McLaren-Mercedes team-mates Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button and Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner have all singled out Fernando Alonso and Ferrari as the 'biggest threat' over the remainder of the F1 2010 World Championship campaign off the back of the Scuderia's dominant Monza form a fortnight ago.

This weekend's Singapore Grand Prix - the third race to be held under the spotlights of the Far Eastern city-state, and one that it is feared could be severely disrupted by the elements - has been tipped as a pivotal indicator as to the likely destiny of the drivers' and constructors' laurels.

Red Bull is expected to have the fastest car around the streets of the Marina Bay circuit, but it was Hamilton that triumphed last year, and Alonso - albeit controversially - the year before, with current world championship leader Mark Webber having never finished there in the two previous editions.

Aside from the aforementioned trio, defending title-winner Button and Webber's young RBR team-mate Sebastian Vettel both similarly remain very much in touch at the top, with a mere 24 points - or less than the value of a race victory - blanketing the crown-chasing quintet with five races left to run.

Perhaps more significantly, however, from the last four grands prix, it is third-placed Alonso who has achieved the greatest tally, with a return of 68 points to Webber's 59, 42 for Vettel, 37 for Hamilton and just 32 for Button. That, Hamilton opines, makes his former team-mate and bitter sparring partner dangerous indeed as the fever mounts and the tension rises.

"I guess the guy who won the last race," the British star told BBC Sport, when asked who he fears most in Singapore. "I'll let Fernando be the favourite - that's fine for me. Fernando seems to be [the main threat], because Ferrari have really stepped up their game and I am assuming they are our closest rivals at the moment."

Indeed, with momentum on his side off the back of his third success of F1 2010 in Italy - popularly, in front of Ferrari's adoring tifosi - Alonso has now closed to just 21 points off Webber's lead, and even more tellingly still, Button points out, the Spaniard is the only one of the five protagonists to have a team-mate in Felipe Massa ready and willing to play a subservient second fiddle role, given that all four of the McLaren and Red Bull drivers are still in with a shout of glory and are therefore facing a fight both inside and outside of their own teams.

"It just shows how important it is to finish and to get points but also to be right at the front challenging," the 30-year-old mused. "Ferrari are more competitive now and have scored more points than anyone in the last few races. They were running an aerodynamic package that suits Monza, and maybe they put a lot of time in to win at home, but they showed their pace and we will see how they stand here. This is an important race to understand where Ferrari are and where we are compared to Red Bull.

"It's obviously the best situation for Fernando. It's got to help knowing that your team-mate will back you up - if that's the case, and I'm not saying it is. Felipe could be taking points off of us but, if our car is quick and we're winning races, he could be taking points off Red Bull which is also good for us."

However, the assertion that McLaren will henceforth have the legs of RBR - with Hamilton opining that 'the new [FIA flexible bodywork] tests must have set them back...even though Red Bull say they haven't, you can see on TV that they have, and I know from experience of testing the parts they had that they were worth a lot of time' - has received short shrift from Horner, who nevertheless agrees that Ferrari have the potential to pose problems.

"I see Ferrari as our biggest threat to be honest," the Englishman told reporters. "They have a quick car, and arguably they have been the closest to us since halfway through the year. They had a bit of bad luck around Valencia and Silverstone, but at Hockenheim they were quick and they were closest to us in Budapest. Spa didn't go their way but they were quick again at Monza, so arguably Ferrari is the biggest challenge.

"They are playing a slightly different game, but ultimately we have to beat everybody. The constructors' championship is important to us, and I would rather have two guys competing for the championship than one. We are focussed on our own performance. We cannot dictate what they do, and rather than spending time and energy worrying about what others are doing, we have tended to focus more on ourselves."

Alonso, for his part, remains circumspect in his confidence, knowing that he has a strong chance of adding a third drivers' world championship trophy to his impressive collection this year having looked out-for-the-count at one stage earlier on in the season - but equally well aware that just one slip-up or reliability issue, and it could all be over.

"If we have five podiums in the five races we will be very close to winning the title," the Oviedo native reflected, "because consistency this year has not been the strongest point for anyone. I think we can have a quick car everywhere in the remaining races. We don't have the quickest car in the slow-speed corners or the quickest car on straight-line speed - something which our opponents have - but we have a very competitive package overall in all types of conditions, and hopefully this can help us in the remaining races.

"After winning at Monza, it is important for us to keep up the momentum, to keep the high motivation. Doing well here will be a continuation of Monza success, and that will be good news for us - but a DNF or a retirement now will probably be 'bye-bye' to the championship."


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Where it says "Ferrari" you should read "Fonzo"...

Look at Massa, Barrichello is trashing him in his 1 second per lap slower Williams.

Now you´ll get my point about Ferrari-MS relationship:

MS is such a SCAM because Ferrari was hidding his true pace by signing slower and slower teammates=
Faster...Irvine... Barrichello... Massa...Slower