The remaining nine races will be fought out over 13 weeks with only five drivers in realistic contention. Here the Guardian looks at the main challengers' title credentials.
1 Fernando Alonso
Team Ferrari Points 164 Wins 3 Title odds 11-10
Verdict The best all-round driver out there, as he has already proved this season. He is consistently fast with a great sense of grip and he does not get involved in careless accidents. His 40-point lead may be pegged back at Spa but he remains the strong title favourite unless one of his main rivals can string together a sequence of wins.
2 Mark Webber
Team Red Bull Points 124 Wins 2 Title odds 16-1
Verdict As Red Bull have been pulled back into the field with a tightening up of the rules, Webber has narrowed the gap between himself and his team-mate Sebastian Vettel. He is happier with the RB8 than last year's car and has worked out the tyres. This could be 2010 all over again and if it goes to the wire Webber enjoys the circuit in Brazil.
3 Sebastian Vettel
Team Red Bull Points 122 Wins 1 Title odds 3-1
Verdict Vettel has not always had his old swagger about him this season but, along with Lewis Hamilton, he is still the most likely man to beat Alonso to the title. He has been there before – twice – and Adrian Newey remains the technical director most likely to come up with a bright idea. Having dominated Webber last year, Vettel could be in for some interesting battles.
4 Lewis Hamilton
Team McLaren Points 117 Wins 2 Title odds 6-1
Verdict The most instinctive racer in F1 is also, arguably, the fastest and the Hockenheim upgrade appears to have given McLaren some of the edge they enjoyed at the start of the season. Hamilton, his troubles of last year behind him, has often been at his best, although still prone to misjudge some aggressive moves. He could have a good weekend ahead of him too.
5 Kimi Raikkonen
Team Lotus Points 116 Wins 0 Title odds 16-1
Verdict For all their eye-catching speed Lotus have yet to win a race this season. But Raikkonen, who has won four times in seven attempts at Spa, could put that right . To win his second title, however, he has to improve his qualifying performances, in which he trails his team-mate Romain Grosjean 8-3 this season.
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