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Page last updated at 14:48 GMT, Tuesday, 28 September 2010 15:48 UK

Ferrari and McLaren team bosses talk up F1 title hopes

Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso with Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel just behind him at the Singapore Grand Prix

Highlights - Singapore Grand Prix

Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali has called for cool, calm heads from his team with four races remaining.

Two wins by Spaniard Fernando Alonso have moved him within 11 points of Red Bull's championship leader Mark Webber.

Domenicali said: "What I know is we need to be cool, to keep our feet on the ground and to work hard."

Meanwhile McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh has backed Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button to bounce back after suffering frustrating races in Singapore.

Three wins in the last five races have put Alonso right back in contention to regain the title he won in 2005 and 2006.

However, even after the lights to flag victory in Singapore, Domenicali is refusing to get carried away: "You know me, I'm never down when things are bad, and I never declare 'fantastic' when things are going well," he added.

"We know when we've made some mistakes, then some others have been better than us, but that's part of the game, part of life.

"The most important thing is to have a clear focus in front of us, to never give up, and that's what we are doing."

606: DEBATE
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And Domenicali pointed to the fate of Alonso's Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa as a sign of how quickly things can go wrong in this sport.

Massa started at the back of the grid after suffering a gearbox issue in the early stages of qualifying that left him without a timed lap. The Brazilian recovered to pick up four points for eighth place.

"It's important for us to work very hard on reliability because as a team we paid a heavy price," added Domenicali as Ferrari slipped a little further behind Red Bull in the constructors' championship.

Meanwhile McLaren team principal Whitmarsh is convinced his team will rise again at the next race in Japan after a disappointing points return in Singapore.

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali shares a joke with McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh
Ferrari's Domenicali (left) and McLaren's Whitmarsh are both upbeat

Hamilton's collision with Webber meant Hamilton ended up with no points for the second successive race, while Button just missed out on a podium, finishing fourth.

It leaves Hamilton and Button 20 and 25 points adrift of Webber respectively, while McLaren have fallen 24 points behind Red Bull in the constructors' championship.

But Whitmarsh knows the battle for both titles is a long way from being decided, and with the aim now of giving it everything in Suzuka on 10 October: "There are four races to go and a lot of championship points - 100 - on offer.

"And if there are 25 points covering the first five drivers, they must all fancy their chances."

Whitmarsh maintains his team will continue to strive to give Button and Hamilton a race-winning car again, although he admitted that Ferrari and Red Bull are unlikely to stand still.

"We have to continue to upgrade and develop our car, and we have an upgrade coming for the next race," stated Whitmarsh.

"I don't know what the other cars are going to do. All I know is we have decent developments and we will see, but we have to make our car quicker, develop our package to push as hard as we can, eliminate mistakes and do the best job we can."



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see also
In-form Alonso lays down gauntlet
27 Sep 10 |  Formula 1
Flawless Alonso wins in Singapore
26 Sep 10 |  Formula 1
Title could go to wire - Horner
27 Sep 10 |  Formula 1


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