2012 was epic, but something is still missing...

F1 Shift.net

Points Scorer
This year, 2012, will be remembered as one of the best Formula 1 seasons ever. Eight different winners, a driver lineup that featured seven champions on the grid, a long, twenty race calendar, a magnificent return to the United States and a championship battle that was decided at the final race of the season by only three points made this season exciting, unpredictable, chaotic, and sometimes overwhelming. From a fan’s point of view, it was nearly perfect. After a very one sided 2011 season dominated by Red Bull, 2012 is exactly what the sport needed. However, there is still one thing missing: Rivalry - between drivers, teammates, and the teams. Hate is again needed in Formula 1.

Formula 1’s greatest days were fueled by fiery battles between great drivers who respected, but disliked each other. These battles between Lauda/Hunt, Mansell/Piquet, Senna/Prost and Schumacher/Hakkinen have made F1 what is it today and created legends of the sport. These greats disliked each other off the track and hated each other even more on it. These duos gave us some of the greatest races, results and controversies of all time. Now is the time for two of Formula 1’s current greats to take this sport to the next level. Who better would that be than Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso?

Many thought 2007 was the next coming of the Senna-Prost rivalry with a young Lewis Hamilton who never backed down to his entitled, two-time champion teammate, Fernando Alonso. Although there was clearly bad blood between the two, this heat unfortunately only lasted for that single season. In 2008 and 2009 Alonso got back together with his ex-girlfriend, Renault, the girlfriend he won the 2005 and 2006 Driver’s and Constructor’s titles with, this time in a car that could not challenge for the championship or even many wins. Turn the page ahead to 2010 - Fernando Alonso is at the greatest, most storied Formula 1 team of all time, Ferrari, and a young star in the making, Sebastian Vettel is behind the wheel of a car designed by the greatest motorsports mind of all time, Adrian Newey. 2010 has been epic and Alonso leads the championship by fifteen points going into the final race at Abu Dhabi, but Vettel and Red Bull come through when it counts. Alonso was left sitting in the back of his garage, sweaty, shocked and depressed about the championship slipping through his fingers to this young, cocky, and sometimes reckless kid, who couldn’t even grow facial hair. A nineteen point swing in the championship claims a victim in Alonso and also rewrites the record books by crowing the youngest champion of all time, a record Fernando Alonso once held.

When 2011 comes, Alonso and Ferrari vow to not let 2010 happen again. Turns out, they never even had a chance. Again, the scrappy, young German and Red Bull would dominate the Formula 1 season with fifteen poles and eleven wins in nineteen races, claiming the title in Japan with four races remaining on the calendar. Alonso, who won only one race in the season, was left looking on, a distant 4th place in the championship. When 2012 comes around, the Ferrari F2012 is clearly off the pace (roughly 1.5 seconds), but with some miraculous driving, Fernando Alonso finds himself with a forty point lead going into the summer break of the season. Nine races remain, and it looks like Alonso will finally get his coveted 3rd championship, matching Senna’s mark. However with some bad luck at Spa, Vettel is able to grab second place at a circuit suited for the Ferrari, reducing Alonso’s lead. Vettel wins in Singapore and then hunt is truly on. Bad luck hits Alonso again in Japan, and from there all he can do is watch the young German yet again take his championship.

Fernando Alonso is not one that needs motivation to perform at his absolute best. Really all he needs is a car with four tires and a steering wheel. On the other hand, when two of the last three championships have been won by the same Red Bull driver at the final race of the season – stolen from you in 2010 and nearly gifted to you in 2012 – the thirst for revenge builds within the driver and team. At the same time, Red Bull is laughing at the mighty Scuderia, keeping confidence within the team and building on their successes to keep the Prancing Horse tamed in the stable. The stage is set for an epic rivalry – red vs. blue, dollar vs. dollar, young vs. veteran, always on the limit vs. mathematical precision. It’s time to crush each other on and off the tarmac. We might have seen a glimpse of this in Italy as Alonso went for a pass on the outside of Vettel and the German forced him onto the grass and dirt outside of the Lesmo, but now is the time for the second coming of the Senna-Prost relationship.
 

no-FIAt-please

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
Times change I suppose. Rivalries these days couldn't go far because of the FIA, certainly nowhere near as bad as they were in the 80s. I wouldn't mind seeing Alonso and Hamilton clash a bit, it might disrupt their love-in at the moment...

The biggest rivalry this season invloved a cucumber... :rolleyes:
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
F1 Shift.net - Hakkinen and Schumacher got on well, apparently.

I see what you mean, the whole thing is bubbling under the surface. However, you do wonder if McLaren look more likely to launch a campaign than Ferrari. If the tragectory of F1 follows the second half of this year it could be silver vs blue, blonde beard vs blonde beard.

Who knows?
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
F1 Shift.net high standard to start the comp. Great article

I know what you mean about the great one on one rivalries being missing but I actually think they are there but everyone is far too media savey to let on its happening. I don't think Lewis and Fernando will ever get on and I think they're only united by their shared dislike for Vettel who I don't think they saw coming.

On top of all of that now Jenson and Lewis aren't team mates anymore I'll be interested to see the media exchange.

Throw into that that Nico Rosberg suddenly has his old far more succesful friend waltzing into the team he's been trying to build up for three years to 'take over' as team leader and you have a few possible volitile sutuations.

I'm sure we'll hear none of them say so though. The done thing now just seems to be to praise the person you dislikes closet rival just to piss them off
 

sushifiesta

Champion Elect
Contributor
People seem to be interpreting rivalry in the sense of off track dramas but what I think has been really missing, probably since the new regulations in 2009, are the prolonged on track rivalries between drivers fighting for the championship.

Even if the championships have finished close like this year we seem to very rarely see genuine close battles for race wins. Alonso finished 3pts behind Vettel but I barely remember them ever racing each other on track, for example! Either the people you want to see battling together are on completely different bits of tarmac or they just drive round each other, one being on destroyed tyres and the other with a gaping hole in his rear wing.

The one exception that sticks in my mind is Austin, where we got to see Vettel and Hamilton pushing to the limit lap after lap and fighting each other tooth and nail. If McLaren had got their act together and Red Bull sorted out their reliability issues then we could have seen battles like that throughout the year, perhaps.
 

F1 Shift.net

Points Scorer
sushifiesta I think this is about as close as we came this season

I love the on track stuff like this, or even when Schumacher would "stall" his car during qualy at Monaco. Also, I do not like the NASCAR brawls that often occur in paddock after races, but I wouldn't mind seeing guys go at each other on track. Maybe teabagyokel is right that on track performance may be better for McLaren v Red Bull, but everything that has occurred between Alonso and Vettel since 2010 set this up to be a great rivalry. I have confidence Ferrari will bring it back for Alonso and we'll see some great battles on the circuit. A little trash talk during the media interviews would be welcome too...
 

Incubus

Champion Elect
Formula 1’s greatest days were fueled by fiery battles between great drivers who respected, but disliked each other. These battles between Lauda/Hunt, Mansell/Piquet, Senna/Prost and Schumacher/Hakkinen have made F1 what is it today and created legends of the sport. These greats disliked each other off the track and hated each other even more on it.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Lauda and Hunt were close friends off the track, and even shared a flat in London at some point during their 1976 battle.
Lauda was also became mates with Prost in 1984 and included him in his top-four favourite people in F1 (along with Villeneuve, Piquet and Hunt) in his autobiography.
 

downforce

Race Winner
Yeah currenlty it seems to be Hamilton and Alonso (united) against Vettel.

McLaren and Ferrari both seem to have have 1 advantage and weakness each.

McLaren make a better car than Ferrari, whilst Ferrari are better at utilising their cars performance than McLaren. Red-Bull are better at making a good car and utilising its performance than either team and consequently neither Hamilton or Alonso can win the championship and Webber is no match for Vettel making for a somewhat predictable result.

And so Hamilton and Alonso stick together.....
 

Mezzer

A fine chap if ever there was one.
Contributor
Its interesting that you mention Lauda/Hunt, I never understood Hunt to be that great (it was a little before my time so I may be doing him a great disservice). :thinking: I know he won the WDC, no mean achievement in itself, but was he genuinely a highly-rated driver, jingoism notwithstanding?
 

Olivier

Race Winner
2012 would look like an epic season because of the number of different race winners and the fact that 6 WDC were in the field. However once Vettel took control of the Singapore GP and held off to the lead until when the Indian GP was finished, you would would need to go back to 1989 to find someone (Senna) that had accomplished such feat ... and in the end same team and same driver won the titles. It's like football, they all play but Germany always wins.
 

Mephistopheles

Banned
Contributor
For me 2012 wasn't a great season in fact there were some very very dull races split by a few absolute classics Austin being one of them, some races that are historically boring turned out to be thrilling (Valencia.) and some races that are historically boring turned out to be well boring (Monaco.) but the OP is correct there was one thing missing from the 2012 championship and that is Alonso as the true world champion he gave his all and deserved the title...
 
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