The raft of new updates that Ferrari are bringing to Valencia is only the first part of a three-stage attack on the 2010 World Championship. Yet McLaren are already worried, and the new car hasn't even turned a wheel yet.
Fernando Alonso has been quite quick in the last few races, making his way from the back of the grid after a few misfortunes during qualifying and practice, despite having a car that clearly wasn't the fastest on the grid.
Winning in Bahrain was a lucky fluke at the expense of Red Bull, and he hasn't really been in a position to take advantage of the speed the car has due to Red Bull locking out the grid in qualifying.
After Ferrari improved their reliability in the early part of the season, while most other teams updated their performance, they started to slip back, but still showed their potential. Could Valencia see Ferrari, in the hands of Alonso, pull themselves back up to the top step of the podium?
During the last race, in Canada, Alonso did lead for a short while, and was a serious challenge to Hamilton's pace, despite McLaren's F-duct. With the new updates, Alonso may have gone from just behind the race leaders to ahead of them by a good margin.
Think back to Monaco. Alonso managed to put his car into the wall during third practice, meaning he had to start from the pit lane on race day. His performance, on a track that was notorious for its lack of overtaking even before the new teams joined the grid, showed that the Ferrari was quick, and, given the chance, could have gone for the win.
Now, compare that to the tight Valencia street circuit, with its similarities to the Monaco track, and Alonso not making a mistake during practice/qualifying, and we could have Alonso as a winner in a victory that he actually earned, rather than one that he took from Vettel.
This could be the start of a major Ferrari comeback, with updates promised for Valencia, Silverstone, and Hockenhiem.
Alonso for champion, despite Red Bull's strange hold on the championship? Stranger things have happened.
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