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Fernando Alonso: I can afford more retirements in Formula 1 title battle

Fernando AlonsoFernando Alonso says he is the only driver in the 2012 world championship with the luxury of having a retirement in hand should misfortune strike again on Sunday at Monza.

The world championship points leader was taken out of the Belgian Grand Prix in a multi-car shunt at the first corner and was forced to watch Sebastian Vettel reduce his points lead to 24 from 42.

But Alonso says his advantage over his rivals remains firmly intact and that he will remain in contention even if he did post another DNF this weekend.

"What we need to do is concentrate on our job and we did quite a good performance until now and so far with the points and finishing the races a little bit better than our opponents," he said.

"Last weekend we saw how things can quickly change and in two or three races you can lose an advantage. But at the moment we are the only ones that can do that."

Alonso, who has 164 points, pointed out that his position grows stronger with every race, as those title rivals who are further behind than Vettel, such as the two McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton in fifth (on 117 points) and Belgian Grand Prix winner Jenson Button (101 points) can ill-afford another non-finish.

"We did not finish in Belgium and we could not finish maybe here and we are still in title contention," said Alonso. "If some of the other rivals don't finish one or two races they say bye, bye - so that's an advantage."

Asked if he thought the championship fight could last as late into the season as the Texas/Brazil double-header in November, Alonso replied: "We will see."

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