Six races into the season and we have Fernando Alonso leading the drivers' championship. Ferrari themselves say that they don't have the fastest car and are surprised by the fact that Alonso leads the championship. So, the question is how the Spaniard leads the championship?
We've seen six different drivers at the top step of the podium, Alonso is one of them. All the six drivers got equal points(25) for the same. So it's about how those six drivers have performed at other 5 races. And that's the place where Fernando Alonso has made the most. Alonso has been on podium thrice this season, equaling Hamilton whom he has beaten by more consistent performance in other three races.
At each of the six races, Alonso finished higher than he started. His race pace has been much better than qualifying pace where he's been pretty average due to slow pace of his Ferrari.
We'll now take a race by race look and find how Alonso leads the WDC.
At the season opener in Australia, it was clear that Ferrari didn't have the pace to fight the top runners and Alonso failed to make it into Q3. However, he performed brilliantly in the race to finish in 5th place behind the two Red Bulls and the two McLarens.
He made most of the wet conditions at the following race in Malaysia to win the race. More importantly, Jenson Button who won in Australia failed to score even a single point.
This was followed by tough race in China where lack of top speed and general pace meant that Alonso could finish in only 9th place. He lost his championship lead after the race and settled in 3rd place behind the two McLaren drivers.
Alonso had another poor weekend in Bahrain, qualified again in 9th place but this time gained two places to finish in 7th place. He was now in 5th place in the standings behind the McLarens and the Red Bull.
Things started to come back to track at his home grand prix in Spain as a great start from him took him to race lead. However, Maldonado tried the undercut to leapfrog Alonso and the latter had to settle for 2nd place. It turned out to be a poor weekend for his competitors, which meant that Alonso was back in the lead in drivers standings, however, tied with the other double world champion on the grid - Sebastian Vettel.
Another good start and pit stop took Alonso to a very good 3rd place finish in Monaco, his third podium of the season. He now leads the championship with 76 points, 3 points ahead of Red Bull duo of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.
Despite not having the fastest car, Alonso leads the championship because of his ability, he got more out of the car then it was capable of delivering. Despite average performance on Saturday afternoons which forces him to start a few places behind his competitors, his performance on race days has been exceptional. Good starts and good strategy calls by his team meant that he finished on podium thrice. His consistent performance has made him lead the standings in a season where no driver has won twice.