Greater Noida: As the title race for the 2012 Formula One season has almost turned into a clash between Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, separated by just six points, the two drivers would look to strengthen their positions when they hit the track at the Indian Grand Prix in Greater Noida on Sunday.

A hat-trick of victories -- at Singapore, Japan and Korea -- has catapulted the defending champion Vettel to the top of the drivers' table with 215 points, reviving his aspirations for his third straight title.

Red Bull's Vettel got back his pace and rhythm after the summer break and has opened up a narrow lead over Ferrari's Alonso, who has been the most consistent driver of the season.

Had it not been for retirements in Belgium and Japan, Alonso could have been placed in a much better position. With nine podium finishes, including three victories, Alonso has always looked a force to beat this season.

With just four races to go, a good result at the Buddh International Circuit on Sunday would do a world of good to both Vettel and Alonso and further spice up the title race.

Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen is third with 167 points, followed by McLaren's Lewis Hamilton (153) and Mark Webber (152) in the second Red Bull.

Unlike last year, the championship is still alive at this stage of the season, which threw seven different winners in the first seven races, including a surprise Pastor Maldonado of Williams.

Vettel, who won the inaugural Indian GP, is on the cusp of a historic hat-trick of Formula One world titles. The German has a chance to become F1's youngest treble champion.

He would join Michael Schumacher and the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio if he claims his third straight world title at the age of just 25.

(Agencies)

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