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Page last updated at 12:29 GMT, Thursday, 11 November 2010

Fernando Alonso favourite for title insists Mark Webber

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina, 12-14 November
Practice: Friday 12 November, 0855-1035 and 1255-1435; and Saturday 13 November 0955-1105, Red Button, online and 5 live sports extra
Qualifying: 1215-1420 on BBC One, Red Button, online and 5 live sports extra
Race: 1210-1515 on BBC One, Red Button, online and Radio 5 live sports extra

Red Bull's Mark Webber

Webber admits Alonso has 'better chance'

By Sarah Holt
BBC Sport in Abu Dhabi

Red Bull's Mark Webber insists Fernando Alonso is best-placed to win the 2010 drivers' world championship in Sunday's final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.

Ferrari's Alonso leads Webber by eight points, Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel by 15 and McLaren's Lewis Hamilton by 24 with 25 points available for the win.

But the Red Bull is the fastest car and their drivers are expected to occupy the front of the grid after qualifying.

"Fernando is in the best position but I am looking forward to it," said Webber.

"I'll initially be disappointed if it doesn't happen but there have still been some positives this year."

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton dismisses title talk

At 34, Webber confirmed he would be back for more next season, dismissing notions that this would be his last chance to clinch the drivers' title.

"I want to do it on Sunday, but if it doesn't happen then I will have another crack next year," said the Australian, who is a UK resident.

"I know I have been very fortunate even to have a chance to get to this point, so I am not getting greedy, but it is human nature to always want more."

Alonso, who joined Ferrari at the start of this campaign from Renault, remained coy about his chances of winning a third drivers' world championship.

CHAMPIONSHIP PERMUTATIONS
If Alonso wins or is second, he is champion
If Webber wins, he wins the title if Alonso is third or worse
If Vettel wins and Alonso is 5th or worse, Vettel wins the title
If Hamilton wins, Alonso must fail to score, Webber be 6th or worse and Vettel 3rd or worse for Hamilton to win the title

"We do not have the cornering speed of Red Bull nor the straight-line speed of McLaren but that has been the story of the season so far for us," said the Spaniard. "But generally we are competitive overall.

"You feel sad if you lose in the last moment but in my case I will not have anything to be disappointed about in 2010.

"The last two years I was fighting to be in Q3 most of the time.

"Ferrari had a tough year in 2009 as well but we have put ourselves back in the championship in the last race against two Red Bulls who have dominated this season in terms of the speed. It doesn't matter what happens on Sunday as I have some great memories.

"We can only depend on ourselves to win the championship. There is not anything we can do other than to finish first or second in the race. That is our goal.

I have nothing to lose - it is the guys in front of me have everything to lose and I'm going to be flat out as always

Lewis Hamilton

"I will not lose even a second of energy thinking of what will happen on Sunday."

Vettel believes his team-mate and Alonso are likely to contest the title but repeated the hint he gave after winning in Brazil on Sunday that he might help the Australian if he cannot win the crown himself.

"I said last Sunday, if we found ourselves in that position we'll see on Sunday.

"It's pretty clear, there are more important things happening before we enter this stage.

"There are more important things to focus our energy on. If the situation occurs then I think we know that we are driving for the team."

ANDREW BENSON'S BLOG

Hamilton readily admits that his chances of winning are slim.

The McLaren driver would need to win the race and hope that Alonso failed to pick up a point, while Webber finished no higher than sixth and Vettel third.

But he remains upbeat, telling BBC Sport: "I think it's good to have the experience and to have the pressure right down to the last race and being able to fight for the championship.

"Sebastian and Mark may have had this experience in the lower categories. But it definitely does help, I feel quite comfortable being here having this experience in the past.

"I can do my job better and I'm in a more relaxed mental state than 2007 and 2008."



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see also
Title hope still alive - Hamilton
10 Nov 10 |  Formula 1
Alonso '100%' confident of title
08 Nov 10 |  Formula 1
Vettel hints he could help Webber
07 Nov 10 |  Formula 1


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