Fernando Alonso calm on verge of securing Formula One title
Fernando Alonso heads into Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix in a calm, relaxed mood despite knowing he could clinch his third Formula One world title this weekend.
It was certainly an at-ease Alonso that addressed the media in the cramped confines of Ferrari's hospitality suite at Interlagos.
The Spaniard currently leads Mark Webber by 11 points, with Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel still far from out of the hunt on 21 and 25 points adrift respectively.
After a run of four wins in the past seven races, another Alonso victory and with his trio of title rivals far enough behind him, then he will become only the ninth driver in F1 history to win at least three titles.
Asked as to how he was feeling knowing what is at stake, Alonso said: "I feel relaxed, although on Sunday I'll tell you how I feel.
"This is an important race, but then it was important in Monza, in Singapore. The last four or five races have been very important for us.
"If anything had happened in those races then we may well have had to say bye bye to the championship. It means we've been racing with a lot of pressure.
"But everything has gone well. We were focused and made no mistakes and that is the way we need to continue."
Alonso will need to keep his cool given the flak he is likely to face this weekend from the Brazilian fans still fuming at what unfolded in Germany in mid-July.
That was when Felipe Massa was forced to give up victory to Alonso who had bemoaned being stuck behind his team-mate over the in-car radio.
It led to a series of coded messages to Massa to cede first place, which he eventually did, only for Ferrari to land in hot water for flouting the regulation that bans team orders.
Massa, on pole for this race in 2006, 2007 and 2008, has revealed he may have to give way again should the need arise, as he did in 2007 for Kimi Raikkonen who won the race and the title.
However, a local magistrate, Paulo Castilho of the special criminal tribunal of Sao Paulo, has remarkably claimed he will arrest Massa for fraud should he again allow through Alonso.
As the villain of the piece, Alonso has attempted to smooth the waters by claiming he would love nothing more than to see Massa take the chequered flag.
"I think the best thing for us, for me in the championship, for the numbers, is to have Felipe winning the race because he takes 25 points from everybody else," said Alonso.
"This year, from first to second, there is the biggest difference in points - seven, but from second to third, third to fourth, there are very small differences which may allow me to keep the advantage I have.
"So the worry for me is the 25 points, if one of the other drivers takes those points.
"Hopefully Felipe can win both races. It will be the best thing for me."
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