• Italian Grand Prix

Alonso wary of McLaren threat

ESPN Staff
September 6, 2012 « Two DRS zones for Monza | Di Resta steers clear of McLaren speculation »
Fernando Alonso does not think it is likely that he can win the championship without winning another race © Sutton Images
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Fernando Alonso is wary that McLaren currently has the performance to quickly erase his championship lead.

Boasting a 40 point lead before the Belgian Grand Prix, Alonso's failure to score saw Sebastian Vettel reduce it to 24 points. Alonso said his aim for this weekend was to ensure Vettel doesn't close that gap any further, but admits McLaren appears to have the pace to put a consistent run of results together which will mean he needs to win more races to take the title.

"If [the other teams] keep sharing victories it's possible to win without any more wins," Alonso said. "But at the moment we see McLaren very strong in Germany - nearly won the race there - won the race in Hungary, won the race in Spa, so they can win three or four consecutive races and then your gap disappears.

"As we said for the last six or seven grands prix we need to focus on which one is second in the championship at the moment, which today is Vettel. So this weekend we'll try to finish in front of Vettel, like the other weekends we tried to finish in front of Webber."

Looking at the Italian Grand Prix specifically, Alonso doesn't expect to be able to challenge for pole position but didn't rule out fighting for victory if he has a smooth weekend.

"I think for sure it's not going to be easy; in terms of performance we have been maybe not so quick in the last two or three grands prix. It was eight tenths from pole position in Hungary and eight tenths also in Spa. So it's five days from that point, I don't think that we'll recover eight tenths by a magic button. I think what we need to do is maximise our performance, try to extract the maximum from the car and hopefully that will give us some chances to be on the podium. Or if everything goes well of course a victory here is very special for the Ferrari Tifosi who support us a lot. So we'll try to do our best."