05/09/2013 10:42 EDT | Updated 07/09/2013 05:12 EDT

Fernando Alonso optimistic that Ferrari is competitive enough to close the gap on Vettel

BARCELONA, Spain - After a frustrating start to the season, Fernando Alonso is hoping to close the gap on championship leader Sebastian Vettel at the Spanish Grand Prix and says that "until we are 75 or 80 points behind we should be optimistic" of fighting for the Formula one title.

The two-time champion trails Vettel by 30 points after just four races ahead of this weekend's race, but the Spaniard feels that for the first time in years Ferrari has a car good enough to dictate the race to Red Bull, rather than waiting for opportunities.

Alonso, who won in China and finished second in Australia, is fourth overall and says "it's a weekend we approach with a positive mentality and not a defensive mentality (like) the first three years with Ferrari."