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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 July, 2005, 16:28 GMT 17:28 UK
Alonso fearful of McLaren threat
F1 championship leader Fernando Alonso
Alonso is currently 26 points clear of McLaren's Raikkonen
Championship leader Fernando Alonso says McLaren can still be a threat to his title hopes at this weekend's German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.

Renault driver Alonso currently leads second-placed Kimi Raikkonen of McLaren by 26 points.

"They've had the best package since Imola but they haven't won all the races," said Alonso.

"Even if they do have the best package, we are not so slow and at some races we can fight for the victory."

Alonso thinks he will have a good chance in Sunday's German GP.

"Budapest will be better but Hockenheim could also be good for us," he said.

Alonso and Raikkonen are long-term rivals and Spaniard Alonso paid warm tribute to his Finnish opponent.

After three years with McLaren, Raikkonen knows the team perfectly
Championship leader Fernando Alonso

"He's a great driver and I'm very proud to be fighting with him," said Alonso.

"I've known him since 1997 or 1998 when we raced in karts and it's always been a good relationship with no real problems.

"As with all Formula One drivers, we don't have a great many conversations, but still there's a lot of respect for each other.

"He was two years older than me so we were always in different categories and only raced once or twice.

"But as we were in Italy he stood out because of his blond hair."

Alonso may now have a considerable lead over Raikkonen but he said it had not been easy.

"After three years with McLaren, Raikkonen knows the team perfectly. He knows the car, he knows the tyres," he said.

"Together they have been very strong all season and now to arrive at the last part, fighting with him is very hard for me. It's been a struggle."


SEE ALSO
Raikkonen desperate to close gap
20 Jul 05 |  Formula One
Alonso admits German tyre concern
19 Jul 05 |  Formula One


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