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'Calm' Alonso plots assault on F1 title after August break

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso has revived his title hopes with a victory and a second placing in his last two races.
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso has revived his title hopes with a victory and a second placing in his last two races.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Fernando Alonso believes the most consistent F1 team will win the 2010 world title
  • Ferrari driver has revived his chances of third crown with a win and second placing
  • Spaniard trails leader Mark Webber by 20 points with seven races to go
  • The circuit will take a break until the Belgian Grand Prix on August 29

(CNN) -- Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso believes the Formula One title race is now wide open with seven races to go following Ferrari's recent resurgence.

Alonso followed up his controversial victory at the German Grand Prix with second place behind Mark Webber in Hungary, and is now just 20 points behind Red Bull's new series leader.

Ferrari face possible further sanctions for the incident at Hockenheim last month that saw Felipe Massa allow Alonso to take the lead, having already been fined $100,000 for breaching the ban on team orders ahead of a September 8 disciplinary hearing of the World Motor Sports Council.

But the Italian team are now just 74 points behind leaders Red Bull, with McLaren second after Lewis Hamilton failed to finish in Budapest and world champion Jenson Button was eighth.

We have to stay calm, and in these seven races get as many podiums as possible. Continuity will be key to winning the championship
--Fernando Alonso
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"We are in a position now that we are able to take the lead of the championship if we win one race," Alonso told Ferrari's website. "I think we have to remain calm. We know that four or five drivers will fight until the last race, but we need to use our experience as a team.

Schumacher says sorry to Barrichello

"Ferrari have won so many championships, and my personal experience as well, fighting for three championships. We have to stay calm, and in these seven races get as many podiums as possible. I think continuity will be key to winning the championship."

Hamilton is hoping to bounce back at the next race, the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps on August 29 after having to retire for the second time this season due to mechanical problems.

"It was a disappointment, yes, but you have to put it behind you. And you should never think too hard about the 'what ifs' or the missed opportunities," the English driver told his website.

F1 standings after Hungarian Grand Prix

"It happened, and we move on -- it's that simple. And, despite it being a difficult race, I can take some positives away from the Hungary weekend. I was able to pass a car on track, and the guys once again pulled off a perfect pit stop, to put me ahead of Felipe.

"And I also know we can come back even stronger in the final seven races. We have some very promising developments in the pipeline, and we're making progress in lots of other areas, too. We have dug deep before, and I know absolutely that we will dig deep once more.

"With the championship so closely balanced, this is the perfect time for a break. In effect, we'll resume the season as if it's the start of the year again: with everything to play for, and none of the top three teams lagging behind on points. That's really exciting!"

The 2008 world champion said the three-week hiatus was also a chance for the teams' support crew to recharge their batteries.

Webber claims F1 lead with Hungary win

"You can see on TV how hard the mechanics and engineers work at the racetrack, but you don't get to see how many hours the men and women are putting in back at the factory," Hamilton said.

"And, believe me, it's a proper shutdown -- it gives everybody the opportunity to forget about Formula One for a while and spend time away on their families, which is really important. As for me, I'm looking at getting away from it all for a little while."

Button revealed that he would be competing in this weekend's London Triathlon, raising funds for charity.

"I'm really looking forward to the event, and I'm still raising money for the Make A Wish Foundation. It's for a great cause, making dreams come true for very ill young children, and I'm proud to be playing my part to help them raise funds," he told his website.

"My trainer Mikey will be joining me and some of my friends. After the tri, I'll definitely be looking to get away from it. But even though it's a nice feeling to get away from Formula One for a while, you can guarantee that all the drivers will be desperate for the break to end because we'll want to get back into the car."