Two-time F1 world champion Fernando Alonso has admitted that he never expected to be leading the battle for the 2010 F1 drivers' title going into this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix.

Alonso currently sits top in the drivers' championship with 37 points on the board - thanks to his victory in Bahrain and a fourth place finish 'down under' - which leaves him four points up on his Ferrari team-mate, Felipe Massa and six points up on reigning F1 world champion, Jenson Button.

Speaking ahead of the third round on the schedule, the Spaniard told British newspaper, The Daily Mail, that he is shocked by just how well the season has started.

"It's been an incredible start to the season. I definitely didn't think I'd be leading the championship after two races. This situation is way more than I had expected," he confirmed to the online version of the 'paper.

"In Bahrain and Australia we showed we are competitive at the highest level. We can only be pleased and proud of what we have done so far, not just at the track, but also back at the factory over the winter.

"The F10 has proven to be very good, even on a semi-street circuit like Albert Park. It's an easy car to drive. It is reasonably easy to find a good set-up for any type of track. On top of that, it is very consistent, in that its handling doesn't change much between qualifying and the race.

"That should be a very important factor over the course of the year as there is a world of difference between trying to do a quick time with a minimum fuel load on Saturday afternoon and starting the race with a full tank on Sunday.

"Add in the factor that the car is not too hard on its tyres and that completes the package. I'm not too sure exactly where we are compared to the others, but one thing is for sure, we've definitely got off on the right foot.

"There's no time to relax [however]. Our target now is simple: to carry on doing what we have done in the first two races. It won't be easy, but we must trust in our ability to get the job done."

Meanwhile, Ferrari is also top in the constructors' championship - with 70 points to the 54 scored by McLaren - and after the 3-4 finish at Albert Park, team boss Stefano Domenicali maintained he wasn't disappointed. Indeed in many ways he was pleased to see such an eventful race, especially after all the criticism post-Bahrain - or 'Bore-rain' as it has been dubbed.

"We are happy with the Melbourne result, even if, on Sunday morning, we might have expected a slightly better one," he told Ferrari's official website. "Considering what happened in the race, we can be pleased with finishing third and fourth, partly because our closest rivals either failed to score, or at least did not pick up many points.

"We are surely not the only ones to be pleased with the afternoon's work in Albert Park either: F1 fans the world over can tell themselves they watched a truly spectacular motor race and those who made such a fuss about Bahrain being dull, should now think again.

"I have always maintained it is impossible to draw conclusions about the state of our sport after just one Grand Prix, but that does not mean we should now claim that F1 has returned to some sort of golden age, if indeed there ever was one!"


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