Date:Monday September 10 2012
While everyone else in the title picture continues to have problems, Fernando Alonso continues to be the most consistent driver on the grid.
The Spaniard's Ferrari is never referred to as one of the fastest in the paddock and yet the double world champion is currently looking a very good bet to claim his third Formula One World Championship.
Alonso was never far off the pace throughout all three practice sessions, but a mechanical fault in Q3 left him down in tenth on the grid.
ďI think I could have got pole today, but instead I find myself tenth. A real shame, because the car was very strong, but these things happen. Itís maybe fifteen years that something like this has happened, but it has and thereís no point in crying over it. The problem will be fixed for tomorrow, but of course this result changes everything as far as the race is concerned: we had the chance to increase our lead over our closest rivals, but now, itís likely that at least some of them will make up ground on me' he told formula1.com.
He might have expected his gap on top of the pile to decrease on Sunday, but that didn't mean he went into the race down beat and he was clearly in fighting mood as soon as the lights went out.
The Ferrari's pace was back and Alonso carved his way back through the field.
Title rival Sebastian Vettel and Alonso enjoyed a decent and competitive battle with a move that was remarkable similar to one the two drivers enjoyed on the same corner in last seasons Grand Prix.
On that occasion Sebastian Vettel managed to make the pass with two wheels on the grass, this time though and the reigning champion was on the defensive with Alonso forced completely off the track.
The duo avoided contact, but from this point on the two would experience a polar opposites in regards to the race.
Alonso eventually got passed, while Vettel would firstly receive a penalty from the race stewards for forcing Alonso off the circuit and then was forced to retire with a problem.
Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber also retired late on after a late spin cost him any chance of a points finish.
With Jenson Button also retiring, Alonso's fears of his lead in the title picture diminishing was far from reality.
'This Sunday was perfect for the championship, almost like a film with a happy ending: another podium finish, three of my closest rivals with no points and an increased lead over my closest pursuer. I remain convinced that, but for the problem in qualifying yesterday, we could definitely have had every chance of starting from pole and if we can be equally competitive on Saturdays at the tracks that are coming up, it will be very important for the end of the season. We must try to win some more races and to manage the lead we have in the classification.
Alonso now leads Lewis Hamilton in the championship by 37 points.
Lotuses Kimi Raikkonen is now third in the championship just 1 point behind Hamilton, whilst Sebastian Vettel is a further 1 point behind.
Mark Webber is now 47 points behind Alonso, while Jenson Button is just about in touching distance 78 points behind.
Ferrari remain third in the constructors championship behind McLaren and Red Bull.
Date:Monday September 10 2012
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