Championship analysis post Singapore 2012


Super Hero And All Round Good Guy
With just 6 races to go every point counts in the final run to the flag in Brazil on November 25th.

So how are the top 6 for the drivers championship looking.

Alonso 194 points
29 points clear of Vettel in second Alonso is the clear favourite, yet the Ferraris form has been clearly behind the Red Bulls and Mclarens for the last few races. With Vettel and Lewis chasing him he needs to keep getting the podiums as he has been doing, If he can do that he will be very difficult to catch. His biggest worry must be a DNF. If he fails to finish in just one race of the remaining 6, Vettel will be all over him.

Vettel 165 points
In a car that is faster than the Ferrari, Vettel is the man best placed to challenge Alonso for the title. You could say he is the only man that doesn't need Alonso to have bad luck. His car is quicker and if he can finish ahead of Alonso in say 5 of the 6 races, chances are it will be enough to take the championship. He only needs an average of 5 points more than Alonso per race. This could come down to the wire in Brazil.

Kimi 149 points
The Lotus has lost its early form and it is purely down to the former world champions talents that he finds himself in 3rd place in the championship in a car that is slower than the Mclarens, Red bulls, Ferraris and arguably the Mercedes and Force Indias as well. With that in mind I can't see any way Kimi can still take this without an improbable amount of DNF's for his closest rivals or an amazing upturn in the Lotus form card.

Lewis 142 points
Just behind Kimi but in what appears to be the fastest car, certainly on par with the Red Bulls. Yet with just 2 finishes in the last 5 races he has been wading through some bad luck. Puncture damage and retired in Germany, Grosjean plowing into him in Spa and Singapore gear box failure. Surely his luck has to change. Lewis needs wins to keep his hopes alive in the WDC at least 3 from the last 6 races. He could also do with a bit of bad luck to rub off on Vettel and especially Alonso.

Webber 132 points
In a quick car and just like lewis he needs wins. Unlike Lewis he is some way behind his team mate which just complicates matters. If push comes to shove Webber could be asked to support Vettel. His only hope is for at least 1 DNF for his team mate so he can close the gap and become team leader. With that done he then needs wins wins wins.

Jenson 119 points
Jenson seems to of recovered some of his form, yet still trials Lewis by almost a full wins worth of points. Realistically he is now simply to far behind Alonso. It would need an improbable 3 DNF's for Alonso and 3 wins from Jenson just to draw even with the championship leader. I can't see how he can win it now… But as Murray Walker says 'anything can happen in Formula 1, and usually does.'
Regarding Button, even if Alonso did somehow get three DNFs and Button did get three wins, Vettel and Hamilton would still arguably pick up points.

So assume Vettel gets three seconds to Button's three wins, that puts Vettel on 219 and Button on 194, making him still one win behind Vettel.

I would argue now that Raikkonen, Hamilton and Button are more or less out of it and it's between Vettel and Alonso.
Realistically, Button has been a long shot since before Germany. I do think however, that McLaren could get the constructors, providing they can actually string together some results for both cars.

Hamilton is still in with a shout, more so than Raikkonen and Webber, but due to his misfortunes, he needs some serious helpings of luck, and more help than Button could provide, were he disposed or ordered to do so.

As for the title race, in some ways I am reminded of 2009, where the lead driver maintained a good lead, as the chasing pack were all tripping over each other to score points.

Realistically, it is between vettel and Alonso, but really, it is Alonso's title to lose.
i looks like alonso's to lose,,,,but lewis seems to have a good enough car to win the remaining races,so he still has a chance,especially if alonso,vettel,button and kimi take points from each other.he needs lots of luck too.
If McLaren's pace continues, they have rock solid reliability for the rest of the year and Lewis has no more bad luck then he is still in this championship. Based on car pace and recent driver performance you would expect the remaining races to finish 1. Hamilton, 2. Vettel, 3. Button, 4. Alonso in the absence of any extraneous factors.

If that did happen the final championship standings would be:
1. Hamilton, 292pts
2. Vettel, 273pts
3. Alonso, 266pts

The chances of this happening are very slim, but there are arguably more drivers that can interfere with Alonso's races than could interfere with Hamilton and Vettel's if the relative speeds of all the cars remains the same.

My view: Webber has no chance, Button has no chance, Kimi has no chance, Hamilton has no room for error, Vettel has limited room for error, Alonso has breathing space.
I think Vettel's car performance is actually being overstated here....they've often underperformed in quali this season,esp when they werent resorting to engine maps or ride height modifying equipment. I think ALO will actually be quite happy to see VET being his closest rival,i think it will require a lot less of SF to overhaul RB in terms of car performance.
I think all Alonso has to do is drive within himself and the car and he's home and dry. Keep it on the road and keep the points coming in and thats that. Seb and Hamilton really have to push on to stay in the hunt. I would say that of the two, Hamilton has the better car and it only takes one slip from Alonso to put the pressure on. Kimi, Webber and Button are out of it but for Webber and Button their constructors points are all important.

The title will end up with the driver who makes the fewest mistakes and has the greater reliability. I think it will end up Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel. Having said that, a three way winner takes all final race would be brilliant.
It's certainly Alonso's title to lose, but he's not helped by being in the third and sometimes 4th quickest car, if Maldonado and Hamilton hadn't dropped out he might have been at worst 5th. If Alonso doesn't DNF (which is likely unless another Spa happens) I reckon he'll win the championship. Hamilton certainly has the car to win all 6 races left but there's a very small chance of that happening, what he does need though, is 6 podiums. Although I reckon the title will come down to who wins more races out of Vettel and Alonso. Button and Raikkonen are the jokers in the pack who have a major say as in one case they could take points away from Alonso or Vettel. Kimi does have a good chance but there is no way he'll win the championship unless he wins at least 2 of the last 6 races
If anyone has best chance to win the championship apart from Alonso, it's Vettel. I seriously don't see Raikkonen in the title fight at all judging by the last three races where he's managed to achieve the maximum he could, add to the fact Lotus still are poor on the strategy and pitstop front. They have some upgrades for Suzuka, but chasing the DDRS for ages, they've fallen back, while also delaying the DDRS since Hockenheim.

Hamilton needs to be on the podium every race, which could look likely as the car looks quick everywhere, but even so, he needs Alonso to score lowly for two races or a DNF.

Alonso looks a bit worried as the car looks faster and the gap has been reduced by 8 points, from 37 to 29. But, now it looks as if he's got one contender, and with McLaren with the best all round car, and the Red Bull inconsistent, it looks fine for him. (Easy for me to say.

(Copied from my post in the Singapore thread - )
In 2005 Raikkonen had three races where he retired. Of these one was the US GP, so he didn't lose any points to his chief rival there and another was self-induced through flat-spotting a tyre. That leaves one drive shaft.

What really hurt him was only scoring 1 point in the first two races and none in the European. The rest of the races he was fourth once, third twice, second three times and had seven wins. Not as unreliable as the McLaren or the Red Bull this year.
In 2005 Raikkonen had three races where he retired. Of these one was the US GP, so he didn't lose any points to his chief rival there and another was self-induced through flat-spotting a tyre. That leaves one drive shaft.

What really hurt him was only scoring 1 point in the first two races and none in the European. The rest of the races he was fourth once, third twice, second three times and had seven wins. Not as unreliable as the McLaren or the Red Bull this year.

What really hurt him was the unreliability of that merc engine back than. True he had a few DNF and a flat tyre in Monza, but he also had 4-5 grid penalty's, because of engine swaps back than.
I can't see Alonso losing the title. The Ferrari reliability has been exemplary in comparison to the RBs and Macs, even if the latter two are marginally quicker. The old adage "to finish first you must first finish" is as true as ever. I also question whether Alonso has really been showing his true hand. Given his lead, I think he has been fairly conservative and could easily up his pace if required.
The problems are building up for Alonso. Not only does he have the McLarens and the Red Bulls to contend with he also has a Sauber and a Williams to contend with. What he really needs is for Perez and Maldanado to share all the first and second places, this will reduce the gains that Vettel and Hamilton can make.
siffert_fan - The difficulty, as Bill Boddy says, is that Alonso could reasonably finish 4th behind Hamilton, Button and Vettel for the rest of the year, which could lose him the title. I doubt that will happen in such a way that Alonso will lose the title, but frankly I don't think he has breathing space for a poor finish, which I suspect is more likely for him in a slower Ferrari than it is for Winfinger or Hammy.
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