SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS - Fernando Alonso shrugged off the mantle of Formula 1 favourite despite a 40-point cushion in the championship and being only a race away from a record-equalling 24 successive scoring finishes.The favourite of the bookmakers, and many paddock regulars, refused to see the situation through their betting eyes as the travelling circus returned from its August break for the Belgian Grand Prix.With nine races remaining, and only two in Europe, the Ferrari driver played down his chances by saying his car was far from the fastest.SCHUMI RECORDAlonso said: "Two or three bad races can make you lose everything. In terms of performance, I think of the contenders or the guys who are at the front we are clearly the slowest." "We have a points advantage, a performance disadvantage so I don't think we are any favourites."He leads Red Bull's Mark Webber by 40 points.Alonso has enjoyed astonishing consistency, finishing in the points in every race since Canada in June last year.If he ends the September 2 race in the top 10, he will have equalled the record run of 24 set by seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher with the same team between 2001 and 2003.A continuation of the sequence will make it increasingly hard for his rivals to claw back Alonso's advantage, with the sequence of long-haul races also likely to reduce the pace at which developments can be brought to the cars.Even if Alonso has never won a Formula 1 race at Spa, his rivals took his declaration as little more than light entertainment.Red Bull's double world champion Sebastian Vettel, 42 points behind of Alonso, said: "He is leading so he is (the favourite). He is not leading just because someone wrote a cheque and gave him the amount of points."I think he deserves to lead. If you look at the beginning of the season, starting at winter testing, Ferrari had a lot of criteria (issues). And then I think they got their act together, built a very competitive car and have been very competitive in all circumstances and conditions."McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, five points behind Vettel in fourth place overall, agreed that it all looked like a smokescreen.HAmilton said: "He said that? He would say that, wouldn't he?."He's just positioning himself in a nice way. I am going to say the same thing," smiled Hamilton. "My car is definitely the slowest out of the top four teams. So we'll see what we can do with it."Stay with Wheels24 for the 2012 Belgian F1 weekend.