Fernando Alonso believes McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull drivers Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel are his main championship rivals now.
Alonso holds the lead in the Formula 1 standings as the season reaches its halfway point after this weekend's German Grand Prix. The Spaniard is 13 points ahead of Webber, with Vettel 29 behind and Hamilton a further eight adrift. Although the championship has so far been remarkably open, with seven different winners in the first seven races, Alonso has singled out the Red Bulls and Hamilton as the main contenders for the title.
"Hamilton and the Red Bulls," Alonso told reporters when asked about his main rivals. "It hasn't changed much. Lotus is probably strong and they have good races when they are quick, but they always lose some points on Sunday. [Nico] Rosberg started out strongly too and I think he can have a good championship too, but he has dropped down a bit. So as of today, the most feared rivals are Hamilton and the Red Bulls. We'll have to see how it evolves in the next races and if someone else joins the group."
The two-time champion, the only double winner alongside Webber this year, believes Red Bull continues to have the edge over its rivals but, unlike last year, Alonso reckons the gap can be erased.
"They have a bit of advantage now, but we can catch up – unlike last year, when it looked like they were racing in a different league," he said. "This year we have the feeling that if we manage to find an improvement for the car we can match them. Not sure about qualifying, but I'm sure in the race."