Lewis Hamilton believes Fernando Alonso will still be viewed as a great champion regardless of whether he wins his third Formula One world title in contentious circumstances this weekend.
Ahead of Sunday's season-ending showdown in Abu Dhabi, Alonso leads Red Bull pair Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel by just eight and 15 points respectively, with Hamilton 24 adrift.
There is every possibility of Alonso making it a hat-trick of title victories by seven points or less, and that has provoked concern.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, who has staunchly abided by his marque's philosophy of equal treatment to both drivers, has made his feelings clear on the subject, similarly Jenson Button.
As for Hamilton, he feels what transpired in Hockenheim when Alonso claimed victory courtesy of coded messages that saw Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa cede the win, is now water under the bridge.
With Ferrari found guilty by stewards on the day and fined £65,000, Hamilton said: "For me, it doesn't really make any difference.
"Of course we would all have preferred the rules to have been clear from the beginning, therefore we wouldn't be in this position.
"But it turns out the rules are constantly changing and adapting, and the rules changed.
"The rules are out there that there are no team tactics or orders allowed, then it (the incident) happened, and it's been allowed.
"But look at what happened to Michael (Schumacher) who won seven world titles, some not in the right way, at least that was people's perception.
"But who cares? He is still perceived as one of the great all-time racers, so with Fernando it will be exactly the same."
Even if Hamilton finished within seven points of Alonso, which is a long shot, but by no means beyond the realms of possibility, little would change in his eyes.
"It's not that I would be fine with it because I would still have lost the championship," added Hamilton.
"But that's for somebody else to have an opinion over. It doesn't make any difference if I moan about it.
"Who is going to take those seven points away? No one because what has happened, has happened."
Hamilton, knowing nothing less than victory will suffice if he is to take the title, at least set about his task in the right way by finishing quickest at the end of today's practice ahead of Vettel, Alonso and Webber.
There was one contentious moment in the second session when he cut across Bruno Senna in his Hispania as he entered the pit lane, but escaped with nothing more than a reprimand from the stewards.
"It was nothing. Bruno and I have no problems, it was just a misunderstanding," explained Hamilton.
"He was trying to start his lap, I was trying to come in. I'll speak to Bruno to make sure everything is cool."
It leaves Hamilton free to focus on a weekend in which he may yet secure his first win since Canada in June given his confidence in the car.
"The car felt good, although I've felt a little bit ill. I've been on some meds, but I'm a bit better," added Hamilton.
"Out of this weekend, of all the weekends, I feel we do have the car to challenge, and rather than fighting for fourth I think we will be fighting for the front row. I'm giving it 120%."Reuse content