Alonso confident of winning third title

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The Independent Online

Fernando Alonso is "100%" confident of becoming Formula One world champion for a third time in Abu Dhabi next Sunday.

Alonso found himself playing second fiddle to Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber in yesterday's Brazilian Grand Prix as the Red Bull duo scored their fourth one-two of the year spearheaded by the German.

After joining them on the Interlagos podium, it means Alonso has an eight-point cushion to Webber and is 15 ahead of Vettel.

Effectively the battle is between the trio as Lewis Hamilton is 24 points back after finishing fourth.

For Alonso the scenario is simple for him to take the title. If he does not win at the Yas Marina track he has to finish second if Webber wins - and fourth should Vettel triumph.

Asked whether he was confident, Alonso was unequivocal as he said: "One hundred percent. I just need to finish second. It doesn't matter who wins in Abu Dhabi if I finish second. So the main goal for us is to be on pole on Saturday and then win the race on Sunday.

"If we cannot do that, if we are not quick enough, then we will try to be second. With that, the problem is finished."

A problem of a different kind looms for Red Bull should the same one-two-three occur going into the last lap in Abu Dhabi.

Given the issues between Vettel and Webber this season, will the former pull to one side to allow the latter to take the title?

For the first time yesterday Vettel dropped a broad hint he would do so as the German said: "It depends on where those two guys are (referring to Webber and Alonso).

"You will have to judge according to the situation, but one thing is clear - which is hard for you to imagine - both of us know how to act.

"We've have had some moments which we're not very proud of and we wouldn't want to repeat.

"Obviously I went to school, so I know what I can answer. For me it is straightforward. I go to Abu Dhabi to try to do my best, we have a strong car, I can rely on that, and then we will see.

"What do you want to hear? I can only tell you the scenario you are talking about is something you think of. I think it's clear."

Vettel was certainly never going to give up his win of yesterday, which if he had done so would have seen Webber just one point off Alonso.

Instead, he rightly claimed his fourth win of the season, leading from first corner to the flag, bar one lap.

The one-two result guaranteed Red Bull the constructors' title in only their sixth season, a triumph Vettel feels was one in the eye for all the team's critics.

"This has been an extremely difficult season for us with lots of people talking us down at some stage," added Vettel.

"Sometimes they were right, sometimes they were not right, so it is good to show them one race from the end what we are made of.

"It hasn't been that long since Red Bull entered Formula One, so we can be very proud knowing we did the better job over one season against teams like Ferrari and McLaren."