World champion Fernando Alonso has admitted that he did not expect to be leading the standings at this point in the season, after believing his McLaren to be inferior to Ferrari in the build-up to the campaign.

In his time with Renault, the Spaniard twice arrived at his home round at the top of the points table - eventually going on to claim the world crown - but had thought that he would be playing a waiting game in 2007.

"In the last two years, I had more fun in the first races because I won most of them and opened a gap in the championship," he confirmed, "It was important then that I think of the final result of the championship.

"This year, it is a surprise to be leading the championship with Kimi and Lewis, because I expect to be quite far behind. I think, moving teams, new tyres, new rules also with the engine freeze, with all these things, I was expecting to have three or four very difficult months. In the first five or six races of the championship, I thought I'd have to try not to lose too many points, then attack at the end of the championship, but I found myself quite competitive from the beginning."

Never satisfied, however, Alonso admitted that he preferred the old way.

"It is a nice surprise to be in the front, but I prefer to be even more in the front - as the last two years!" he smiled.



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