Jaime Alguersuari says he feels Fernando Alonso can still benefit from his consistency to win the 2012 F1 title, despite seeing his championship lead almost wiped out at Suzuka.
Alonso held a 29 point going into the Japanese Grand Prix but came out of it just four points clear after he was forced out after a clash with Kimi Raikkonen at turn one and Sebastian Vettel went on to take victory.
With Red Bull being back on form in Japan, and Alonso having long-insisted that Ferrari doesn't have the quickest car, many are now tipping the German to take his third straight title with five races left to run.
Writing his column for BBC Sport
, Alguersuari admitted that the title situation had changed following the Suzuka race but said his fellow Spaniard could still take the title if he adopted the same approach as he has done throughout the season so far.
“For some time I have been saying that Ferrari's Fernando Alonso would probably win the world championship this year because of his consistency, but the situation has changed a little following the Japanese Grand Prix,” he wrote. “This is nothing new in Formula 1. Everything has been so close this season; it is one of the closest seasons in the sport's history.
“The points advantage Alonso had built up has gone as a result of his first-lap retirement at Suzuka and Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull is more competitive than it has been all year.
“The competitive situation is changing race by race. What Alonso needs to concentrate on now is to just keep on doing what got him into such a good position in the first place - being consistent. He doesn't have the fastest car, but he never did. He just needs to keep scoring big points - to be in the top five, or ideally on the podium, in every race.”
Alguersuari added that he didn't think Alonso would have the car to beat in Korea this weekend, but said that didn't mean he should be counted out of the equation.
“I don't see that on pure performance Alonso has much of a chance to beat Vettel in Korea, but he has a big chance to be on the podium,” he said. “The Ferrari is a good car and they have developed it very quickly. It's a consistent car and the fact that it's driven by Alonso makes it even better. He knows how to maximise the potential of his own car.
“But the Ferrari is not the favourite for any specific race - it is not as fast as the McLaren or the Red Bull. Alonso has to play his cards as well as he can and hope the results go in his favour. There are five races to go, starting in Korea, but although it feels like it's coming to the end of the year it's important for all those involved in the title battle to realise that five races is actually a quarter of the season.
“There are a lot of points to play for and anything can happen.”