Championship analysis post Singapore 2012

  • 1994 - Benetton, 1 & about 4 - WDC, Williams - Lead driver dies, upheval follows - WCC
  • 1995 - Benetton, More orthodox 1 & 2, both
  • 1996 - Williams, 1 & 2, both
  • 1997 - Williams, 1 & 2, both. Just
  • 1998 - McLaren, de facto 1 & 2, both
  • 1999 - McLaren, de facto 1 & 2, WDC, Ferrari 1 & 2, 1 injured, 2 steps up, WCC
  • 2000-04 - Ferrari, 1 & 2½, both
  • 2005-06 - Renault, 1 & 2½, both
  • 2007 - Ferrari, 1 & 1½ & lawyer, both
  • 2008 - McLaren, 1 & 2, WDC, Ferrari 1½ & 1, WCC
  • 2009 - Brawn 1 & 1¾, both
  • 2010-11 - Red Bull 1 & "Not bad for a" 2, both
The Ferrari is rocksolid and Alonso usually brings it home in a good position.

The Red Bull is probably marginally faster, but less reliable. Vettel does a good job with it though. Webber is not performing well the last races. I don't see him taking many points away from Alonso.

The last races the McLaren was just not reliable enough. Which mean I pretty much count Hamilton out of the championshiprace. With 51 points behind and McLarens' reliability, his chances are slim. He probably won't finish all the remaining races, looking at the most recent results. If McLaren gets reliable, then he still has a chance. But that's a big if. Button has upped his game, but was very below par this season. Hamilton really needs Button to closely follow him and take away points from the other contenders in all the remaining race. It doesn't look to me that Button has the consistency for that and the McLaren reliability.

The Lotus may be the best car around, but the drivers don't maximise the cars' potential in my view. Also they are let down by the strategy and the performance of the car in qualifying. Raikkonen steadily finishes in the points, but he never really gains a lot of points on his competitors for the WDC. I don't see improvement there in the near future, so he's out of the championshiprace as well.

Vettel has the best chance of beating Alonso. But for that to happen he needs the help of others. Alonso will keep scoring, and judging the last races there won't be enough space between Vettel and Alonso for Vettel to reel him in. Hamilton, Button, Webber, Raikkonen aren't consistent enough to take away so many points from Alonso that Vettel will jump him in the standings.
Obviously the same goes for Hamiltons' chances. He has the second best chance to beat Alonso. But he needs to finish 1st or 2nd in most of the remaining races, and 3rd on the ones he doesn't. With McLarens' reliability I don't see that happening. If McLaren solve their problems, he has still has a shot.

So in my view Alonso has the best chance, but he needs to finish every race. Another DNF (or low points finish) for him might mean that Vettel is all over him, and then the tables could turn quickly.

I have to agree. The Bulls, on the other hand, have had lots of trouble with the accursed alternator. If that single item were as bulletproof as that of every other team (barring Renault, of course), Alonso would be under much stronger attack.
The last races the McLaren was just not reliable enough. Which mean I pretty much count Hamilton out of the championshiprace.
2 of the failures were non-mechanical, a puncture and a crash. I would be surprised if Mclaren had another DNF due to mechanical failure.
The Lotus may be the best car around, but the drivers don't maximise the cars' potential.
Really... the best car...AND Kimi one of the best drivers on the grid can't drive it ? No idea what you are basing this on ? The results show that this car is clearly not 'the best car around'

I agree with you on Vettel, Alonso, Ferrari and Red Bull.
No idea what you are basing this on ?
On his past and recent results. I think Raikkonen is about the same level as Massa. Their history at Ferrari suggests that. People would argue that Massa has performed worse since his accident, but I don't think that is the case. As Alonso's teammate Massa turns out to be not as good as he thought. In my opinion the Ferrari of 2007/2008 was the best car in the field and the cars' performance made people think that Massa and Raikkonen were up to the level of Alonso and Hamilton, but they aren't. I think that if Alonso was driving for Lotus, he'd still be in at least the same position as now.
But anyway it's a bit offtopic. Whatever the reason, I think we can agree that it's unlikely that Raikkonen will outscore Alonso and Vettel in the remaining races. And I think Hamilton will outscore Raikkonen in those races, so I expect Raikkonen to end up 4th in the standings.

I like to make clear that I didn't say that Raikkonen can't drive the car. I said he doesn't maximise the cars' potential. Which Alonso does with his Ferrari, while Massa doesn't do it with his Ferrari.

BTW with best car I don't mean the fastest car. There's a difference. Basically the fastest car is likely to get you more wins, while the best car is likely to get you more points.

On McLaren: that still leaves two mechanical failures in the last two races. Although I agree with you that McLarens' reliability is not as bad as the recent results seem to indicate. However it seem to me that they got a faster car, but less reliability. I don't see them both finishing all the remaining races. Either from mechanical failure or from other incidents. And both McLarens (with Hamilton in front of Button) finishing ahead of Alonso and Vettel is what Hamilton needs.

Vettel and Hamilton both need to finish the remaining races and even then they might need Alonso to DNF a race (in Hamiltons' case is almost necessary). I think it's far more likely that Vettel and Hamilton have a DNF in the remaining races than Alonso. Which is why I give Alonso the better chance.
It should be Alonso's year to win. He's been consistent, solid, & daring when needed. He's also for the most part kept out of trouble. does he deserve to win it? Absolutely.
Will he win it? Nothing's taken for granted in F1, there's still 5 other drivers on his tailgate waiting for any mistake.
As a Lewis supporter of course I'd love to see him come back through & win the WDC but I will be equally happy if Alonso wins because of the way he's been this year.
The latest odds on the championship.
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Raikkonen's been out of the sport for two years and is seeming to be doing a good job, he's finished every race, only one not in the points and that was because of team strategy. He's maximised in nearly every race, the Lotus team seem to praise him after every race especially Spa and Monza saying he gets the best results possible. Only in Singapore was it an off day, and that was mainly down to the team.

To say he's the same level as Massa based on 2 seasons is a bit of a joke, it's like saying Trulli is the same level as Alonso because of the 2003-2004 seasons. Barrichello and Button too from 2006-2009 etc.

The Lotus hasn't been the best car from what I've seen, the past four races its been McLaren, great in qualifying and in the race. I've not seen any car perform like that in both events in this season.

The Red Bull seems to vary from track to track, great race pace but in qualifying not so much.

Lotus have seem to have gone off the boil in race pace since Spa, and are poor in qualifying as it takes them time to heat up their tyres.

Ferrari is average in qualifying and in the race, and have been excellent on strategy and have been fortunate with other people's misfortunes, and seem to be great in the rain.

If anyone had the chance to catch Alonso, it was Hamilton, he has the car, but now is on the back foot.

Don't think Red Bull is strong enough for Vettel to challenge Alonso seriously.

Raikkonen is a long shot, the team have to bring rapid upgrades if he's to pursue a title challenge, plus up their game in qualifying.

The rest are too far behind.

Alonso just needs to do what he keeps doing, as everyone's tripping over each other.
Random Kimi Raikkonen stat, he's 45pts behind with 6 races to go. In 2007 he was in effect 42.5 (17 x 2.5) behind with 2 to go...
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.

A bit OT, but Räikkönen had two mechanichal retirements, not one. Imola and Hockenheim.
On a lesser scale Lotus do as well with Kimi being the certain number one driver but Lotus tend to let their drivers race each other as shown in Hungary
Well, they clearly used team orders in Singapore, so I don't think that they let them race each other anymore.
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