April 11th, 2013 (F1plus).- Fernando Alonso thinks his 2013 title challenge is still on track, despite a difficult start to the new season.
After a podium in Australia, the Spaniard's campaign hit the gravel in Malaysia recently when he made contact with eventual winner Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull on the first lap.
Instead of pitting, Alonso gambled on staying out but retired when the damaged wing broke underneath his car.
"In any case, the race simulations state that if I would have stopped to change the nose, I would have finished ninth or tenth, so we didn't lose anything," he said during a Twitter interview hosted by Ferrari.
Some think the early setback - he is already just sixth in the points standings - is a major dent in the 2012 runner-up's new championship campaign, but the 31-year-old insists: "It's looking good.
"My options, of course, are still intact."
Alonso said retirements are simply a part of every world championship campaign -- even an ultimately successful one.
"The stats show that there are between two and three retirements per season, therefore it would be logical for us to not finish on another Sunday. The season is very long, we've only completed two grands prix!" Said Alonso.
In a different topic, the spaniard seems to accept that his teammate Felipe Massa has found back his groove, and he looks tougher than ever in qualifying given that the brazilian has beaten him twice so far.
"He is doing a fantastic job, he is driving 100%," he said.
"I don't think they were completely normal qualifyings, but it's good and he's doing a good job. Hopefully I can finish ahead of him in some qualifyings this year and if I do so it will be an extraordinary lap." Added Alonso.