Championship leader Fernando Alonso had no answer to rival Kimi Raikkonen's pace at Istanbul, but in the lead up to this weekend's Italian Grand Prix, the Spaniard is not worried about his title chances... far from it.

Championship leader Fernando Alonso had no answer to rival Kimi Raikkonen's pace at Istanbul, but in the lead up to this weekend's Italian Grand Prix, the Spaniard is not worried about his title chances... far from it.


Alonso, team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella and the Renault team visited Moscow on Sunday. Crowds estimated at more than 100 000 people gathered beneath the walls of the Kremlin to see the pair complete five laps each of a makeshift city-centre circuit in last year's R24 F1 car. Two days earlier, the Spaniard set the fastest lap on the final day of the Monza test session.


"McLaren are very quick, there's no doubt, but Monza is a completely different circuit to any other, so we approach it feeling confident," Alonso said of his Italian Grand Prix prospects. "We have had good straightline speed all year, and that is one of the things you need there. So it could be a good race for us."


When asked what his view of the championship situation was, Alonso replied: "It is the same as before Turkey - as long as we finish the races, we are okay. If we are competitive and can get on the podium, then it will be hard to lose my advantage. The advantage we have is that I can still afford some bad races and not lose the lead. McLaren have pressure to be perfect until China, and if they are not, we will be there to punish them."


Although Alonso still has a 24-point lead on Raikkonen in the driver's title standings, Renault's lead in the constructors' championship was reduced to just nine points in Turkey. The Régie's team boss, Flavio Briatore, believed that the team could keep the lead in both drivers and constructors championships until the end of the season and insisted it's up to McLaren to take risks.


"We have already shown we can do win this year, with both drivers," Briatore said. "Our sport is not about dominating at one moment or another, but about scoring points progressively through the season. As far as I know, the driver who wins the championship is still the man with the most points at the end, and nothing else.


"Things are much closer (in the constructor's championship standings) with only a nine point gap, but I am still confident. McLaren are the ones who need to take risks and attack all the time," he added. "Let's see how the next races unfold."