Alonso waiting for Red Bull to slip up

Stephan Heublein

As early as Sunday morning, Fernando Alonso was talking in terms of damage limitation for the impending Japanese GP. After qualifying fifth, he didn't hold out any great hopes of beating Red Bull: "Even before the weekend started, we knew that a P3 finish was probably the best we could manage. But at the same time, we were convinced that this was going to be the toughest of the remaining tracks for us."

So from this perspective, the race weekend went reasonably well for Alonso - after all, he is still second in the championship, albeit sharing the honour with Sebastian Vettel, 14 points behind the leader Mark Webber.