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Fernando Alonso's faltering title bid needs boost at Italian GP to stop Sebastian Vettel

Fernando Alonso's faltering bid for a third Formula One title will be hurt if he fails to finish ahead of championship leader Sebastian Vettel at the Italian Grand Prix.

Alonso is 46 points behind Vettel in second place. But he'll have the backing of fervent fans on Sunday at Monza, which is considered manufacturer Ferrari's home race.

He'll need more than that as Ferrari must have strong qualifying to pressure Vettel on a track where the last three winners and five of the past six started from pole position.

Bad news for Alonso, who has not qualified higher than third.

Although the Spaniard drove impressively at the Belgian GP two weeks ago, finishing second, he has not won since the Spanish GP in May.