VALENCIA, Spain – Fernando Alonso believes Ferrari’s chances of winning the European Grand Prix are slim even though he said he’s driving better than ever.

Alonso described Ferrari’s season as “very bad,” with the team yet to win and Alonso sitting 92 points behind the leader, Sebastian Vettel, who has won five of the seven races.

“We will try to win every race we do. Obviously this is sometimes very difficult or impossible, but this is our aim,” Alonso said Thursday. “Despite these seven races when I think I drove the best seven races of my career it seems the season has been very bad so far.”

Vettel is looking to rebound after a slip-up on the last lap allowed Jenson Button to win in Canada. Vettel leads Button by 60 points in the standings.

Button, in strong form and brimming with confidence, believes McLaren can continue to gain on Red Bull, the Vettel owner, with a clampdown on engine-mapping systems coming into effect. Teams are unable to alter settings between Saturday’s qualifying and the race.

“Everyone will be hurt by the engine mapping rule, but I think it will be worse for Red Bull. I’m hoping they will have some issues,” Button said. “(My victory) shows if you put them under pressure, they may make mistakes. If you don’t, they’re invincible.”

Vettel’s teammate, Mark Webber, is unfazed despite flipping his car through the air in a spectacular crash in last year’s race at Valencia.

“Yeah, it was a nasty one,” Webber said. “(I’m) looking forward to hitting the track and getting on with it.”

Lewis Hamilton, Button’s McLaren teammate, also is banking on a strong performance after recent disappointments saw him drop from second to fourth in the standings, behind Webber, ahead of Alonso.

“We will see — we’ve had a good run here and I hope it remains the case, and even a second would be a great finish for us,” Hamilton said. “It definitely feels like this could be the hardest championship from here to the end of the season. By no means will I be giving up anytime sooner.”

Mexican rookie Sergio Perez will take part in today’s practice for Sauber, when he will decide if he is fit to race Sunday. He didn’t drive in Montreal because he hadn’t recovered from a crash in Monaco.