Jaime Alguersuari column: Consistent Alonso can still win title
By Jaime Alguersuari Former F1 driver and BBC Radio 5 live analyst
For some time I have been saying that Ferrari's Fernando Alonso would probably win the world championship this year because of his consistency, but the situation has changed a little following the
Japanese Grand Prix.
This is nothing new in Formula 1. Everything has been so close this season; it is one of the closest seasons in the sport's history.
The Red Bulls' pace in Japan was unexpected. Everyone thought they would be competitive in Singapore because they have been good all year on second- and third-gear corners and on traction. Those had been the big strengths of that car this year.
I didn't think the Red Bull would be so fast at Suzuka, which is a track with long straights, high-speed corners and a lot of lateral stress on the tyres.
But in fact they controlled the weekend from the start of Friday, and that means their chief technical officer Adrian Newey has improved the car.
There is a good combination of corners in Korea and the layout is not that different in lots of ways - there are high-speed and medium-speed places and long straights, although there is more hard braking there than at Suzuka.
It looks like Red Bull have solved all the technical problems they had earlier in the year.
The Korean Grand Prix is scheduled for October 14
That is an area where Ferrari have had an advantage - their car has never retired from a race this year because of a technical issue, whereas the other teams have struggled a little bit more.
If Red Bull can carry that on, that is going to make a difference in this final stage of the championship.
I don't see that on pure performance Alonso has much of a chance to beat Vettel in Korea, but he has a big chance to be on the podium.
The Ferrari is a good car and they have developed it very quickly. It's a consistent car and the fact that it's driven by Alonso makes it even better. He knows how to maximise the potential of his own car.
But the Ferrari is not the favourite for any specific race - it is not as fast as the McLaren or the Red Bull. Alonso has to play his cards as well as he can and hope the results go in his favour.
There are five races to go, starting in Korea, but although it feels like it's coming to the end of the year it's important for all those involved in the title battle to realise that five races is actually a quarter of the season.
There are a lot of points to play for and anything can happen.
Jaime Alguersuari, BBC 5 live's F1 analyst, drove for Toro Rosso in F1 from 2009-11. He was talking to BBC Sport's Andrew Benson.
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