Fernando Alonso has conceded that for the first time all season in the wake of his Korean Grand Prix triumph just under a fortnight ago, the destiny of the F1 2010 World Championship crown is now in his and Ferrari's hands – but he does not want to think about 'the chances of history repeating itself for a third time' in the Brazilian Grand Prix this weekend.
For the majority of the campaign, Red Bull Racing has led the way, with Mark Webber sitting atop the title standings more than any other driver as Ferrari and McLaren-Mercedes have valiantly given chase, but when the Australian crashed out on only the second racing lap in treacherous conditions in Korea and team-mate Sebastian Vettel suffered an engine failure just ten laps from the chequered flag, RBR all-of-a-sudden handed Alonso a handy eleven-point advantage heading to Interlagos and placed the ball firmly in the Spaniard's court.
What's more, with Red Bull team principal Christian Horner continuing to insist that both of his drivers will be treated absolutely equally notwithstanding Webber's significantly better chance of lifting the laurels – and Alonso conversely benefitting from the full support of his own team-mate Felipe Massa, who should be strong in São Paulo and therefore in a good position to take points away from Webber and Vettel assuming the Ferrari F10 is up to the job – the Oviedo native has now been firmly installed as the new title favourite.
Notably, the 26-time grand prix-winner clinched both of his drivers' trophies to-date at Interlagos – in 2005 and 2006 – but he is adamant that with RBR still theoretically in possession of the fastest car in the field, he will be taking absolutely nothing for granted and counting no chickens before they are hatched, particularly in a campaign that has been so wonderfully unpredictable as has this one.
“I am back in the lead of the championship for the first time since way back after the Australian Grand Prix,” the 29-year-old acknowledged in his blog on the Scuderia's
website. “However, we know that with this points system and the gaps as they are, the standings don't really mean that much; it only takes one race – as indeed we saw in Korea – for the situation to turn itself round. All-the-same, it's always better to be in front than behind!
“Knowing that achieving our objectives is in our hands means we are a fraction calmer, but in no way does it change our approach. We will have to try and do our utmost, making the most of all the potential we have at our disposal. The only difference is that it would be enough, so to speak, to stay ahead of our closest rivals, without having to think too much about the maths.
“In theory, there are still five of us in the running for the title, but clearly [Jenson] Button is in a trickier situation. There are not many points between us to be honest and we saw how things ended up three years ago, but the fact is that there are no less than four drivers ahead of him and it's hard to imagine none of them scoring points.
“The statistics from the second part of the season make interesting reading – 133 points from seven races, 90 of them in the last four – and that makes you think it might have been nice if the season had started at Hockenheim! And yet, for our part, it's not as though we changed anything special in the way we went about our work – it's just that we have managed to string together a series of strong weekends from start-to-finish, whilst earlier, sometimes for a variety of reasons, that was not the case.
“We were lacking consistency in terms of results until this finally came through later. The car has always been reasonably competitive, with differing levels from circuit-to-circuit, but we have definitely much improved the performance level over these last three months.