Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso insisted on Thursday he will not change his approach despite arriving in the Brazilian Grand Prix in the lead of the World Championship.
The Spanish driver won the Korean Grand Prix two weeks ago to move into first place in the standings following the retirement of Red Bull rivals Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel. Alonso now leads Webber by 11 points, with McLaren's Lewis Hamilton 21 adrift with just two races left.
But despite leaping to the top of the standings, Alonso claims the situation has not changed, and is aware that a bad result at Interlagos could cost him dearly.
"I think nothing has really changed," Alonso told reporters in Brazil. "OK, we are some points ahead of the others but we saw a very clear example in Korea about how things may change in a race with retirement or whatever, so I think our approach will not change in these next two races.
"The consistency will be the first priority and being on the podium in both races will be our goal and then if it is enough, or not enough, to win the championship we will see in Abu Dhabi. But I think our job is to do the maximum, take the maximum potential from the car as we did in the last races and hopefully lucky as we were in the last races because the luck factor we know is important in any championship result."
He added: "It is an important race, but it was important in Monza, Singapore – the last four or five races we did they were very important for us. If anything happened in the last four or five it was maybe our bye-bye to the championship, so we have been racing with a lot of pressure in the last four or five grands prix and everything went well because we did concentrate, very focused on the races themselves with no mistakes and that is the way we need to continue.
"But as I said, now it is not going to be easy. Our opponents are going to be very strong, Red Bull has been very dominant and McLaren I am sure will be fighting to the end."
Alonso said the Red Bull duo remain favorite for the Brazilian GP weekend, and the two-time champion reckons McLaren will be a threat, too.
"Red Bull is favorite at any circuit," he said. "They have been very dominant in the 2010 championship. In all the qualifying sessions they were very strong, in the first row of the grid 90 percent of the time, and we expect very tough competition with them and McLaren as well, who will be very strong.
"In a wrong weekend, in a bad weekend, you can find yourself fifth or sixth very easily because there are four or five very competitive cars that will fight at the top, so for us it is just a matter of giving the maximum and we will see. We respect a lot the contenders and we know Red Bull is very, very strong."
The Ferrari driver claimed he would be happy for teammate Felipe Massa to win at Interlagos, because it would mean his rivals would not score as many points.
"I think Felipe is normally very strong here," he said. "I think the best thing for us, and even for me as championship numbers, will be to have Felipe winning the race because he takes 25 points from everybody else. That is the biggest difference this year – 25 points for winning and 18 for second.
"Then for second to third, third to fourth is a very small difference, which may allow me to keep the advantage that I have. The worry for me is the 25 points – and if one of the contenders takes these 25 points. Hopefully Felipe can win both races, that will be the best thing for me."
The Spaniard said he is still relaxed about the situation with his engine, despite having used all the allocated units already.
"I think the engines are so far OK for us. As I said a couple of time, we made a program after China for the rest of the season and we followed that program with no big problems. It is not because we are with eighth or seventh, if any of the contenders has an engine problem it is a big problem in this part of the championship, as we saw with Vettel in Korea because you lose too many points in the last two races which maybe is not enough time to recover those points.
"So we are not worried about the seventh or eighth engine or whatever we use, we just try to keep everything under control and finish both races is the first priority. If we finish on the podium better and if we finish ahead of Red Bull even better. We know that we must finish these two races if we want to be champion."