Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali and McLaren driver Jenson Button have agreed that Fernando Alonso's position at the top of the F1 world championship means nothing at the moment - but the Italian is at least prepared to give his star the opportunity to remain there.
While Button has written off Alonso's lofty position - and his unexpected Malaysian Grand Prix victory - as fortunate, Domenicali has called on the entire Ferrari organisation to pull out all the stops to the Spaniard in contention.
“I asked all my people to push to the maximum to try and bring forward as much as possible the developments planned for the next few races,” Domenicali told the team's official website, “Having Fernando leading the championship means nothing and we definitely don't think all our problems have been made to vanish with the wave of a magic wand.
"We have two weeks to prepare for another back-to-back run, first in China and then Bahrain, and we will tackle these races with the same spirit we adopted in Australia and Malaysia, which means striving to be perfect on track and getting the most out of the tools at our disposal, while making the most of whatever opportunities come along.
"With Fernando, playing the counter-attacking game worked perfectly: hitting the back of the net in Sepang was really great!"
While Domenicali clearly hopes that Ferrari can make it through to the end of F1's metaphorical 90 minutes, erstwhile championship leader Button apparently wrote off Alonso's chances of remaining up front for too long.
Although he failed to add to his Melbourne victory tally in Malaysia, where he owned up to a collision with Narain Karthikeyan that spoiled his race, Button still believes that McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull duo Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber provide the biggest threat to his hopes of a second world title.
"Even after such a bad race — and that's hopefully my bad race for the year gone — I'm still only ten points off the leader, and that's Alonso in a Ferrari," Button told Britain's Sun
newspaper, "I'm also only five points behind Lewis, who is the guy in a competitive car, so he is definitely my main rival and you have to say the Red Bulls as well.
"Those are the guys I still think are the main [rivals] at this point in the season, and will be for quite a few races. The Mercedes show signs of speed in qualifying and we'll have to see what it can do in a nice dry race, but the team we should still be worried about most are Red Bull."