If Fernando Alonso is feeling the strain of living in Lewis Hamilton's increasingly all-consuming shadow, he is trying hard not to show it, insisting that he sees no reason to hand over his championship crown just yet.

Speaking after Formula One rookie Hamilton's second straight grand prix win at Indianapolis, the Spaniard pointed out that there was still a long way to go before the title is settled and that he remained positive that he could close the now ten-point gap.

"I think we knew from the winter tests that Lewis was very quick and was very close [on] times compared with Pedro [de la Rosa] and me," he told journalists at the USGP, "There are no big differences between the three drivers on the team so, [why shouldn't we be] fighting for victories, podiums and championship?

"But, on the other hand, I think it has been a surprise for me, and a surprise for everybody, to see him doing so well and leading the championship at this point. But, you know, I have big confidence. We have only done seven races, ten to go. I'm very happy with my 48 points and the championship will be decided at the end. I have confidence that I can do it."

In a repeat of last weekend's Canadian Grand Prix, Alonso missed out to his team-mate in qualifying and, despite assertions that he would try another first corner move to take the lead, slotted in behind the Briton on the long run to turn one.

"I think [the start] was good, but I think we both braked at more or less the same point," he explained, having jinked out of Hamilton's slipstream at the last moment, "The start is always risky - I remember, [in] Canada, going off on the grass and losing one position, so obviously, with my team-mate, you try to overtake but what you don't want is to finish the race in the first corner.

"This time, I think it was the key of the race because we were extremely close this weekend. I really think I was a little bit quicker in the race because, when you follow a car [at a] one second distance, it means that you are a bit quicker. I had a good car all through the race, so maybe, with no graining, with no other problems....

"I think it was close this time, so, whoever is first in turn one has 90 per cent of the race. Still, eight points are better than nothing so... We increased the gap to Ferrari, which is one of the main things in this part of the championship."