Chinese Grand Prix winner Fernando Alonso is sprayed with champagne by… (Eugene Hoshiko / Associated…)
The Formula One championship race became more crowded atop the standings when Ferrari driver Fernando Alsonso claimed victory in the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai on Sunday.
Reigning series champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull finished fourth to remain atop the standings, but he's only three points ahead of Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen, who finished second in Shanghai.
Alonso is now third in the series standings while Sunday pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes, who took third, is in fourth place.
Since the Formula One season still has 16 of its 19 races to come, Alonso was hesitant to proclaim any driver, or team, as the series favorite.
“It's a little bit too early to say,” Alonso said. “We maybe need to wait until after the summer break to see the clear contenders.
“Lotus, Red Bull and Mercedes are in the same position as us. ... I don't see anyone has an advantage.”
Alonso, who moved into a tie for fourth place on the all-time victory list with Nigel Mansell at 31, pulled ahead of the competition on Sunday and cruised to the victory.
“It was a fantastic race for us from the start,” Alonso said. “There were no big problems and the tire degradation was better than expected. In the two races we've finished we have got second place and victory, so our start of the 2013 season is very good. We are very optimistic for the rest of the season.”
Wire service and Internet reports contributed to this story.
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