As title race heats up, Alonso draws from Samurai philosophy
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Ferrari's Fernando Alonso has taken inspiration from the centuries old wisdom of a samurai swordsman as he prepares for a Formula One duel with Sebastian Vettel at the Korean Grand Prix this weekend. The Spaniard knows he will lose the championship lead at the Yeongam circuit for the first time since seizing it in Valencia in June if his Red Bull rival chalks up a third win in a row.
Alonso is only four points clear of Vettel, with five races remaining, after spinning off into the gravel at the start in Japan last weekend. After that disappointment, his response was a statement on his Twitter feed: "Five great races coming! If the enemy thinks in the mountains, attack by sea. If they think in the sea, attack by the mountains."
The words are those of 17th century Japanese Miyamoto Musashi, who set out in his Book of Five Rings teachings ranging from strategy, philosophy and battlefield tactics to self-control and spiritual calm. Musashi's conviction that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain will also strike a chord with the Spaniard, whose own ascent has been slowed by others in incidents beyond his control.
Both Alonso and Vettel have won three races this season, both are double champions, but the Spaniard has years more experience under his belt than his Germanrival and knows the importance of keeping calm, and seeing the bigger picture. "What happened to us today could happen to the others next time," he had said on Sunday night. "The wheel turns and that is what races are all about."