Fernando Alonso, on Friday, said that he believes the battle for Formula One supremacy will be a lot tighter this year ahead of his bid to replace two runner-up places to Sebastian Vettel with a maiden title for Ferrari.

Last season’s world championship was remarkable for the fact there were seven race-winners in the first seven races before Alonso went toe-to-toe with Red Bull ace Vettel in a decisive, thrilling finale at Interlagos.

Vettel, the sport’s youngest-ever three-time world champion (2010, 2011, 2012), finished sixth at the legendary Brazilian circuit, where Alonso was second, to beat his Spanish rival to the title by only three points.

Alonso, speaking at the launch of Ferrari’s new F138 car for the upcoming season, indicated that their anticipated duel in 2013 could leave rivals trailing in their wake from the season-opening Australian GP in March.

“I think the likelihood of seeing seven different race winners in the first seven races, like last year, will be impossible,” he said.

“There will be a maximum of two or three teams” battling for the title, he added, “and one of those will definitely be Ferrari.”

The F138 — whose name represents the current year and the car’s V8 engine, which will be used for the last time this season — was unveiled at Ferrari’s Maranello headquarters in northern Italy on Friday.

Force India unveils upgraded car

Meanwhile, Sahara Force India also unveiled its upgraded car VJM06. The team management claimed that the car was “more evolution than revolution with the removal of the ‘step’ nose being the most obvious visual change”.

Race Driver Paul Di Resta pulled the covers off the VJM06 to mark the unveiling of the car at the Silverstone circuit. The VJM06 is the third car to be overseen by Technical Director Andrew Green and builds on the strengths of the 2012 car. — Agencies

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