- Japanese Grand Prix
Red Bull has the advantage, says Alonso
Fernando Alonso says he expects Red Bull to have the performance edge at Suzuka despite his back-to-back victories at Monza and Singapore.
After his recent victories, Alonso is only 11 points behind championship leader Mark Webber with four races remaining as he chases a third drivers' title. But the Ferrari driver is downplaying his chances of a hat-trick of wins at Suzuka.
"It is no surprise that Red Bull are favourites again," said Alonso on Thursday. "The characteristics of Suzuka are favourable to Red Bull. But that doesn't mean that they will win the race very easily. We saw this year circuits which were good for Red Bull were not 100% victories for them because something happened.
"We need to keep pushing them because of the four races remaining Suzuka is good for them but the other three are a bit unknown. We expect some tough moments to come so we need to be prepared for those, not to panic and to score as many points as possible at each race."
Despite Alonso's assertion that Red Bull are the favourites, title rival Webber insists that there is little to choose between the teams.
"I'm not the favourite. I'm not even thinking about the title. It could all change very quickly - in a good way for me or in a bad way. It's on a knife edge but I'm very relaxed," said Webber.
"I need to keep racing hard and going for victories. I will leave no change on the table and the points will look after themselves. We hope [to have some advantage]. But hoping doesn't mean much; we need to do it on the track. I expect Ferrari to be in the hunt here and all three teams to be quick."