport's governing body - the FIA - this weekend on a suspension system pioneered by Renault.

I think that without the (tyre) blistering we experienced, the podium was a possibility for me

Fernando Alonso

The "mass damper" system, adopted by at least six other teams, uses a counterweight within the suspension to enhance stability.

Asked how much the ban had affected his car's performance, Alonso answered: "I don't think that much, to be honest.

"It's true with this result that it is easy to say this would affect the car but I'm totally sure in Hungary we will be back with the right set-up, right tyre and forget the dampers."

However, Alonso believes tyre problems played a part in Sunday's display.

Michael Schumacher
Hopefully we can reduce the gap in the championship pretty quickly, it's important we use this opportunity

Michael Schumacher
"We were not competitive this weekend, but I did the maximum I could and so did the team," added the Spaniard, who has won six races to Schumacher's five this season.

"I think that without the [tyre] blistering we experienced, the podium was a possibility for me even from seventh position."

Schumacher, however, hailed his Hockenheim victory as a turning point in the world title race.

"It is the right moment in time when we needed to have such a performance in order to bring down the gap in the championship and keep the pressure on," said the German.

"Naturally the performance we have shown in the last three races against our competition gives us great confidence.

"Hopefully we can reduce the gap in the championship pretty quickly. It is important we use this opportunity."

Schumacher slashes Alonso's lead
30 Jul 06 |  Formula One
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30 Jul 06 |  Formula One
German Grand Prix photos
30 Jul 06 |  Motorsport
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29 Jul 06 |  Formula One
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29 Jul 06 |  Formula One
Schumacher puts Alonso in shade
28 Jul 06 |  Formula One


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