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Alonso claims race for the title still wide open

YEONGAM, South Korea -- Championship leader Fernando Alonso of Ferrari said on Thursday ahead of the Korean Grand Prix that the title race was still wide open, warning Lewis Hamilton remains a threat.

Alonso saw his lead over the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel slashed to just four points in Japan last week after the Spaniard was forced out moments after the start with a puncture, leading some to suggest it was now a two-horse race.

With five grand prix to go, Alonso has 194 points, Vettel 190, Kimi Raikkonen 157 and Hamilton of McLaren 152.

Speaking at a press conference in Yeongam, Alonso confessed he did not know how far Hamilton was behind. Told it was more than 40 points — there are 25 points for a race win — he said: “It's more difficult but it's not over.

Hamilton, who will move to Mercedes next year, finished fifth in Japan to keep his championship hopes just about alive.

Despite having Vettel breathing hard down his neck, Alonso said there was no reason to panic.

He added: “I remain confident we will be competitive. We've been more or less competitive the last eight or 10 races. We've not been the fastest, but we are in position.”

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