Speaking to the press on Thursday, the two-time world champion admitted his 2015 season has not been up to his usual standards. Is this a case of modesty or honesty from the Spaniard? The issue of shortages seems to be a constant of F1 life nowadays – whether it’s cash at Lotus, engine suppliers at Red Bull, or a reason for Kimi Raikkonen to smile, up-and-down the grid there seems to be a problem. Historically, one example has been a lack of willingness for F1 personnel to be completely forthcoming with the media, but that can’t be said of Fernando Alonso on Thursday. Facing up to the press prior to this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix, Alonso revealed his own disappointment in his 2015 performances. Speaking to motorsport.com’s Pablo Elizalde, the two-time world champion admitted on the record that, "I don't think that I had the best season [sic], so definitely I need to improve for next year. When you are running at the front and you have more motivation that helps, of course. But I'm on standby, let's say, in economy mode, to have full energy next year." Questions of false-modesty aside, Alonso’s comments do highlight what has been one of 2015’s most underrated subplots – his close-run battle with teammate and 2009 world champion Jenson Button. Perhaps it’s been lost in the highly-publicised difficulties surrounding the first year of the reborn McLaren-Honda partnership, but quietly Alonso has been truly matched in a teammate battle for the first time since he partnered Lewis Hamilton at McLaren in 2007. As things currently stand, Alonso leads their qualifying head-to-head 7-6, yet trails in the championship standings 16 points to 11, despite holding a 4-3 advantage in races they have both finished. No matter how you spin it, it’s clearly neck-and-neck regardless. Given just how utterly dominant Alonso was in his teammate battle last year with 2007 world champion Raikkonen, it’s been something of a surprise to see just how tight this duel has been. The qualifying battle in particular was supposed to be a whitewash for the Spaniard, whose reputation for one-lap excellence well supersedes his British counterpart, and yet he only leads by a single point. Race performance remains hard to judge with the MP4-30 as unreliable as it is from race-to-race, but it’s hard to deny Button has been the steadier hand in managing his car to the finish (Alonso's fifth in Hungary being the only time he was particularly spectacular) and is fully deserving of his points advantage. For Button fans, none of this is probably a surprise, but Alonso seemingly gets a mention in every discussion on the absolute best of the current grid, with the only other usual suspects being Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. At least on paper, Button deserves more credit than he has gotten so far this year. On the other hand, sceptics could argue this is symptomatic of a man who has spent over a decade fighting at the front of the grid, for whom being relegated to backmarker status has been a particularly bitter pill to swallow. His above comments would serve to illustrate his lack of motivation, and he wouldn’t be the first great driver to be hindered by mental fatigue. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle, but if Alonso hopes to win a championship in the near future, it looks like he’ll have to step his game up. How would you assess Alonso’s 2015 performance? Is Button not getting enough credit for taking it to the Spaniard? Share your thoughts in the comments below.