Fernando Alonso calm ahead of Formula One title showdown with Sebastian Vettel

 

Fernando Alonso has conceded to being relaxed and focused ahead of his latest Formula One world title showdown with Sebastian Vettel.

Alonso has seen a 44-point lead he held over Vettel following his win in Germany in July eroded on the back of the latter's stunning late resurgence in his Red Bull.

Four consecutive victories recently allowed Vettel to overhaul a man he is going head to head with in their fight to become a three-time champion, opening up a 13-point cushion.

In Abu Dhabi last time out, when Vettel was dumped to the back of the grid as punishment for a fuel irregularity after qualifying, Ferrari star Alonso would reasonably have expected to have made significant inroads.

But Vettel produced a stunning drive to finish third behind Alonso who only managed to claw back three points going into Sunday's United States Grand Prix to leave the gap at 10.

Vettel is overwhelming favourite to win his third successive crown, and if he can finish 15 points ahead of Alonso at the Circuit of The Americas, he will complete the three-peat.

Alonso, however, is undeterred as he simply attempts to push Vettel to the wire in Brazil next weekend, as was the case in three of his previous bids for the championship.

Asked for his emotion now compared to the scraps in 2006, 2007 and 2010, Alonso said: “I'm much more relaxed, much more focused.

“In 2006, in fighting with Michael (Schumacher) in the last race in Brazil, it was quite a stressful, intense weekend. It was not easy to focus, sleep, or things like that because it was emotional.

“The year after, in 2007, it was also a very stressful last race in fighting Lewis (Hamilton) and Kimi (Raikkonen).

“In 2010, we arrived in Abu Dhabi and I was more calm, more confident and things were very good for us in terms of preparation, approach.

“But the race (losing out to Vettel) was what it was. We did not win at the end.

“Now, for these last two races, I feel normal.

“This is the fourth time I'm fighting for the world championship, with the hope it will go to the last race.

“You can feel the difference of being focused, concentrated on doing the job, understanding if you do everything perfect you have a chance, or if you make a mistake, you lose the chance.”

The COTA track is new to all and would appear to represent a level playing field this weekend, with Alonso not seeing any advantage.

“We will all adapt very quickly to the track in the first practice,” said Alonso.

“We've also all been preparing for the race in simulators, which is the same as any other race.”

Alonso's confidence, however, remains undimmed despite the situation as he said: “I'm very confident - I trust the team and myself.

“We are honest with ourselves, we know we don't have the quickest package, with our qualifying average being sixth or seventh (on the grid).

“If we're sixth or seventh here on Saturday then people will think we're saying bye bye to the title.

“But our strong point is scoring more than others on a Sunday, and I'm sure we will do this in the next two races.”

Sport
premier leagueLive: All the latest news and scores from today's matches
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
News
Queen Elizabeth II sends the first royal tweet under her own name to declare the opening of the new Information Age Galleries at the Science Museum, South Kensington, London
media... and the BBC was there to document one of the worst reactions
News
politics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker