Alonso to feed off past seasons' pain

Fernando Alonso will use the pain of his agonising title misses of recent times to spur him to success this season.

Fernando Alonso of Ferrari

Twice in the last three years Alonso has gone into the final race of the season in with a shout of claiming his third Formula One world title.

In 2010 at the closing round of the campaign in Abu Dhabi, Alonso missed out by four points to Sebastian Vettel.

Last year the gap was three points as the 25-year-old German clinched his hat-trick of titles to equal a feat only previously achieved by legends Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher.

For this season, which began today with practice for Sunday's Australian Grand Prix, Alonso said: "I feel privileged to have fought for the title twice in the last three years.

"Not many people have the opportunity to be on the podium, to enjoy the podium ceremony in Formula One.

"Even less people have the opportunity to win races, and then very few have the opportunity to fight for a world championship.

"So I feel lucky and privileged to have had those opportunities, and sure, we have lost twice in the last three years in the last race.

"Naturally, we want the chance again to fight for the title.

"Hopefully it will be this year, and hopefully this year we can change the final result.

"This is extra motivation for me and for the team, to really have one happy result at the end."

The belief within Ferrari is this season's car can challenge from the outset given a year ago the Maranello marque were on the back foot the moment they took the wraps off what was a dog of a car.

"It would be difficult to start any worse than we did last year. We were a little too far behind," added Alonso.

"This winter has been much better than last year, understanding the car, working with it and getting the results we more or less expected.

"That has given us much more confidence and optimism with which to start this season, but who knows.

"I think it will be a very interesting championship, very challenging in the first part here in Australia and next weekend in Malaysia.

"They are difficult circuits, difficult weather as well - changeable, so we need to start on the front foot, hopefully scoring good points."

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