That comes with the territory- Alonso, in a top team and the team being quite impressive in winter testing. I think that is every driver's aim, to win, whether it's their first year with a team or third or fifth or tenth. Expectations must have been higher because of the driver they have but lately he seems to have almost taken it upon himself and does not stop talking about the championship which makes headlines, hence all the talk and column space.
Your theory was slightly different from what i recall. Building the team around him etc and then fighting for the championship. I for one don't think that is realistic, in that, if you have a competitive car you go from it from the start. The team is his and it was further under lined by the resigning of Massa. Pressure must be immense on the team. They have lost valuable time and resources because of their F-duct development.
Mclaren have given up on the idea of Red Bull style suspension i thought. It's not something a team can make and put on the car. It's a total redesign of a car which i don't think Mclaren will be doing especially since they are very close to Red Bull in race pace. The problem that will affect Mclaren and Red Bull is their drivers taking points of each other. At Ferrari, you can be pretty sure that it will be one driver taking points, which ever position that is higher, he finishes in. A couple of more races might even make it almost official and Massa for all his talk will play second fiddle to his team mate.
All that said, Red Bull is not exactly going to be standing still in all this time. Realistically, it's very hard to see any team matching Red Bull, never mind passing them. We, the non Red Bull fans, are banking on Tilke and his tracks-that should suit Ferrari and Mclaren. The fast flowing tracks belong to Red Bull, with Mclaren their closest rivals and slow tracks, at least on the evidence so far, should belong to Ferrari. Given reliability, this championship is likely to go on till the very end.
Severe graining problems for teams in free practice and overnight rain will not help. Maybe someone will finally take the gamble of qualifying on the harder compound, compromise his position on the grid and hope to cash in when the front runners stop or what if all in the top ten decide its better to qualify on harder tires:S Vettel's best time came on the 5th lap of a seven lap run. Alonso's time on the 6th lap of an eight lap run, which is not an indicator of qualifying speed for both cars i think.
I watched the second session although the feed kept breaking up. Interesting race in prospect as safety car is almost a certainty and if the expected rain comes then it will make the race an even bigger lottery.