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Vintage Alonso sets up thrilling season finale

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Andrew Benson | 18:40 UK time, Sunday, 12 September 2010

At Monza

There were a lot of question marks hanging over Fernando Alonso and Ferrari before Sunday's Italian Grand Prix, his first since joining the team.

He was lagging behind in the championship after crashing out of the preceding race in Belgium - the latest in a string of errors by the Spaniard this season.

Ferrari - and Alonso in particular - had been surprisingly uncompetitive in Spa after a strong run of form.

And the Italian race took place four days after the team had escaped further punishment at a disciplinary hearing over their apparent use of banned team orders at the German Grand Prix.

As such, the pressure on them at Monza was intense, even before Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo turned up on Saturday and said Alonso "had to win".

Both Alonso and Ferrari responded in style, with the Spaniard delivering the sort of remorseless, flawless performance that used to be his stock-in-trade. This was vintage Alonso, far from the mistake-prone, apparently vulnerable figure he has been this year.

Alonso has driven some great races this season - especially his comeback drives in Australia, China and Monaco - but most of them have come as he made up for errors that put him further down the field than he should have been.

The mistakes, which Alonso himself admitted in the course of this weekend, have come as he over-reached in a car that for a lot of the year has been close to the pace required to battle for the championship but not quite close enough.

He has lost points as a result, and his crown as F1's most complete driver has slipped, with Lewis Hamilton staking a strong claim to it. All of that raised concerns about how Alonso would respond to the intensity of driving for Ferrari at Monza.

He brushed them aside with the sort of performance that forged his reputation - a brilliant qualifying lap, 0.6 seconds quicker than team-mate Felipe Massa on his first run before the Brazilian improved on his second, and a great drive in the race.

After losing the lead at the start, Alonso did not let the pressure on Jenson Button slip for one second, with the Englishman admitting it was "quite a tough race mentally to have Fernando behind me for most of it".

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Rarely more than a second behind, Alonso had two huge moments - one in the second Lesmo, the other in Parabolica - as he fought in the turbulent air behind the McLaren to get close enough to have a go at passing Button.

He never quite managed it, so the result came down to the pit-stop period. Alonso was 0.96 seconds behind Button on the lap before the McLaren made its stop, and praised his mechanics for a superb pit stop - 0.8secs faster than McLaren's - for getting him out ahead.

"I pushed 100%, the pit stop felt so quick," he said. "I stopped, they changed tyres and there was a green light. I didn't even have first gear in, so physically there was not time to do all the buttons and they had finished the pit stop. So a big thanks to the team. Most of the thanks for the win is to the mechanics."

He's actually selling himself short, though. The stop on its own, good as it was, was not quite enough to get him ahead. He also produced a fabulous in-lap - 0.575secs faster than Button's.

After taking the lead, he then quickly left Button behind, extending the lead to 3.6secs in six laps.

Alonso rated it as one of his favourite races - saying it was as good a feeling as winning his home race in Spain in 2006. But it was also certainly one of his very best, as former Ferrari driver Eddie Irvine acknowledged on the BBC F1 red button forum.

"Fernando won the race and did an amazing job, perfect job," Irvine said. "No mistakes. He's made a lot of mistakes for what we know of him - he never really made mistakes under pressure like Michael [Schumacher] did - but he was perfect today. Alonso is super-strong, he's always been super-fast."

Alonso was clearly moved by the reception he got from the thousands of tifosi who flooded on to the track to salute his win but, feet on the ground, he was not getting carried away about his leg-up in the championship. He is now 21 points - less than a win - off the championship lead, now again held by Red Bull's Mark Webber.

Alonso pointed out that Hamilton was still second despite crashing out in Monza - a luxury Alonso himself still does not have.

"Hamilton was leading and after this race with no points he is still fighting with no risk," Alonso said. "For us, if we make a mistake we are out of it.

"We need to find some consistency because this was a good weekend but Spa was bad and we cannot afford to have these bad weekends, we need to be on the podium all the time. Sometimes we are not doing 100% and that is what we have to concentrate on."

If Ferrari can achieve that, they and Alonso have the pace to worry any of the title contenders - it has been the second fastest car all year, bar a slump in the spring, and the fastest of all at two races now, Germany and Italy.

As good as Alonso was at Monza, Button matched him. But staying ahead was always going to be difficult when the Ferrari was the faster car and victories often hang on the fine margins displayed at Monza. But we've covered him before - and the story on Sunday was Ferrari.

The race was a blow for Hamilton and Webber, both of whom looked seriously hacked off afterwards.

Hamilton was right to say his was the sort of mistake that loses championships, but it was also his first serious one all year, and he remains in a strong position.

And in terms of keeping the championship battle close, it was the best possible result.

Hamilton and Webber had pulled away after Button, Alonso and Webber's team-mate Sebastian Vettel all failed to score in Belgium, to the point that Martin Brundle was moved to say that Spa had all but wrecked the hopes of a thrilling five-way fight for the title.

But this amazing season continues to surprise and thrill and all five are now again within a single win of each other. It sets up what should be a quite superb end to a season the like of which has rarely been seen before.

If it carries on like this, 2010 will probably go down as the greatest season in F1 history. It's a privilege to be watching it - and the men involved feel exactly the same.

"For me," Button said in Monza, "to be in a very competitive car, fighting it out at the front with so many great drivers who have either won the world championship or been very close to it, it's a great thing to be a part of that.

"I think this season, whatever happens, will go down in history as one of the best and most competitive seasons ever in Formula 1 in regards to the drivers but also the teams."

To which Hamilton responded: "Well said."

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Great post as always - it's such a shame button missed out on this one but like Martin Brundle said if it wasn't for SPA Button would be right up there in the points this week.

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    With the last race, the "five horse race" was now meant to have become a "two horse race".

    Now it's back up to five again! Well, I'm not complaining...much better than a procession.

  • Comment number 4.

    Although I have a strong dislike towards Fernando Alonso he did drive very well today. I really hope he doesn't go on to win the championship mainly because he hasn't really looked a great driver this season (making mistakes and generally acting like a cry baby) and also his undeserved win in Germany.

    I was very disappointed to See Hamilton crash out so early. Hamilton never fails to provide excitement and entertainment in the race with his aggressive driving style and was very disappointed to see Alonso come out in front of Button after the pits. It was good to see that the "Crash Kid" Vettel didn't make any mistakes this race too.

    This last race has really tightened things up in the drivers championship and I really can't wait to see what happens over the next five races. I think that Ferrari and Mclaren are going to be alot more competitive and will not run away with the rest of the Pole positions!

    I can't help but thinking Eddie Jordan has a case of paranoia?! Does anyone else find David Coulthard incredibly annoying? Jake Humphrey is great though!

  • Comment number 5.

    Hopefully we will still have 5 contenders in Abu Dhabi! That would make an exciting and complicated race

  • Comment number 6.

    We would all love to see the five contenders all still in contention in Abu Dhabi but I have a feeling that it will be down to just Hamilton, Vettel and Webber by that stage. The Red Bull has been far and away the fastest car this year but was always going to struggle at Spa and Monza. Red Bull are now extremely confident heading into the last 5 races and will probably be on pole for at least 4 if not 5 of the remaining races. I feel Webber deserves the championship this year, this will be his best shot, he has been faster than Vettel this year and has made far less mistakes

  • Comment number 7.

    Vettel probably win this year as Red Bull is going to be favourite in the next 5 races and vettel is a faster driver than webber.

  • Comment number 8.

    Alonso and Button both drove great races at Monza, it made an uninteresting race interesting keeping an eye on them. I am glad Alonso is back in the title race as I think him and Hamilton are the two best drivers out there.

  • Comment number 9.

    Yes, agreed, the result today has reinvigorated the 5-versus-2-horse championship. But as a Button fan, at Spa I was aggrieved with Vettel, but this time, is it only me, or did McLaren make a rather obvious, bad decision?

    Alonso states he won the race due to his team, his pit stop being almost 1 second quicker and terrific in and out laps.

    Conversely, I think McLaren lost Button the race. Not necessarily the pit stop, but why bring him in before Alonso? The soft tyres were holding up, he didn't need fuel - all the reasons for a traditional pit stop. And anyone watching Formula 1 for decades knows the car that stays out even just one extra lap has an advantage - so long as the tyres aren't totally decimated, there's no back markers or additional problems. It ALWAYS takes an out-lap to warm up the tyres, so anyone with some basic maths knows, it's better to stay out longer than the guy chasing.

    I blame McLaren - and Whitmarsh - for making that decision to call Button in before Alonso. That's what lost Button the race. He was doing a sterling job up until then, with an inspired race strategy. He might even have pulled away if he hadn't been damaged...?

    WHAT A SHAME for all of us that Lewis cacked up on the first lap. Still, as a true prodigy, he still can make up for it. The remaining races will be firecrackers.

    And Webber shouldn't feel so bad. He's perhaps the most deserving winner this year. And I'm not a fan of his! But credit where credit's due, he's worked solidly, driven consistently, never come across as a megalomaniac (Alonso) and kept up with and overtaken the other true prodigy out there, Vettel. I can't wait!!!

    (p.s. I quite like the full current BBC team, but Brundle is king ;-0)

  • Comment number 10.

    And how could I forget!!! While I'd have preferred Button to win, I'm sure it was the most wonderful day for all Ferrari fans globally as well as at Monza. But next year, I want to be there. Massa! To think he almost won a couple of years ago bar one point. I think he's still cool, a brilliant driver, just stuck with a team with a 1-2 driver mentality. At least McLaren always lets the drivers RACE.

  • Comment number 11.

    I totally agree with Beawulff's first comment that Mclaren lost the race for Jensen by pulling him in before Alonso.

    I would also like to point out that it is good to see Lewis admitting the crash was his fault for pusing too hard! A certain young German would do well to take note!!

  • Comment number 12.

    There is a mention of the championship having becomg a five horse race. Let us not overlook Vettel who is just three points behind Alonso and two behind Button.
    It is highly unlikely that Webber is going to commit any serious errors ( i am sure he would be reviewing the situation and avoid unnecessary risks after seeing what happened to Hamilton ) and he has the fastest cars for the next few circuits and in all probability will qualify in the first row and hopefully he will overcome the start slip ups that he has had in the past.
    I am not a Webber fan but i think he has the best chance of winning the 2010 WDC.

  • Comment number 13.

    I stand corrected with respect to my comment about the five horse race as the "five" covers Vettel.

  • Comment number 14.

    Was gutted for Lewis, but it was his first mistake of the year, and was bound to happen at some point, just a shame it was at a strong track for Mclaren. I actually think, had he stayed on, Hamilton would have won - even from 4th as he was, purely because he had the fastest car in a straight line, he would have been able to take them all, even Button, unlike Alonso.
    Still we move on, and hopefully Mclaren have got that blown diffuser working well enough to keep close enough to the RB's in qualifying - if your within 2 or 3 places on the grid, you can blast past them at the start! What on Earth is wrong with RB - they have an amazing car, yet can't get the start system sorted!

    I stand by what a couple of people have said about the Mclaren strategy too - there was no need to bring Button in at all. It's not the first time they've messed up either - Hamilton at Melbourne, Turkey (although they got away with that one). Ferrari and RB seem to really have the tactical edge on Mclaren - how much could that cost them in the end?

    P.S. I'm being lazy - what are the remaining 5 tracks - Singapore, Brazil, Abu Dhabi, Japan and???...

  • Comment number 15.

    Monza was a thoroughly enjoyable race, exciting from start to finish. I'd have liked to see Lewis stay in the race for a bit longer, of course, and if he had done, then I reckon that it would have been a McLaren win, as his straight line speed would have had both Ferrari's (assuming he would at some stage pass Massa, who also drove fantastically today) on the defensive from time to time, instead of Fernando being on attack glued to JB's end plates down the straights...maybe giving him some air? Or, if Hamilton had gotten rid of the Ferrari's then theres every chance he would have taken it to Button instead of Alonso...who knows?

    Regardless, fautless race from Ferrari and McLaren which came down to an in-lap and a pitstop...one lap deciding the race, I think that is a pretty fair indicator of just how close it was!

    On another point, great recovery drives by Vettel and Webber, who both had appalling first laps! However, I am still concerned about Vettel's inabilitly to overtake on the track...he passed Webber in the furore of the first corner after Mark made a poor getaway (again...) and i think perhaps Schumacher a couple of corners later...but that was it. He couldnt pass Hulkenburg, Kubica or Rosberg until they had pitted, and then put in some super fast laps to overtake them all after the stops. For me, unless he qualifies on pole (and therefor stands a chance of winning at! though let us not forget his "pole to victory" convertion rate this year) and wins two of the next three races for me he will probably be out of the running. Yes he's mental quick in clean air, but behind someone who doesn't want to let him through...he's stuck or he'll crash into them.

    Webber for the title for me! Unless McLaren do something to drastically increase performance at high-downforce circuits!

  • Comment number 16.

    Fantastic race.
    I do enjoy a bit of pitlane over taking.....so much more exciting than boring, old school, over taking on the track.

  • Comment number 17.

    Don't believe I have ever cheered as hard at a TV as when I was watching Hamilton crash out, mainly for the closeness of the championship but also because I would love to see Webber win it.

    The second amound I have ever shouted at a TV screen was for Hulkenberg to get off the track if he can't negotiate a chicane. Very entertaining on Sunday!

  • Comment number 18.

    The other GP is S Korea - probably.

    As for Mclarens pit stop strategy, people who had changed tyres were running quicker on the new tyres. Unfortunately for Button, it took a couple of laps to get there - a luxuary Ferrari did not give them by pitting the next lap.

    Gutted for Hamilton, but what a prospect we have for the rest of the season.

  • Comment number 19.

    "If it carries on like this, 2010 will probably go down as the greatest season in F1 history".. Apart from the title race which solely dependant on lead drivers crashing out there have been only one or two interesting points throughtout the race. The current points system is very good and I still think we start refuelling would add more excitement in each race. If the red bulls find their pace again they can win the rest of the races easily.

    Any chances of refuelling being introduced next season?

  • Comment number 20.

    Re: Post #9

    Brundle is truly excellent, isn't he? He is almost the perfect commentator, and he knows this sport inside out. His grid walks are also entertaining and some of the drivers are obviously happy to have a quick chat with him (which says a lot about them, too!).

    If I'm honest, I find Legard irritating. He should let the racing do the talking much of the time, and he often starts getting excited before anything exciting is happening, as though he is trying to make the situation more dramatic than it really is.

    As for the season, it's disappointing Hamilton didn't score but I guess it sets us up for a great final few races. For the title, if it isn't one of the McLaren boys, I'd like to see Webber take it. He deserves it, I'd say.

  • Comment number 21.

    So McLaren don't always get strategy right. Jenson could have won the race after his great start. He should have pitted second. A lap on warm option tyres is always going to be quicker than one on cold primes. To make it easier for Alonso they made a radio call indicating when they would pit. Pity.

  • Comment number 22.

    Tony and others - Will someone please explain to me where this 'cry baby' tag that seems to be constantly attached to Alonso's name comes from? Sure he got cross when Hamilton's dad reported him to the stewards in Hungary in 2007 when he was driving for McLaren (wouldn't you?), but I am at a loss to know how he has come to deserve this 'cry baby' sobriquet (no doubt started by the Mail or the Sun or some other 'august' organ of the press). Can anyone tell me?

  • Comment number 23.

    Has "StopPoliticalCorrectness" got his tongue firmly in his cheek? How can pit-stop overtaking be better than on the track?
    I don't think Alonso could have taken Button on the track.

  • Comment number 24.

    Is there something wrong with the Red Bulls? There has been a remarkably high percentage of awful starts. Some by each driver.
    What exactly does go wrong? and how difficult is it for the driver to get optimum acceleration?

  • Comment number 25.

    "If it carries on like this, 2010 will probably go down as the greatest season in F1 history."

    Why do BBC writers feel the need to 'big up' the sport in its current guise with stupid comments like this?

    This is nowehere near the greatest season in F1 history as well you know!!

  • Comment number 26.

    So far, no one deserves the title more than Hamilton this year.

    I think the fight is still between Webber and Hamilton. In the next races Webber will see how his faster teammate will dent some valuables points off his championship hopes, while Hamilton will see the Ferraris getting in the way between him and the Red Bulls.

    Singapore will be a Red Bull track and Hamilton will play to catch up. His best chance will be the start. After that, it will almost impossible to overtake.

    This track, with its closed walls, is 10 times more exciting with the aid of the tropical storms which so often visit Singapore. That will make for an exciting race. Let's hope!

  • Comment number 27.

    i apolgise if i get this wrong, im very confused.
    andrew and readers
    I think its fair to say that before Button's pitstop Alonso couldn't get under a second to Button - even though he had the quickest car.
    So we get told that its because of the "dirty air" coming out of the airodynamics at back of the cars but this weekend we get told that Button with his "Barn door wing" will be a "drag tug" and there for be prone to slip-streaming.
    So why cant F1 cars drive closely behind each other or slip stream? Is next years rule of moving / fixing rear wings when other drivers are near going to help overtaking? Hows the moving fix wing rule going to work and will it mean drivers will be able to driver with out the "dirty air problem"? Does it matter to the sport if they can't?
    I think evertyone wants to see more overtaking and yes we did see some over the weekend but i want to see the best driver/car winning not the car with the best dirty air aropackage.



  • Comment number 28.

    Nice summary of the strategy decisions Beawulff. What are you doing up in the middle of the night? Or are you in America?

    What might have been interesting would have been if Massa had pitted first and got a handfull of laps on warm prime tyres, which are said to be quicker than moderately-worn options. Reasons against might be that Ferrari don't want Massa to win, or that he would get mixed up with Rosberg, Kubica and co. However I think Massa could get past them OK.

    It would probably have forced Jenson to cover Massa by stopping rather than relying on McLaren to volountarily commit suicide by stopping before Alonso. Legitimate team tactics in fact.

  • Comment number 29.

    If the red bulls find their pace again they can win the rest of the races easily.
    ---------
    I wouldnt say that. If they get a poor start at Singapore again, they will have no chance to gain places back.
    Suzuka has fast corners yes, so should be all theirs, but they will be very vulnerable on the back straight - particularly to the Mclaren's - if LH/JB can get out of the hairpin well, and stay close through the next 3 corners, then they should easily take the RB's.
    Nobody knows who's going to do well at Korea (thanks to the guy who reminded me of that one - god knows how I could forget, lol).
    Brazil is a Ferrari track, like Germany - more slow corners than fast flowing corners and very reliant on traction .
    And then Abu Dhabi - with two of the longest straights on the calendar - again leaving them vulnerable to particularly Mclaren. One of which straight's is out of a very slow corner, which will suit the Mclaren/Ferrari much better.

    It's far from a done deal this championship. My predictions (not in order except Sing. and Abu):
    A Ferrari win in Singapore.
    Can't predict Korea obviously.
    Ferrari in Brazil.
    Mclaren in Japan.
    Mclaren in Abu Dhabi.
    It's going to be a case of how many seconds/thirds the 5 contenders can get that will be the key, hence why Webber is looking strong, I can't see him dropping outside the top 3/4 in any race, whereas Brazil/Singapore, I reckon LH/JB could be 4th and 5th or lower if qualifying doesnt go to plan.
    I still tip Lewis to win though!


    BTW, what is the situation with engines? That could eb a key point if the next few races are as hot as they could potentially be....?

  • Comment number 30.

    Tamburello.

    The Alonso 'Cry Baby' tag is deserved.

    His infantile antics during his McLaren season in 2007 when his ego couldn't handle a rookie driver being quicker than him on several occasions are a case in point. Add to that his behaviour during the 'Spygate' affair.

    This season, his radio whingeing when he couldn't pass Felipe Massa legitimately during the German GP only add to his reputation as a 'Cry baby'.

  • Comment number 31.

    RE: Kohque from Post #26

    "So far, no one deserves the title more than Hamilton this year."
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    How exactly is Hamilton more deserving than Webber? Webber has only retired once this year (Valencia), finished in the points every other race and 4 won races in comparsion to Hamilton's 3 wins. Not a huge fan of either driver, but if the season ended right now then Webber would be a dserving champion.

    Big well done to Alonso for winning the race this weekend. Ferrari has taken a lot of stick lately and the scenes at the end of the race were amazing. Unlucky to Button who had a great race and was just pipped at the pit stops.

  • Comment number 32.

    #31 - I think the Hamilton being most deserved idea comes from the fact that the Mclaren has been an inferior car all season, except in Canada and Belgium (and all of Turkey except turn 8).
    Therefore, for him to be only 5 points behind is a massive testament to his ability. Its worth mentioning, that had he not been taken out by Webber in Australia (and had the ridiculous team tactics decision), then had a blowout at Spain while second, then the engine failure in Hungary. He would be 20/30 points clear at this point.

    Take nothing away from Webber though. He has been stunningly quick, and cool, calm and collected. Been mistreated by his team, and still been a nice guy in interviews, and proved he's a class act.
    If he was to win, he would certainly be a worthy F1 champ. I just have to agree with #26, that Lewis would be more deserving in terms of bad luck, and his performances this year. :)

  • Comment number 33.

    A different pit strategy is unlikely to have changed much for Button. The prime was quicker at that point, as those who had changed onto it were setting purple sectors, so if he'd have waited for Ferrari to pit they'd have been on the faster tyre first, and he'd have had an even bigger defecit in that case. The fact was, the Ferrari was just faster. Once released from behind him, Alonso found over half a second on his in-lap. The only way that Button would have maintained his lead would have been if both he and Alonso pitted together, and even then he would have been at the mercy of the speed of his pit crew. The Ferrari pit crew did an amazing job.

    McLaren and Ferrari both did a good job, and both had quick cars. Ferrari were just that little bit better in both departments and so Button came second rather than first. It was nip and tuck, but that's just racing.

    Button drove brilliantly under the relentless pressure from Alonso though. Brilliant drives from both of them, and great to see two champions fighting it out at the front.

  • Comment number 34.

    Fernando does not 'deserve' the 'crybaby' tag. Thats nonsense. All drivers, at least those who drive for race wins, 'complain' from time to time. But Alonso is being singled out by some fans who use this to insult him and to justify their hate (of course heavily influenced by the media reports as well including wrong translations for the non-spanish speaking public).

    For some, no matter what he says, they will find something to complain about. The real 'whiners' are those who constanctly whine about Fernando whining:)

    Anyway, fantastic race for Ferrari and Fernando looked a bit stunned in front of all the Tifosi celebrating. It must have been a very special moment for him!

  • Comment number 35.

    So we are going to play the prediction game are we !

    Can Jenson, Alonso and Vettel give Lewis and Mark Weber give approximately a win's-worth start in a five race mini-series? One driver might be able to give one other driver this start but not several.

    So considering the quality of these drivers, cars and teams I take Lewis or Mark to cross the finish line first.

    Between those two Mark has the better car at the tracks in question, has a five point lead, and is driving brilliantly all season. So I take Mark to edge Lewis with the other three behind in any order: but if I had to guess I'd say Vettel, Alonso, Button on the strength of the car and in inverse order of driver skill.

    It would only take one bad start from Mark to change that to Lewis though - and I still don't understand why the Red Bull can't get off the grid - but it seems very much as if it can't.

    So it will be exciting won't it!

  • Comment number 36.

    Groundhog44 - What 'infantile antics'? If you mean blocking Hamilton in the pits after Lewis had failed to honour a pre-arranged, team agreement in qualifying, I see that as tit-for-tat.
    As for Germany, Alonso said 'This is ridiculous' over the radio because Massa was defending his position in such a way as to put both TEAM cars at risk. I don't call three words 'whinging'.
    So what else? I honestly don't know.

  • Comment number 37.

    I don't know why, but I get really disheartened and to a point disinterested when I watch a race like yesterday. When Lewis crashed out, I was really disappointed. Not quite as disappointed as when he did in Barcelona, because it was right at the start and Webber wasn't great, but annoyed because all of the talk was of him winning so he could make sure he has a buffer as he'll lose points in the next races. And then, when Button came out behind Alonso, that killed it for me. And I thought I was really enthusiastic about this sport, but I just can't get excited when a British driver doesn't do well, or there is a set of events which enhances a British driver's standings.

    Jenson Button must be really frustrated by Spa now. He would be right in the hunt if he'd have held on to second or at least thrid had Vettel not ruined it for him.

    As for Hamilton, his title push has been compromised by 3 retirements this season surrounded by a cluster of really consistent finishes. I don't think he's finished lower than 6th, which is really phenomenal.

    But I'm not as disappointed about McLaren's challenge as some people might be. That is because for the first half of the season, Red Bull had the same advantage that they are going to have for the last five races, but they still didn't manage to crush the field in all races. Driver mistakes, reliability and decreased race performance after qualifying meant that McLaren got their fair share of wins, and hopefully something similar can happen in Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Brazil and Abu Dhabi.

    As for Alonso, he is quite a loathsome character in F1. Maybe that is a strong word, but certainly not a likeable guy. Yes I rate him alongside Hamilton as the best in F1, but I really don't want him or his team to succeed.

  • Comment number 38.

    #35, oh yes, the prediction game is the only way to go! lol.

    I think what could cost webber more than any of the other drivers performances, is Vettel. We can say what we want about him, but as he showed, with clear air, he is very quick! And how often does he outqualify Webber? If Vettel keeps picking up poles, and perhaps taking wins off him, that would play heavily into Lewis' hands, who as I say, will in my opinion, get the better of the RB's at Suzuka and Abu Dhabi.
    Also, as you and I have hit on - the RB starts need to improve drastically, because those Mclaren's absolutely fly off the line! If they line up on the grid with Vettel pole, Webber second, and Lewis 3rd or 4th, Hamilton will at least get Webber into the first corner, if not both! Never mind if Button's in play as well...

  • Comment number 39.

    The only way anybody will beat Red Bull at Suzuka is if they both retire.

    McLaren and Ferrari have greater straight line speeds, but the first sector is Red Bull paradise which should see them pull a larger gap than the McLaren's and Ferrari's can claw back in the final part of the lap.

  • Comment number 40.

    #39, agree that the first sector will be great for RB, but remember that it is quite a bumpy track, and the RB's dont like that particularly. The Mclaren does seem to do well on a bumpy surface for some reason. Also, the lead up to the back straight favours the Mclarens - a very very tight hairpin - uphill exit, then two pretty quick corners, but not so quick that the RB's should pull massively ahead - therefore if LH/JB can get right behind the RB's at the hairpin, they will stay close with the grunt their engine has, and only have tpo be within slipstream distance coming out of the corner and they will almost certainly pass. It'll be like Turkey again, where the RB's pulled out half a second in turn 8, but Lewis very nearly took them every time into turn 10. The straight at Suzuaka is much longer! :)

  • Comment number 41.

    Also, how can people say that this driver or that driver deserves to win. The only driver that deserves to win will be the winner.

    Does anybody think that if Ferrari didn't blatantly favour Alonso, he'd be in the hunt? I know Massa is a weak man but if he hadn't bend over and taken it in Germany then Alonso wouldn't be getting a look in. Massa, from that moment onwards, is just not destined for anything great. Like Barrichello. Hamilton would never have taken it, and thankfully at McLaren with Alonso he didn't have to, and he proved himself to be the better driver.

  • Comment number 42.

    Alonso is the better driver in Ferrari though, or at least he has been based on Massa's form this year. It's a shame because I think Massa's a great guy, but it seems that he hasn't really reached the heights he was hitting in the last two seasons, where he looked like a genuine title contender. At Monza, Massa couldn't live with the pace that Button and Alonso were setting, and never looked like getting close. Without wanting to open up a debate on team orders, Ferrari knew that putting their eggs into one basket was the only way either of their drivers would be able to contend the championship this year, and Alonso was the logical choice. Most champions enjoy, at some point, the benefit of a teammate giving them assistance in their title push. It won Hamilton a championship, and maybe this year it will do the business for Alonso. But the thing to bear in mind is that team tactics alone don't win championships - you need to have the raw speed as well and whatever your personal feelings towards Alonso, he does have the raw speed and the racecraft to make it happen, while at the moment Massa seems to have gone off the boil.

  • Comment number 43.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 44.

    If Jenson had won yesterday it would have looked so different.

    He would only have been 10 behind Lewis, and Alonso would have been a relatively distant fifth.

    What a difference a second off the pit stop can make !

    It shows that it is well worth fighting for the win though, and under the new points system we will see some good scraps as long as there is no technically dominant team.

  • Comment number 45.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 46.

    I'm looking forward to seeing if Red Bull really will maintain their dominant form at Singapore or if they have had to make modifications to their cars following the stricter deflection tests. I have a feeling we'll be seeing a far more level playing field at the next race.

  • Comment number 47.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 48.

    @RyanPiddle - I think you need to spend a little bit more time learning about Formula 1. All top F1 cars achieve their speed by bending the rules in the most creative ways possible. It's why we see such elaborate diffusers and f-ducts and other such wizardry, plus any number of other little things which we'll never see or learn about. It's part of the game, when you're dealing in such a competitive environment, with teams who want to do the absolute best they can.

    With regards to accusing people of cheating, just because they had a bit of a crash, you're going to have to justify that one I'm afraid. I don't think you have much of a case there.

  • Comment number 49.

    Its bad to say it, but was glad that Hamilton got a DNF and Webber didn't do well as i want this Championship to run and run.. its addictive coverage.

    Rare that you see Button take the fight to someone but i was well impressed to see him take the fight to Alonso on home turf in an inferior car. To drive under that sort of constant pressure really increased my opinion of him. A Good Drive.

    Good to see Alonso win. Nothing beats that helicopter shot above the podium with the sea of people and the Champagne being sprayed. Shame they don't design similar Poduims at other tracks.

    Not bothered who wins the WDC this year. You can make a case for all 5 of them deserving it.

    If you'd have asked me after Bahrain (yawn) i'd have never thought the year would turn out like this.

  • Comment number 50.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 51.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 52.

    I've read through all the posts on this thing, and nobody's mentioned what I saw; at the first corner, pieces of carbon fibre flying off the back of Jenson's car after Fernando hit him, and after the race in parc ferme, the TV shots of Jenson's damaged diffuser. The McLaren guys said during the race that it wasn't a serious problem according to the telemetry, but I can't help wondering how much the damage affected Jenson's race, I feel he could have certainly held off the Ferraris, and probably pulled away.

  • Comment number 53.

    I am a big Button fan, and have been since the start of his F1 career. However, I must agree with Andrew that the story this time was Alonso, and disagree with those saying McLaren lost this race for Jenson.

    If Jenson hadn't wanted to pit, he wouldn't have pitted. He has proven time and again that he is his own man when it come to set-up and strategy. Usually he is vindicated, and even on Saturday he qualified 3 places ahead of the fastest man on the grid, purely by getting this right. Still, 2nd in this race was mightily impressive, and a timely reminder of what he can do.

    Having said how well Alonso did, he still had hairy moments, and only finished the race because he was lucky enough to keep his front wing going into the back of Button. And why did that happen? Once again, he was trying too hard...

  • Comment number 54.

    Ryan Priddle obviously has an axe to grind. lol! #49, I'm afraid I can only make a case for 3 of the 5 - MW, LH and JB. The other 2 have made too many mistakes and have far too much ego. Vettle is also quite dangerous, and I'd hate to see an F1 champion who has an inability to actually "race" against the other top drivers, rather than just an ability to rattle of quick times in open track.

  • Comment number 55.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 56.

    Does anyone think we should have more British drivers in F1? We have 2, yet the Germans have 6 while Britain has three teams and the Germans only one. Add to the fact that the majority of teams are based in the UK, I would like to see more British drivers of a decent quality driving in F1.

  • Comment number 57.

    #53, Alonso also made a mess of the chicane when he was in the lead, and went over the bumps - could have damaged something then too!

  • Comment number 58.

    why was my comment removed it didnt have swearing in it

  • Comment number 59.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 60.

    yh but that was his mistake he purposely drove in the back of button because with a damaged car alonso new he could get him later in the race

  • Comment number 61.

    Andrew,

    Please hyperlink where you have discussed Button before that his leading the race for nearly two-thirds the distance merits no more than one sentence.

    I find your articles informative, but I feel there is bias in this blog. Also, I wonder if where you have discussed him before if it is representative of what he has been doing in the last two races.

    Alonso is talented, and Monza couldn't be a better fairy-tale ending for Ferrari. Although I will happily cheer for him to win another WDC because of his talent, it just cannot be this year for what he has been proven guilty of doing.

    Andrew, are you going to write another blog soon that does explore the five drivers, the three teams, and the differences of the next five tracks, to the last two?

    Understandably there is a flush of excitement with this win, but this season is even more tantalising. I look forward to hearing about engines, tyres and other conditions factoring into the end of this hotly contested season.

    Best wishes

  • Comment number 62.

    #60, yes Alonso "deliberately" drove into the back of a competitor with the weakest part of his car - the nose/front wing, despite the fact he knew he had a considerably faster car! of course he did! lol! deary me. what's your problem? I can't stand Alonso either, but he drove a cracking race after a brilliant qualifying. Credit where credit is due!

  • Comment number 63.

    If there are still 3-5 people in it for the last coupel of races they are going to be heart in mouth events. I don't support anyone in particular, but i still get anxious when it's wheel to wheel and it's for the title!

    I have a bet on Hamilton this year, so in that sense i want him to win. Unfortunately, i made a prediction 10 seconds before the Italian GP to my gf...that was that '1 of the 5 contenders will crash out early here'. I kind of wish i was wrong there!

    Still, every one of them has dropped so many points this season. Hamiltons crashed out in Monza, had puncture when 2nd, broke down sometime too. Button was knocked out in SPA, and broke down in Monaco. Vettel has had many problems and caused some of his own in at least 3-4 races which cost him dearly. Webber had his mega crash in Valencia and Alonso has a few too.
    Who's to say they won't each have another DNF, or a none points finish yet. It's been that kind of year. So really i don't think any can be ruled out.
    Red Bull might be the favorites, but it's all to play for.

    2 races ago i'd have said Vettel wouldn't win. Right now, i'd pick him as the favorite. He seemed in a very upbeat mood after Monza and if he puts it on pole and makes no mistakes next race he's going to be extremely confident of taking the title from there.
    1 thing is for sure, these next races are not to be missed.


    And just think...in 2011 we could have even more competators!!! Rosberg is good enough to consistently challenge the current 5 in a better car, as is Kubica. Massa should be in there too as he's getting closer to his best. If Mercedes and Renault produce race winning cars (which they are capale of doing) then next year could be mega!!

  • Comment number 64.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 65.

    I think it needs emphasising that Button would have been quicker were it not for the damage caused to his car when Alonso went in to the back of him. An undeniably good drive from Alonso, but he got a big slice of luck.

  • Comment number 66.

    #65 as he has done all season - strange comment as it may seem, whenever he has made a mistake, he seems to get a safety car come out to give him the biggest helping hand - China being a prime example! Luck does even itself out though over a season they say, so expect LH to be incredibly lucky the last 5 races, and JB the luckiest so and so you've ever seen! lol.
    Alonso and Webber need to be wary of lady luck though.

  • Comment number 67.

    @ 45,47 and 50

    Ryan, go away, learn how to spell, learn some grammar, learn something about F1, then come back and post something intelligent.

    See you in about 5 years.

  • Comment number 68.

    I doubt the damage to button's car was making a significant difference. It was one strake on the diffuser and a part of the rear wing endplate, right at the back. These parts are really just there to smooth out the turbulent air, so bar a slight increase in drag it's unlikely he would have suffered any real ill effects. Jensen said after the race he didn't even realise the car was damaged, and Coulthard and Jordan both agreed that the damage looked bad but was unlikely to really affect the pace of the car in a significant way.

    Button put up a brilliant fight, but ultimately the Ferrari was just faster.

  • Comment number 69.

    I know some of you Ferrari and Alonso fanboys and me don't see eye to eye but as always I am an objective man!

    Alonso easily deserved the win yesterday. His pace was simply too much for everyone to handle all weekend.

    And for the likes of Ryan Priddle claiming that Alonso hit Jensen's rear on purpose, mate I hate Alonso as much as the next rational human being but you're just being stupid now.

  • Comment number 70.

    Firmly.
    I think the Ferrari pit crew won that race, no-one else, not even the cartoon faced "cry baby".
    and to Post no. 4, yes, I find Coulthard infuriating, with his expert opinions on capitulation, having fluked a 1st drive in the best car following a legend's demise. Cars are ugly now too - get rid of the whale fins Bernie, please !
    The "classic races" on the red button are really worth watching for proper racing though, to end on a positive note ! No cheek tonguing there.

  • Comment number 71.

    Webber will now win the championship, perhaps with a race to spare. Having said that, I can't quite believe that Vettel hasn't already sewn it up. Although the WDC is close this year, in one sense it is utterly bamboozling how Red Bull, despite clearly being the best team, have managed to leave it so late. I can't remember the last time that such a superior team has made such a meal of closing it out. RB should look to Brawn's efforts last season for evidence of how to sew up a championship early.

  • Comment number 72.

    Re; 20.
    completely agree with your view on the commentators, Brundle could not be better. His grid walks are unbelievable he must have been born with a congenital lack of awkwardness. I've posted about Legard before, he is quite annoying, and I may be wrong but I get the sense Martin thinks he's not very good too. Sometimes a bit of silence after he's said something stupid or pointless.
    The worst of his crimes is during qualifying, so often when a driver is setting his first "hot lap" of a session he will shout "X is lighting up the timing screens purple with his quickest time", when of course the driver could not fail to do so, it of course being his first. He did this in Q3 on saturday in sure when Hulkenburg set his time, about 1:46.50 on the Iplayer.

    Has anyone else noticed or is this just me? it really bugs me I just think he's a weak link in an otherwise very strong link all the way from Jake through eddie and DC to Ted Hughes and the fantastic practice session commentary with Anthony Davidson.

  • Comment number 73.

    #72 - by far the revelation of the coverage team is Chandhok. Saturday was the first time I'd watched the live practice online, and I thought he was absolutely outstanding! Normally pro's in the commentary box can sound awkward, or try and be too clever, ie not cater for the general public, think they're better than the commentator's etc. however he was informative, on the ball and gave a great insight!
    I was well impressed when he called that one time would put i think it was Massa 6th after his sector 2 split, and he crossed the line 6th quickest!
    I was also suprised by how much Alonso near the very end was affected in parabolica due to someone who i thought would have been more than far enough ahead to not be a problem...Coming into the corner, Karun called it way ahead of time, and then.....sure enough, Alonso got out of shape! Top stuff!

    I also love Jordan - how uncomfortable to the team managers look when they come up to be interviewed and Eddie moves the mic to his mouth!

  • Comment number 74.

    Chandok is brilliant because not only is he a great F1 driver (and he certainly is a lot better than his F1 car has allowed him to show thus far) but he's also a big F1 fan who loves to watch the racing and pores over the intricacies of the sport. His tweets are brilliant, well worth following.

    I don't know why Force India aren't doing everything within their power to employ him. What would be better than an Indian driver in an Indian car racing at the first ever Indian GP? Only other Indian driver I can think of who even comes close would be karthikayen, but he isn't really in the same league as Chandok. I really hope he gets a proper drive soon, in a decent car. I think he'd slot very happily into a Torro Rosso or a Force India.

  • Comment number 75.

    #74, that would eb a marketing dream for F.I too! They already have a decent car, and if they got plenty of extra income, they could really go places - he certainly would be better than Liuzzi too!

  • Comment number 76.

    #72, Lewis Standing wrote:

    "The worst of his crimes is during qualifying, so often when a driver is setting his first "hot lap" of a session he will shout "X is lighting up the timing screens purple with his quickest time", when of course the driver could not fail to do so, it of course being his first. He did this in Q3 on saturday in sure when Hulkenburg set his time, about 1:46.50 on the Iplayer."

    The purple times - strictly speaking, they are magenta - relate to the fast time OF ALL DRIVERS in the sector/lap; an individual driver's OWN personal best time is green on the timing screen.

  • Comment number 77.

    I think the article is slightly misleading.

    You say that if button didnt have his dnf in spa, he would be right up there. How is that worked out?

    Lewis failed to finish in monza and is STILL 17 points ahead of button with one extra DNF (3 in total)!

    If it was down to just spa...then button would only be a few of points away from Lewis right now.

    This reflection and contrast in Lewis' and jenson's points difference just shows either that Lewis has driven phenomenally out of his skin all season & outperformed that car OR it means that Button has not been performing well at all. Its both imo.

    -Its not just about Spa.

    Also its quite shocking at the way the media look at button and then look at Lewis. Lewis gets unfair and ott critisism and button gets excuses made for him. Button did well at the start in monza, but I feel it was more button who threw away the win due to his inability to warm up new tyres. SO regardless of when mclaren would pit him - button would still have lost the lead during his outlap to warm his tyres up.

    Also the bias shown toward jenson on the beeb is extraordinary.
    DC & EJ's potshots at Michael Schumacher is getting disgraceful.
    The levels of comtempt for Lewis by the beeb team is also very apparent.

    Feel really bad for Lewis as hes come under serious fire from people despite the astonishing way hes performed all season.

    Its about time you (andrew) and the rest of the beeb stick up for lewis and give credit where credit is due. If you need reminding Lewis is also British. This was Lewis' 1st mistake this season - and even then the incident was not an unusual one however the damage/outcome was unusual (we dont normally see that) considering the angle of impact and damage caused.

    It was recomended by most inc the beeb commentary team that Lewis needed to attacked during the 1st lap - and thats what he did. If that damage didnt happen Lewis would be praised for that move, but as it happened most were scathing in their attacks. Lewis was just a victim of circumstances thats all.

    Lewis is still the driver of the season by a big mile.

  • Comment number 78.

    i am glad its a 5 man race again but i would still like webber to walk away with the title hamilton has been pretty good this year so has button shows what he can do when he has a decent car. But the kamikazie kid (vettel) in my opinion is not good enuff to win the title he should help back webbe to win the title but somehow i thik if hes told to do this he wont listen. lol

  • Comment number 79.

    @ 77

    I'm not sure you need to be claiming the BBC is biased when you seem to be suggesting Andrew Benson should be writing an article full of praise for a man who crashed out of the race after just a couple of corners thanks to a clumsy move up the inside of Massa where there was no hope of him ever getting past.

    Hamilton has had some good drives this season, but this certainly wasn't one of them. To suggest Button shouldn't get the credit for his brilliant performance in Monza i crazy. He drove over 30 laps with Alonso dancing in his mirrors, knowing that the smallest mistake would throw away the lead, and he didn't put a wheel wrong. He had a faultless drive and was simply beaten because another driver in a marginally faster car also had a faultless drive.

    Credit where it's due, you say. Well I agree. And this week Lewsis deserves no credit for removing himself prematurely from the race, while Button drove out of his skin and reminded us why he is world champion.

  • Comment number 80.

    Formula 1 should go back to allowing drivers only to count their best, say, 14 results (having regard to the number of races in a full season) - this would mean that a few DNFs/poor results would be supportable, and a disaster (possibly not of the driver's own doing) would be unlikely to make or break a season's chances.

    It could also lead to real drama towards the end of a season, where a driver who started the season poorly would have more to gain from a good result (also dropping his worst points finish) than someone who was merely a consistent 3rd/4th...

  • Comment number 81.

    One of the greatest F1 seasons ever!!!!

  • Comment number 82.

    #80 rubbish - it would also mean that drivers who have made mistakes - like Vettel and Alonso - would have much higher points total's than they deserve!
    Think about it - the two best drivers would actually suffer the most - particularly Webber, because although they would get rid of their worst results, the points gains by the other's would far outway that, due to the finishing positions in those races where LH and MW didnt score (in LH's case) or scored poorly - this weekend being a prime example - MW finishing 6th, Vettel 4th - not so bad for Lewis. Whereas Spa for Vettel - LH won and Webber 2nd!
    Hope that makes sense to everyone??

  • Comment number 83.

    I think LH's race was compromised not on Sunday, but actually on the Saturday. The gamble he and the team took with the low downforce setting didn't pay off. If he had gone the F-duct way, then in all probability he would have been higher up the grid, and perahps wouldn't have been so aggressive at the start.
    But as someone alluded to above, he was rather unlucky considering the contact was minimal, and it was just the angle of the impact that caused the race ending damage. Still lots to play for, and there's going to be more twists and turns before the end of this season.

  • Comment number 84.

    I would like to see a McLaren driver win the drivers title but unless they can find some improvement in the next fortnight with their downforce, I fear it is Mark Webbers title to lose.

    Still I would be happy for him to win the title after all the hard work he has done for Red Bull.

    I think that Alonso will be on a charge for the title now that he won at Monza but the one driver who could have an influence on the title standing at the end of the season is Robert Kubica who has driven well for Renault this year.

    It is now getting to the stage where whoever now finishes all the remaining races in the high points could win the championship (Lewis Hamilton could finish the last 4 races in second place each time and win the championship).

  • Comment number 85.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 86.

    Andrew - another great blog!

    The Italian GP was another great race - we've had so many this year. This was Fernando's first "real" win of the season in my opinion. He got his victory by default in Bahrain when Vettel's car broke and we all know what happened in Germany. It was a great drive by Fernando and in my opinion his first really good weekend this year where he's looked like the world champion of 2005 and 2006.

    Having five drivers legitimately in the title hunt this late in the season is absolutely incredible! I think out of the five, the most likely to win the title will be either Lewis or Mark. They have shown to be the most consistent this year and have shown that they can deliver when they need to. Both have had their mistakes here and there, but I think the other three can be counted out for the following reasons:

    - Button hasn't been consistently as quick as Lewis
    - Vettel has made too many mistakes and can't always convert the pole into a win
    - Alonso also has had too many mistakes and the Ferrari isn't consistently quick

    If I had to put my money on anyone for the title, it would be Lewis. He is consistently quick even when the McLaren car isn't, and up until his first lap accident at Monza he has had a virtually flawless season. He's showed a lot of maturity this season in addition to his speed. I think out of the five he is the most likely to deliver when it gets down to the wire.

  • Comment number 87.

    Re *20 Yup, Brundle has been the best commentator ever. I think I might have cried if he hadn’t joined the Beeb after ITV. John Legard does fine as a commentator – and post-Murray, there was always going to be a big hole to fill, and Legard follows in Murray’s path - but Martin is an INFORMER as well as commentator. Priceless.

    Re * 28 Owain, I’m in London. Was it that late…? Sometimes, as now, I have nothing much to do, and F1 is my sport. I was gutted for Jensen, and still seething at the disappointment I guess. Well pointed out about the tyres and Massa possibly catching them. In retrospect, it was so blooming close… I think no. 44 pointed out, ‘What a difference a lap makes!’

    And ‘legitimate’ team orders'! Clever. I don’t think anybody else has pointed that out, and I hadn’t even spotted it!

    Re * 33 I’m still convinced Button would have been better off pitting after Alonso… but what do I know? I’m just sitting on my sofa wishing the best for Button. It was only fractions of a second that made all the difference.

    Re: 74: So true. Talk about a match made in heaven, he’s certainly the suitable boy!

  • Comment number 88.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 89.

    Kudos to Alonso, regardless of many peoples opinions of his off-track personality to perform like that when under what was probably the most pressure of his career was outstanding. Arguably one of the best drives of the season but definitely not perfect, 1st he tried to force JB off track from the start which possibly cost him the lead on the 1st lap as he had got away well, then he made contact with JB and lastly he missed the chicane after taking the lead which could have cost him.

    Another awesome drive from JB - undestandable that the blog is about Alonso but Jenson had a magnificent weekend and those Hamilton fans out there who try to argue against JB's class should pay closer attention. This is his 1st season with McLaren, not their groomed prodigy and he has barely put a foot wrong all season, not only is he super smooth and consistent he has proven that he can race wheel-to-wheel with LH, FA and anyone else without taking himself or the other driver off track. F1 is all about the smallest of margins and at Spa he could easily have taken 2nd and very possibly 1st if SV had not taken him out and he'd been close to LH when he had his unforced error off which could easily have cost him all his points.

    Even if Jenson is my favorite I am actually a fan of pretty much all the top drivers right now but I think there is very little to separate JB, FA and LH in terms of skill and racecraft despite their differences and the future looks great with Rosberg, Kubica, Sutil, Kobayashi, and the other rookies, even Vettel if he can stop crashing into people (no disrespect to the other drivers either!)

    I just hope that McLaren have closed the gap enough to the farmyard (Bulls and Stallions) to keep this one tight to the wire and yes this is one of the best seasons of F1 ever mostly because of the massive amount of driver talent on view from front to back of the grid - respect!


  • Comment number 90.

    #68 - 'so bar a slight increase in drag it's unlikely he would have suffered any real ill effects.'

    Any drag means that there was a loss of performance - whether in speed or downforce

    And did you see the damage? there was a lot - & a few inches either way and his race (and maybe Alonso's as well) would have been finished or badly compromised for the 2nd week running.

    A great shame Hamilton went out early as it may well have ended up being a McLaren 1-2 with his aggessive driving and added to a facinating race.

    Lastly - McLaren's stratergies for their drivers through the whole year have been poor & this was shown again in their decision to let the opposition know when Button was going to pit & also pre-race when they couldn't decide which set-up was faster for their cars - they really should know that before they get to the track as all the other teams did.

    Still, I'm looking forward to a great end to the season and hopefully a British win!

  • Comment number 91.

    @85 Reregina:
    "It was about right time the mud idol made a mistake that cost him dear"


    Can you define the term "mud idol"

    thanks

  • Comment number 92.

    I also hope that Webber wins the drivers championship this year as this is his best shot.

    Other people have still got time on their side.

    But Masa must push and win it in the next year.

    Alonso doen not deserve to win it this year especially after the Germany incident.I thought of not watching any more F1 races after that incident but Monza track inspired me to watch the race again.

    All the best to Webber and Masa.

  • Comment number 93.

    Tamburello.

    If Massa was defending his track position during the German GP in way that could endanger both Ferrari's surely the stewards would have intervened and possibly imposed a penalty. Alonso could not pass him conventionally, so whinged to the team and we all know what happened next! The actions of a cry baby.

    His behaviour at McLaren was no better either. Whether or not Hamilton reneged on a deal in Hungary, why didn't Alonso just act in a more mature manner (like Mark Webber after the Red Bull front wing saga)and do his talking on the track by either out qualifying Hamilton or beating him in the race.

    Threatening to tell tales to the FIA over the Spygate affair because he couldn't have guarenteed number one status in the team also smacks of childish behaviour.

  • Comment number 94.

    @91
    I think the moderators might have just answered that question for you.

  • Comment number 95.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 96.

    @95
    Well we all know what the term "cry baby" means, (hardly offensive by the majority of peoples standards) but please do enlighten us, as Cruel_Irony asked, what you mean by "mud idol"

    Perhaps then the moderators will repost your no.85 comment

  • Comment number 97.

    @ 96

    Reregina's continued refusal to explain her definition of......the phrase I refuse to use.....seems to point towards him/her/it being unable to defend it's use.

  • Comment number 98.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 99.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 100.

    @98
    Where have I posted anything anti Alonso on this blog? I can safely say I haven't. And you still haven't answered the question, as Graham has now pointed out, in what that term means.

 

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