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Brazil set for thriller as F1 season reaches climax

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Andrew Benson | 06:00 UK time, Thursday, 4 November 2010

In Sao Paulo

The 2010 world champion will be crowned either in Brazil on Sunday or in Abu Dhabi seven days later as one of the most thrilling Formula 1 seasons in history reaches an intense climax.

The F1 teams gather in Sao Paulo this weekend with five drivers still in with a chance of clinching the title at the end of a contest that, before it began in Bahrain in March, was billed as potentially one of the greatest there had ever been. It has fully lived up to those expectations.

The battles between Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button have made this an all-time classic season, arguably the closest between the highest number of world-class drivers in the history of the sport.

It is astonishing in many ways that so many drivers have remained in contention until now. But, inevitably, with only two races left, it is increasingly unlikely that this will remain the case by Sunday evening.

There have been so many twists and turns this season that it would be very unwise to rule anyone out, but Button, particularly, is entering the last chance saloon at Interlagos.

The reigning champion is returning to the track where he clinched the title for the Brawn team last year. But at 42 points adrift of Ferrari's Alonso with only 50 remaining, his chances are already effectively over - as he admitted himself after a disastrous race last time out in South Korea.

F1 title contenders Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber, Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel pose together at the Korean Grand Prix

Five men are still in with a chance of winning the F1 drivers' title - but for how much longer? Photo: Getty

Since then, Button has said he will keep fighting until he is mathematically ruled out, while his McLaren team have said they will continue to support his bid.

Realistically, though, he has no chance.

It has become something of a mantra for drivers who are struggling in the points table this season to hark back to 2007, when Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen made up 17 points (almost two wins in that year's scoring system) on Hamilton in the last two races to steal the title at the last race.

That was remarkable in itself. But for something similar to happen to Button this year it would require all four drivers in front of him to hit major trouble - the 30-year-old is 17 points behind even the fourth-placed driver, Red Bull's Vettel.

On top of that, Button has not won a race since the Chinese Grand Prix back in April, and has struggled for pace as the season has gone on. The Italian race in September, where he was a close second to Alonso, was a rare exception.

The mathematics of the situation are complex. But for Button it is more straightforward than for the others.

To have any chance of staying in the championship, he must finish in the top two in Brazil - and even then he is out of it if Alonso or Webber win. And if Alonso finishes anywhere in the top six, Button is out of it regardless of where he finishes.

In these circumstances, the most likely scenario is that Button will drop out of contention this weekend and either in Brazil or at the final race in Abu Dhabi seven days later be asked to support team-mate Hamilton's bid, assuming the 2008 champion's chances are still alive.

Indeed, on Wednesday, team principal Martin Whitmarsh admitted to BBC Sport for the first time that they may make that decision during the race in Brazil depending on the situation.

In third place, 21 points behind double world champion Alonso, Hamilton is also facing an uphill struggle trying to close the gap on a man who has won three of the last four races and four of the last seven.

The biggest problem for both Hamilton and Button is that the McLaren has generally not been quick enough in the second half of the season to challenge Red Bull, still easily the fastest car in the field, and Ferrari.

This weekend, the team are again promising to bring updates to improve the car, but so they have at most races, and the pattern for the second half of the season has been that McLaren have struggled to make them work effectively straight away.

Their main hope could be that Sao Paulo's Interlagos circuit is one of those tracks where it's difficult to predict the relative competitiveness of the top three teams.

Red Bull have started virtually every race weekend as favourites for pole position and victory, such has been their pace advantage at most tracks - either Webber or Vettel has been on pole at 14 of the 17 races so far.

But Interlagos has a long pit straight, which will favour the McLarens and penalise the Red Bulls. On the other hand, the track is also pretty bumpy, which might make things a bit tricky for Hamilton and Button's cars, which tend to be more stiffly sprung than their rivals'.

The Red Bulls will be easily the strongest cars through Interlagos's twisty infield section, which swoops up and down the gradients of the natural amphitheatre in which the track sits.

The Ferrari sits somewhere between the Red Bulls and McLarens in both areas - but is particularly strong in braking and traction, two characteristics that are important in Brazil.

Given Red Bull's qualifying record, though, it would be a surprise if either Vettel or Webber was not on pole - and it must also be expected that Alonso will be their closest challenger.

On balance, you would expect Vettel to be the strongest driver over the final two races, at least in terms of outright pace. But making up a 25-point deficit on Alonso may well be too big a task, given the Spaniard's consistency and the German's lack of it.

Incredibly, Vettel has converted only two of his nine pole positions into victory in 2010 and has lost significant points no less than eight times, with the causes split more or less half and half between driver errors and reliability problems.

Even if Vettel wins in Brazil and Abu Dhabi, the Ferrari driver still only needs a third and a fourth to be champion. Both eventualities must be considered unlikely on the evidence of the season so far.

Webber, in the second Red Bull, has a much better mathematical chance of becoming champion, but although the Australian is only 11 points (slightly less than a fourth place finish) adrift of Alonso, his problem is a worrying lack of momentum.

The 34-year-old's last win was in Hungary at the beginning of August, he has finished on the podium only twice in the last four races, when he was second to Vettel in Japan, and he crashed out of the last race in Korea two weeks ago.

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It is little wonder, then, that BBC F1 pundit Eddie Jordan thinks Alonso is in a "very, very strong position".

Alonso is the only driver who can tie up the championship this weekend. This is how:

  • If he wins in Brazil, Webber must finish fourth or higher to keep the championship alive. Everyone else would be out of contention, regardless of where they finish.
  • If Alonso is second, Webber must be higher than eighth to stay in it, Hamilton higher than fourth and Vettel must win.
  • If Alonso is third, Webber must score points, Hamilton must be in the top four and Vettel in the top three.
  • If Alonso finishes lower than third, the championship will stay open to the last race because Webber, at least, will still be able to win regardless of where he finishes.

With so much at stake, the pressure on all five men will be intense. Almost every race this
season has been brilliant. But Brazil, where the track nearly always produces high-action races, promises to raise the bar yet again.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Come on Button! .....Somehow!

    Great analysis Andrew. Think back to what we were all saying after Bahrain! What a cracking season

  • Comment number 2.

    Great article, great season, can't wait to watch the race!

    BTW Andrew, seems there is a small error regarding the comments on Webber - you note that he has finished on the podium only once in the last four races, namely Japan, but he also managed third in Singapore, as I recall.

  • Comment number 3.

    A DNF for Alonso in Brazil would set things up very nicely for Abu Dhabi (and we'd have a real chance to see 5 cars battle for the title during the final race).

    If there is some sort of karma in the world, Webber will take the title, to rub it in Marko Mutt's face and his young German protégé.

  • Comment number 4.

    I expect Ferrari not to mess it up when it's this crucial, I am predicting a Alonso win.
    It will be fun though if Webber would crash into Alonso and Vettel or Hamilton wins ;)

  • Comment number 5.

    I'm left gladly holding my hands up here, as I was one of the many people who were fearing a boring season after Bahrain. How glad am I that it's turned out to be the exact opposite, and one can only hope that the owners of the Bahrain track do all they can to ensure we're not thinking the same come the spring.

    Really wouldn't object to anyone other than Vettel winning the title this year. Seb has the talent to not need a Schumacher-esque bias within Red Bull and most neutrals would love Webber beating him. Can't look past Alonso though, and I'm liking him again - liked him before McLaren but his attitude then made me think "anyone but him" for a while.

    Who needs refuelling eh?

  • Comment number 6.

    Decent article. However, 2 errors: 1. The Hungarian GP was held in August, not July. 2. Webber has had 2 podiums in the last 4 races, not 1. Minor errors, but they make Webber's momentum seem worse than it already is...

  • Comment number 7.

    One thing I think people are not taking into consideration is what happens when someone that needs to win, is alongside someone who cannot afford to crash out. Imagine the psychology involved if, say, Vettel and Alonso are approaching Turn 1 side-by-side.

    Looks like a very interesting weekend ahead, can't wait!

  • Comment number 8.

    Yawn, incongruous hype and effusively so. Yes I'll be watching, but the politics of F1 means the winner has been decided long ago!! Don't believe the hype (a reluctant fan)!

  • Comment number 9.

    How's about a Button win, Hamilton second, Vettel third, and Webber and Alonso crash out. What a race Abu Dhabi would be then hey!?!?

    I do however disagree with your comment about "so many world class drivers" - without the Red Bull car being so vaslty superior to it's rivals, Vettel and Webber wouldnt be anywhaere near a title battle. And this season has displayed just what a different level Lewis is on compared to Button in ability terms.
    There are in my opinion, only 2 truly world class dirvers on the grid at the minute, in Alonso and Hamilton, as Schumacher is also past it. There will be a 3rd name to that list in the near future - Kubica, and if Vettel can learn how to drive when he is in battles with his rivals, then he could well join that bracket too!

  • Comment number 10.

    A further error in this article is that even if Vettel wins in Brazil and Abu Dhabi he cannot win the championship if Alonso finishes third in both remaining races. He still won't win if Alonso scores a third and a fourth and Vettel wins both.

    The main race for Vettel seems to be to beat Webber into second place in the championship, which is a bizarre strategy for the team to be countenancing...

  • Comment number 11.

    Vettel and Webber to start on the front row (again!), however only for Vettel to wipe out his team mate.. Webber blasts "Sebbo is a crush dummy drongo"..
    Anyway the race is won by Alonso, Button is way down in 9th which shows not only that last season he had the best car, that he is a distinctively average driver. I hope Hamilton's still in it going into Abu Dhabi but even then Alonso would only have to finish top 6 and he's been doing that on a consistant bases.

    Top 3: 1. Alonso, 2. Rosberg, 3. Kubica..

  • Comment number 12.

    Interesting read, thanks Andrew. Whatever happens I hope it goes down to the last race (If Alonso wins I hope it's by more than 7 pts)

    Button would be a lot closer without the 2 DNFs that were not his fault. I think he has done exceptionally well in a new team.

    I think all the talk of who is "world class" and X is better than Y are to the detriment of the blog and forum discussions. They are ALL great drivers or they wouldn't be there.

  • Comment number 13.

    I can't help thinking RB are shooting themselves in the foot by not supporting Webber. Vettel may be the next Schumacher (yet to be totally convinced myself), but I think his chance has gone for this year at least.

  • Comment number 14.

    This championship will be settled at the last race in Abu Dhabi, with three drivers still in contention.

    In the end, Vettel will make up the difference!!!!

  • Comment number 15.

    I wonder how you can claim half of Vettel's point scoring opportunities missed as driver error, the only real error he committed, which he admitted to as well, was in SPA. Three reliability issues when clearly leading, a punctured tyre from behind on first lap in Silverstone and no communication of SC from team are hardly driver errors. Furthermore even in Turkey his pole position was affected due to suspension problem. Now compare other dirvers. Firstly Alonso, contact in first lap in Australia, jump start in China, crash in Monaco, he has only won three races beacause the driver ahead had car issue or his team mate was ordered to do so. Secondly Hamilton has had 3 crashes in consecutive races , Monza to Japan. Webber crashed into Hamilton in Australia, Kovalainen in Valencia and again in Singapore before crashing out in Korea. I dont see how any driver other than Vettel is a worthy champion for 2010. All reliability issues being constant he would have been a champion already or a few races ago even.

  • Comment number 16.

    I do however disagree with your comment about "so many world class drivers" - without the Red Bull car being so vaslty superior to it's rivals, Vettel and Webber wouldnt be anywhaere near a title battle. And this season has displayed just what a different level Lewis is on compared to Button in ability terms.
    --------------
    Different level? Thus far it's around 20 points which is less than one race win and remember that Hamilton has moe expereince with the team. Hardly outclassing. Hamilton is better granted and will only get better while Button is at his peak now but try not to overhype things.

    And yes all five are top class drivers. Vettel has cracked a little under pressure this season but even the very best have done that at times (Alonso 2007 for example) and will be stronger for it. Webber and Button are teh weakest of the five but would still be up there with plenty of previous world champions in terms of ability.

  • Comment number 17.

    Interesting analysis and much will depend on McLaren bringing effective upgrades to Brazil. The season has been great, but would have been even better without the Red Bull superiority such that all the top cars were more or less equal. - Never happen I know but it would have been more of a measure of drivers skill rather than aerodynamic supremacy. Anyway looking forward to Brazil which I'm sure will throw some suprises yet to make the season even more interesting and push the championship down to the wire in Abu Dhabi.

  • Comment number 18.

    Button would be a lot closer without the 2 DNFs that were not his fault. I think he has done exceptionally well in a new team.
    ------------
    First part is true, second part not so. After all Alonso is also in a new team, and leads the Championship. You should compare drivers to their team-mates and Lewis has been considerably better than Jenson all year. Lets not forget, Lewis has had 2 DNF's himself that were not his fault at all, 1 "racing incident", and yes ok, 1 that was his fault, but he would be leading the championship considerably had he not had the 3 incidents of bad luck! (remembering also he was cost 3 places by his team/Webber in Australia also).

  • Comment number 19.

    I expected that Alonso will win this year Championship at the middle of the season. Its going to indeed. I dont think redbull is going to win this year Driver's Championship. They may be win the Constructors. Becuase of the reliability problems I think it will be difficult. If Christian Horner and His crew help Mark, then Mark can win the Championship. Still I dont understand why they prefer Vettel when he lies in Fourth position. He can win next year or so if he will not win this year. But Mark has got one life time opportunity and I think Redbull should think about this and If they keep theie "Egos" aside then there is a chance to win.

    But Alonso is in other world and I am 95% sure he will be the 2010 Champion and honestly he is the best Driver on the current grid.

    I also expected either Alonso or Hamilton win this year, but Hamilton is very unfortunate for two DNFs in right time. But he is the one more driver has great potential to win multiple titles just like Shumi and Alonso.

    Good luck Alonos and Hamilton.

  • Comment number 20.

    I wonder how you can claim half of Vettel's point scoring opportunities missed as driver error, the only real error he committed, which he admitted to as well, was in SPA. Three reliability issues when clearly leading, a punctured tyre from behind on first lap in Silverstone and no communication of SC from team are hardly driver errors.
    -------------

    Crashed into Webber (Blame Webber if you want but Vettel outbraked himself), crashed into Button, trying to hold up the field from second behind the safety car (yes that was his fault, he should know the rules), there's three for you already.

  • Comment number 21.

    @Andrew Benson

    "Even if Vettel wins in Brazil and Abu Dhabi, he can only beat Alonso if the Ferrari driver finishes third or lower in both races."

    Considering the context of the article and how you make reference to the possible points permutations for the drivers throughout the article, I thought I'd highlight the elementary error in your arithmetic. So that others are not confused by your statement.

    Vettel is 25 points behind Alonso. If Vettel wins the next two races he will score 50 points. If Alonso finishes third in both races then he will score 30 points. That means Vettel would be 5 points shy of Alonso come the end of the season.

    So Vettel can't beat Alonso if the Ferrari driver finishes third or lower in the next two races. Alonso needs to finish fourth or lower in order for Vettel to win the drivers title.

    Hope that helps clear it up.

  • Comment number 22.

    17. At 10:30am on 04 Nov 2010, AEROFOIL wrote:

    Interesting analysis and much will depend on McLaren bringing effective upgrades to Brazil. The season has been great, but would have been even better without the Red Bull superiority such that all the top cars were more or less equal. - Never happen I know but it would have been more of a measure of drivers skill rather than aerodynamic supremacy.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    I'd argue that McLaren's problem is that they have ruined a perfectly good car by putting piecemeal upgrades on the car without perfecting them first. How many times this season have we heard them saying they're trying new updates, only to take them off again before qualifying because they're not working?

    Their car was the second fastest until mid-season, but since then they've messed about trying 43 new versions of rear wing that might offer 0.0002 seconds per lap instead of perfecting the blown diffuser and improving their front wing which would have out them at least level with Ferrari.

    Red Bull and Ferrari have made their updates work, McLaren have put so many on that they don't know which ones are working and which aren't. Bringing new updates to Brazil won't make any difference.

    Mercedes also made some interesting comments about actually becoming faster since they stopped trying to update the car.

    http://www.itv-f1.com/news_article.aspx?id=49557

  • Comment number 23.

    @nevs_a_red

    re. Button and Alonso - It's not the same situation though is it? Alonso is the undisputed #1 at Ferrari.

    "And this season has displayed just what a different level Lewis is on compared to Button in ability terms."

    That comment made you sound like a Lewis fanboy.



  • Comment number 24.

    Lewis Hamilton has finished: 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6 and had 4 retirements.

    When he's finished, he's been phenomenally consistent. But 3 retirements in 4 races will ultimately cost him.

    Does anyone think that McLaren could have a large advantage in Sector 3?

    Hamilton needs to qualify at the very least top 3. This way he can make a good start and compete from there. Everyone needs Alonso to retire. Can't see it happening though.

  • Comment number 25.

    This championship has always been Red Bull's to lose. Before the Korean race I predicted another Red Bull double DNF on the scale of the Turkey implosion but I didn't think it would have happened at that race.

    Ferrari and McLaren, in particular, have been handed presents and been the victims of RB demolition jobs in equal measure thanks to Red Bull's unreliability and silly driver errors. There was a touch of divine retribution when Webber took himself out in Korea, after having nerfed Hamilton out at Singapore… just a shame that Rosberg got caught this time. Vettel's swipe at Button in Spa and his own team-mate in Turkey were just two of his numerous brain-fade moments this year.

    Alonso has also made a catalogue of errors culminating in a needless shunt at Spa. There was a tinge of unpleasantness when he talked of races being manipulated – Valencia, when Hamilton served the required penalty and Silverstone, when he drove off the track to pass Kubica. He was just victim of circumstances in those races – yet he clearly won a manipulated race at Hockenheim and was more than happy to do so.

    Hamilton made an unecessary mistake at a crucial point in Monza, one of the few races where his car had the speed possibly to win. It's possible he may have salvaged something more from Japan had he not crashed in prcactice.

    Button hasn't been a crasher but he just has not been at the sharp end since winning those two lottery races early in the season. In the second-half of the season he qualified on the front row once and finished higher than Hamilton only when the latter retired or had a problem.

    I guess my point is, who actually deserves this championship? As it stands, Alonso has won more races than anyone and has the clear momentum but Hamilton has arguably got more out of his car than anyone else… just a shame the McLaren has not been as quick as the Red Bull nor had the all-round ability of the Ferrari.

    So, although it would be good to see a new face – Webber's – as champion, Alonso and Hamilton (provided he can win at least one of the last two races) are my two choices for most deserving of the title. I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that had either of them had a Red Bull underneath them, the title would have been wrapped up by now… but it wouldn't have been nearly as exciting!

  • Comment number 26.

    24. At 10:58am on 04 Nov 2010, Gavelaa wrote:
    Does anyone think that McLaren could have a large advantage in Sector 3?

    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    I don't think they will. Maybe a small advantage but not enough to make up for their deficiencies around the rest of the lap.

    They were supposed to blow everyone away on the long straights in Korea, but weren't even as fast as Ferrari in the first sector.

  • Comment number 27.

    Here's what'll happen in Sao Paulo on Sunday:

    Dodgy
    Red Bulls to take front row and lead off
    Hamilton and Alonso take eachother out on first lap
    Button chases
    Vettel's pit crew mess up thier stop and put Vettel well down
    Webber, under pressure, makes mistakes to let Button past

    End result -
    1. Button
    2. Kubica
    3. Webber

    Nice

  • Comment number 28.

    I wonder if Max Mosely will come and condemn this if it happens?

    Or does typical British self-righteous hypocrisy dictate that such condemnation only applies to Johnny Foreigner (ie Ferrari)?

  • Comment number 29.

    Here's what'll happen in Sao Paulo on Sunday:

    Alonso engine (last one) will blow up in qualifying in Q1 and he will be at the back of the grid. Alonso crashes into Massa after a "misunderstanding" when FM is ordered to move aside for his team mate.

    Webber will get pole but will make a mistake letting Vettel through however Webber will wipe them both out as Vettel passes him.

    1. Button
    2. Kobayashi (wouldn't that be great)
    3. Timo Glock

    It was all in a dream I had last night.

  • Comment number 30.

    #16 and #23:

    Compare Lewis' qualifying record to Jenson's. Compare the position's they've finsihed in all the races they've both finished - therefore taking out reliability/bad luck etc.
    Bar Lewis' error in Monza, he has not made any other - Singapore was appalling bad luck (and I wont re-start the whole "fault" issue against Webber again, lets put it to bed).
    If Button's a world class driver, it wouldnt matter about "a new team". Last year, Brawn was effectively a new team. Just because Alonso is clear no. 1 at Ferrari, doesnt make any difference - he was out performing his team-mate, well before the Hungary incident, the only occasion where Massa has actually challenged Alonso!!
    Vettel was clear no. 1 at Red Bull earlier in the season too dont forget, so that excuse doesnt really wash.

    Do you honestly believe, that if say Hamilton and Alonso were in the Red Bull's this season, and Webber and Vettel at Mclaren and Ferrari (whichever way around), that this chapionship would still be a 5-way fight?? not a chance!!

    Hence why I say, the only 2 world class drivers are Lewis and Alonso.

  • Comment number 31.

    @15 Foaad

    Vettel has made at least four errors this season.

    He was completely at fault for the shunt in Turkey (although Webber did squeeze him rather unecessarily).

    He refused let Webber go at the start at Silverstone, thus leaving himself open to attack from Hamilton. He got the puncture trying to close the door too late. From then on he had a very messy race and was lucky to survive the numerous collisions on his fight back through the field.

    Hungary. Safety car was a silly mistake, he should have known the rules, so how else would you decribe it?

    Button at Spa, as you admitted.

    He was also lucky not to be penalised for the needlessly aggressive pitlane incident with Hamilton in China. I would have said it was 50/50 were it not for more than a full car's width between Vettel and the pit wall.

  • Comment number 32.

    "And this season has displayed just what a different level Lewis is on compared to Button in ability terms."

    At the beginning of the season I might have agreed. But Button has shown himself to be more than capable of competing. What he lacks in out-and-out speed he makes up with a cooler head. Lewis is good when things are going right, but plain reckless when the pressure is on with a habit of getting a rush of blood at the critical moment. You can't just discard these flaws when comparing the two drivers, too many retirements have been driver errors.

    Meanwhile Alonso has a cool head with the raw speed, which is what makes him a cut above all the rest.

  • Comment number 33.

    It's a credit really to both Hamilton and Button that they've been able to remain in the championship hunt for so long, given that Mclaren has consistantly failed to match the pace of first Red Bull and then Ferrari.

    A ton of credit is due Ferrari's way if Alonso wins as they've been the ones to really pull their socks up and deliver a better performance, while Red Bull in turn tried their best to torpedo their chances despite superior technology in turn.

  • Comment number 34.

    If Hamilton and Alonso were in the Red Bull they would take each other out in every race! :)

    So no it wouldn't be a 5-way fight.

    Last year Brawn were a new team in name only.

  • Comment number 35.

    @ 29

    Too much caipirinha for you last night?!

    I reckon Alonso may well suffer engine failure this season to end his championship (It does happen to Ferrari - recall Barrichello retiring from Interlagos whilst leading in 2003)

  • Comment number 36.

    Best F1 season in years, and well done to the top five drivers.....go Hammy show them you are the best.

  • Comment number 37.

    Brazil will decide who the final two contenders are? I personally would have loved to see the final three to be Webber Button and Hamilton

  • Comment number 38.

    Great concise rules for who can win and how - I wonder if Legard will have any clue come Sunday... if he doesn't have this kind of prep to hand I'm listening to the R5 commentary in the future; hes awful.

  • Comment number 39.

    # 32.
    -----
    Lewis has made one error - Monza. Singapore was not his error - he was a car length in front. at worst it was a racing incident that Lewsi was highly unlucky to lose out in - rear suspension against front (which backs up the fact it wasnt his fault). The fact Jenson is in touch, is purely down to Lewis' bad luck - as I said, without the team decision and Webber hitting him in Oz, the puncture in Spain, and the engine failure in Hungary, he would be well clear of the rest at this stage.
    You talk about the second half o fhte season, but other than Monza, Lewis has been ahead of his team mate everywhere as far as I can remember.

    You also slate Lewis for being reckless etc. and then heap praise on Alonso, who has made as many mistakes this season as anyone - and far more than Hamilton!! You are not making much sense.

  • Comment number 40.

    I agree, great analysis Andrew. It's certainly crunch time for all five.

    If Button can't do it, I'm rooting for Webber (Webber deserves it, and to prove that he truly isn't bad for a number 2 driver). I'm not really a Hamilton fan and Vettel has become a terror(particularly around Button).

    As for Alonso, he wouldn't be right for him to win considering the whole Team Orders thing (but then again, who's never won a championship without team orders involved in some way).

    All the same, I'm looking forward to Brazil. Brazil is one of my favourite races, there's been some good races there and good moments too (including last year when Button won the title).

  • Comment number 41.

    #34 - bit of a silly comment really isnt it?

    And the brawn car was comepletely different to the one Jenson drove the season before, so this whole "new team" thing is a non-starter for me, as said, Alonso has done the same.

  • Comment number 42.

    webber does not deserve to be a world champion webber world champion are you having a laugh

  • Comment number 43.

    @40 my comment was flippant in response to your bias.

    I don't get your comment about the Brawn car but you seem to really have it in for JB. Last year he took the chance that was offered to him after sticking with the team through uncertain times.

    For the record I don't think JB has a chance but you can't blame him for trying. Lewis is good enough to pull back the pts difference especially since Ferrari have engine issues and Red Bull have reliability issues.

    But Lewis has been the architect of his own misfortune a few times (not just this year) and perhaps needs to have a more level-headed approach at times to gaurentee SOME points rather than gamble MORE points.

    I support JB and LH equally and one of the things I like is that they are chalk and cheese in terms of style.



  • Comment number 44.

    Oops. My previous comment should have been directed to #41 not #40.

  • Comment number 45.

    #43 - apologies, cannot distinguish between tone's on a post unfortunately, but on a serious note, all joking aside, Lewis and Alonso would be so far ahead of the rest if they had such a superior car, it would be unfair. :)

    On the LH to JB thing, I support JB as much as LH. And I think it would be even better if he came back to win the title than if Lewis did, purely due to the current points deficit.

    What I took exception to, is the fact that Legard called all 5 drivers world class (I'm treating this in F1 comparison terms, as IMO anyone in F1 is a world class driver), when MW and SV havent won a world title, and as with my point above, havent blitzed the rest this season with an unbelievable car. And JB has been consistently outperformed by LH, and for Lewis to still be in 3rd, after never having the best car with the exception of Canada & Spa, and having 3 DNF's that were not his fault, just shows what an absolutely top drawer driver he is.

    Alonso and Hamilton are streets ahead of their rivals.

  • Comment number 46.

    I think the lack of fresh engines may play a very important part in these races. Both the Red Bull drivers and Alonso are going to be using engines that are near the end of their expected lives and that may affect their qualifying pace as well as race reliability. They may not want use the most aggressive engine map for qualifying just to keep more life in the engine for the race. So it is possible that Hamilton may be the favorite after Brazil, if he wins and the engine issue comes into play.

  • Comment number 47.

    this could be the drivers championship after the final race

    Alonso 239
    Button 239
    Webber 237
    Vettel 236
    Hamilton 236

    how close would that be!!!!!

  • Comment number 48.

    Kobayashi for the win!

    (Just wanted to lighten the mood.....)

  • Comment number 49.

    @MaccauBlue

    Dont forget that in Turkey he would have been on pole if not for another car issue. In Silverstone all the cars on "dirty side" got a slingshot and how can Vettel look after his rear tyre and avoid a puncture, in Hungary he was fully aware of rules but got no message of safety car coming in, as he said he could close the gap in couple of corners but the team neither informed him of SC coming in, nor asked Webber to slow down thus exposing vettel to a penalty.

  • Comment number 50.

    #46 - another good point, although I think Webber's is actually the freshest of anyone's...could of course be wrong. Alonso is the one in most danger on that front as his last engine has done some serious mileage.

    Funnily enough after my debate with Bart - Button could be in the best shape engine wise, as he didnt really use much of his engine's capability in Korea. ;-)

    Does anyone know what the exact engine situation is? I.e. when they took their last engine, and what races it has done? It will certainly add an air of uncertainty with the heat of Abu Dhabi, and that incredible long straight there!

    Also at some point, I think all the teams have had some sort of gearbox issue- what detriment would a 10 place penalty be at this point of the season?!

  • Comment number 51.

    @45 - Legard is just fulfilling the Murray Walker role of unbounded enthusiasm. We don't need to take his gushing literally.

    He only really annoys me when he cuts across the insightful Martin Brundle who is always worth listening to.

    I'd like to see MB getting a button to enable/disable JL's mike so he is only allowed to speak when MB has nothing to say.

  • Comment number 52.

    #49 - In Turkey, he took his team-mate out. In Spa he took Button out. IN situations wher ehe ahs been in traffic, he has made errors, or looked very very ragged.

    The safety car incident - did he not notice the big flashing lights on top of the car stop flashing????!! Bit worrying for someone who drives a car at 200mph for a living!

  • Comment number 53.

    Andrew's done the numbers solidly so I won't bother with those.

    Predicting individual Grand Prix is a mugs game - the smart money in F1 never goes down the bookies.

    I definately want the title to go down to the wire as the alternative is for Alonso to win the title in Sao Paulo! No thanks.

    Of course I want my guys to still be in the mixer in Abu Dubai, fingers crossed though.

    What's stopping this combo?

    Lewis
    Jenson
    Webber
    Vettel
    Alonso

    Call me a dreamer but as Murray Walker says "anything can happen in Formula 1 and it usually does.

  • Comment number 54.

    @48 - I'm with you on that one.

    Go Kamui!

    (The caipirinhas are on me if he wins)

  • Comment number 55.

    #51 - LOL, that would be great, he does tend to speak some rubbish. Did you cath the bit in Korea, where Brundle said someone has gone off, and JL continued for about five minutes talking about his team mate going off until MB corrected him - painful viewing. lol

    I tell you who I'd like to see in the commentary box for a live race - Karun! He was superb doing the practice at Monza - really enjoyed his insight, and he seemed really natural on the commentary front with it too! anyone else agree - we could start an F1 blog campaign! :)

  • Comment number 56.

    "Singapore was not his error - he was a car length in front."

    Not really the point. It was a stupid and overly risky move when he should've been thinking about the bigger picture. He didn't need to perform a high risk overtaking move where an accident was possible.

    It's no good taking the moral high ground and complaining about who was to blame afterwards, it's not going to get back the points that were lost, that's the point.

  • Comment number 57.

    Heh. At the start of the season I said to my partner that Alonso would win the first race, and would win the championship. Throughout the season it has always seemed that this wouldn't come true, but he's coming good at the right time...

    I actually can't wait. I still have a day and a half of work to get through, whilst looking forward to Brazil, and then Abu Dhabi. I actually think that out of all the drivers, whoever wins from here will deserve it!

  • Comment number 58.

    #56 - What's the point in F1 if the drivers arent going to try and overtake each other?! Imagine if he hadnt attempted it (and therefore we wouldnt ever know it wouldnt have worked), and he then lost the title by a point......that's the difference between the top drivers and the good one's. They make the moves, they take the risks.

    And really - if thats a "stupid and overly risky move", then the motor racing world is really not a good place at the minute is it! If you can get your full car length in front of your competitor BEFORE the braking zone, then that is a GOOD move. I've said beofre - I think, because of the circumstances, Webber was OTT in his defence of that move - he was never going to get back past without taking Lewis out, or forcing him wide off the track.

  • Comment number 59.

    @42 - Why doesn't Webber deserve to be Champion? He's been extremely unlucky in F1, plus unlike Vettel and Hamilton (and probably even Button and Alonso) he won't have another chance like this again (probably not even in 2011). A bit like if Damon Hill hadn't become Champion in 96, he wouldn't have had another chance (but thankfully, he won that year).

    @51 - I agree with you about Legard, he's so boring. He makes Brundle sound rotten nowadays, Brundle was good alongside both Murray and even James Allen. But Brundle can be good when he's not being brought down by Legard's absolute trifle of nonsense, which has nothing to do with what's going on the track to what he's talking about.

  • Comment number 60.

    There is one more big twist to come. Most likely it will involve Alonso and Webber. I can see it happening. No way will the next two races run smoothly.

    There will be drama

  • Comment number 61.

    What a season!!!

    I think all 5 drivers involved in the title race are great, however Alonso and Hamilton are something else. In time I think Vettel will join their ranks but he just needs to grow up a bit. It seems that Alonso & Hamilton are still able to wrestle results out of thin air, despite their cars not always providing them the best chances.

    Webber & Button are top pros and deserve credit for taking their chances; especially Button who thoroughly deserved his title last year and has shown himself to be a great team player this one. I think he will help Hamilton this weekend; he knows it will reward him in the long run.

    I also follow the thoughts of #57; every year since 2004 (I believe) the winner of the 1st race has won the World Championship. I said before Bahrain that Alonso would be World Champion and unless something big happens he will be.

    However, my prediction for the race suggests some optimism for Abu Dhabi!

    1. Hamilton
    2. Kubica
    3. Button
    4. Massa
    5. Webber
    6. Rosberg

    DNF: Vettel & Alonso (collision)

  • Comment number 62.

    Benson finally we agree on something. Button has not got a hope in hell.

    @42 Your a disgrace why can't Webber be champion? Yes he has the best car on the grid but he is using it effectively. However I am concerned about his overall ability, you can't make mistakes like he did e.g. Crashing out in Korea

    @42 & 59 I totally agree with you both, Legard is the most annoying commentator that F1 has ever had. I say bring back James Allen, because even though he was so biased towards Hamilton, his crazy outbursts at least gave me a bit of entertainment. Check out the link below.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wif3Kr0y5js

  • Comment number 63.

    @62

    I agree, I was watching the Korean GP highlights on this website and the amount of mistakes and nonsensical pieces of information Legard comes out with is very irritating.

    The worst was thinking Rosberg had overtaken Hamilton despite Brundle repeatedly trying to correct him without being too harsh about it.

    Then, when Vettel's engine was blowing he was so obviously out of the race but Legard was rabbiting on about 'will this be a retirement as well?'. Same for the Webber incident, 'has he taken out Rosberg?', when blatantly Rosberg careered into Webber at 130mph.

  • Comment number 64.

    @ 61 Your prediction is ridiculous because McLaren will not be strong in Brazil and you know that, Benson knows that, Hamilton knows that, Button knows it and so does Martin Whitmarsh and the whole of the McLaren Mercedes team. Nice to see your wishful thinking however (in regards to the alonso, vettel collision)

    I personally just don't want Alonso to win as that would spoil what could be a great race in Abu Dhabi, instead of another dead rubber such as last year, when the worst ever World Champion won the title.

  • Comment number 65.

    #55

    Karun gets my vote too, I've really enjoyed some of his insights on the red button coverage - a bit like a younger version of Martin Brundle, I'm sure that all commentators have their cringe worthy moments but Legard seems to be setting new records in this area!!

  • Comment number 66.

    @63 Just a few examples of sheer idiocy from Legard. I'm glad that you can see my point, there are many more nonsensical moments that are surely about to come from him.

  • Comment number 67.

    Everyone ignore AFL and he might go away ;>

  • Comment number 68.

    #64 duly ignored

    Anyone else feel a little sorry for Honda last year - the year they pull out of F1 their cars win the championship with someone else's name on!

  • Comment number 69.

    @AFL

    I wouldn't say my prediction is ridiculous, I just didn't explain it well enough...

    Webber & Vettel qualify on the front row, Alonso & Kubica on the 2nd. At the first corner Webber catches Vettel's rear wheel, sending him into the direction of Alonso and both are off & out there and then. Webber suffers a damaged front wing and has to pit. In avoiding the incident Kubica has to back off and a fast starting Hamilton (5th on the grid) finds his way through the wreckage to lead. Webber recovers to 5th as he runs a long 2nd stint on the 2nd tyre compond but cannot get close to Hamilton or Kubica. Button is slower than Massa but the Brazilian cannot get past, and whilst Webber gets close he cannot make it into 4th. I'm sure you'll agree it makes perfect sense now!

    Here's hoping anyway...

  • Comment number 70.

    @62 - That's the only thing I like about Legard, he's not so biased towards one driver (whilst James Allen and even Steve Rider were both so biased towards Hamilton, it was like they were both his Boyfriend or something because they went on and on which got annoying).

    I'd admit, James Allen's outburst when Button won his first race with Honda was classic, because Button suffered so much negativity from the Press and proved he can be a race winner (and has proven he can be a World Champion)

    Legard never did anything like that when Button clinched the title last year. Murray knew how to do great outbursts, his included humour; particularly when Damon won in 96: "And I've got to stop, cause I've got a lump in my throat." No one can ever forget that line moment from Murray.

    I'd like to see the Guys who do the Practise Commentators do be the main Broadcast-Commentators, they have so much more enthusiasm, excitement and comment on everything happening on the track from: 'a Yellow flag being shown, someone going off in the background'. Legard doesn't do that, with him it's talks with EJ, DC and Ted (with the exception of Ted, we don't really need to hear EJ and DC during the race too).

    Though I prefer Lee Mckenzie to them all anyday, she's lovely; whilst Murray was always been in a league of his own (no matter who his commentry partners have been, catchy-catch phrases and mistakes: 'Unless I'm very much mistaken').

  • Comment number 71.

    @32 SleepingSpurs

    Lewis is good when things are going right, but plain reckless when the pressure is on with a habit of getting a rush of blood at the critical moment. You can't just discard these flaws when comparing the two drivers, too many retirements have been driver errors.

    Meanwhile Alonso has a cool head with the raw speed, which is what makes him a cut above all the rest.

    ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

    So, Alonso has a cool head?…

    Like when he jump-started the race in China?

    Like when he binned it at Monaco, destroying his chances of a good race?

    Like when he made a schoolboy error, getting caught-out by a backmarker, allowing Hamilton to pass for the lead in Canada?

    Like when he messed up his pass on Kubica at Silverstone, didn't give the place back and rightfully earned a drive-through penalty?

    Like when he stuffed it at Spa with no-one to blame but himself?

    Hmmm! A very cool head…

    Hamilton: messed up big time at Monza. Was taken out by Webber in Singapore – why that was even 50% attributable to Hamilton remains a mystery – it was a bona fide pass which Webber wasn't going to allow.

    Hamilton: Crashed in practice for Japan but still qualified faster than Button and was running ahead of him when his gearbox gave in.

    So where does the 'plain reckless' and the 'too many retirements from driver errors' come from?

    At least get facts correct if you're going to be opinionated. And if you're voting the best driver being based solely on having a cool head, then Button is undisputed champion, not Alonso. But we know that Button has just not been quick enough most of the time.

    Of the five drivers still in with a chance, it is actually Alonso who has made the most mistakes this season.


  • Comment number 72.

    @67 Justify your comment. I believe that I'm talking absolute sense, so I want to know why I should be ignored.

  • Comment number 73.

    Hi all,

    Thanks for all your comments so far. I've noted your observations about those small errors and have tweaked them. Sorry about that - my wife always says I'm rubbish at maths.

  • Comment number 74.

    @72 it's not what you way but how you say it. Ok

  • Comment number 75.

    @ 74 I appreciate that I may be seen as outspoken but I still need full justification as to I'm getting on people's wick, I'm just having my say.

    Anyway I don't care who wins the race whether it is Kubica or Vettel. Just as long as Alonso does not win

    @70 You make a very good point regarding Rider and Allen

  • Comment number 76.

    Amongst the fray, it nice to see Karun Chandok getting a few complimentary mentions.
    Karun is also very well respected out here in East and has shared F1 commentary with ESPN/Starsports Steve Slater, and been a regular contributor to the F1 race coverage beamed from Singapore.
    A talented racer, who now needs a halfway decent car underneath him to prove a point or two, next year.
    Just hope his Dad gets the Indian F1 track completed in time. No more still embryonic track surfaces, like the Koreans had, please Papa!

  • Comment number 77.

    @75 - I just didn't think you should call someones prediction ridiculous - or alternatively you should call all predictions ridulous. No-one knows what will happen.

    "Sheer idiocy" - you may not like Legard and he may make mistakes but calling it sheer idiocy is rather OTT don't you think?

    "the worst ever World Champion won the title." - Are you suggesting Jenson Button is entitled to one of Schumi's records ;)

  • Comment number 78.

    @Macaublue
    Thank you for posting three comments that basically say exactly what I wanted to say.
    I am in complete agreement that the RB6 is the main reason Vettel and Webber are where there are. I would agree that Hamilton and Alonso would have wrapped up the season if they were shacked up with Adrian Newey. Alonso is favourite to win the championship, how much of a failure of RB is that if Alonso given their complete dominance throughout the season. Three other drivers I would include in the 'would probably have wrapped it up already' group are Kubica, Rosberg and Kobayashi.
    I detest Alonso, but I would rather he win it that Webber or Vettel, as I think they simply do not deserve it as drivers.
    Let's hope Lewis pulls something out of the bag!

  • Comment number 79.

    I support Alonso as a driver and Mclaren as a team. It's a bit tiring to keep on hearing that Alonso is only winning because he is the number 1 driver in Ferrari and gets priority over Massa. I think if anyone believes that Hamilton is not the number 1 driver at Mclaren and Vettel is not the number 1 at RB, they are dellusional.

    Secondly, people who are saying that if Alonso or Hamilton were at RB, the championship would have been decided by now. I seriously doubt it. All drivers (maybe except Button) have made quite a few errors this season. Furthermore, Alonso and Hamilton would not have been able to do anything about RB reliability issues (well maybe Alonso would have, since he is generally quite involved in the development of the car but still).

    Lastly, whoever wins the WDC (be it Alonso, Webber, Hamilton, Vettel or Button) would deserve it. We should stop trying to come up with useless reasons, why these great sportsmen don't deserve to win.

  • Comment number 80.

    Hello. Does any driver have a worse rate than Vettel for converting poles into wins (or podiums) during a season or cumulatively?

  • Comment number 81.

    #71 :)!! Well said. Glad I'm not the only one who sees things like that - especially the Singapore incident.

  • Comment number 82.

    @77 Ok, I accept your justification on everything but the Jenson Button comment. Can you seriously say that Jenson Button is worthy of a World Championship. His performance in this season's championship says it all. He only won because of the fact that his car was in so many ways superior to the others. Just look at his record for the previous years (excluding the years with that horrific 'earth' honda) and he hasn't really got must to shout about

  • Comment number 83.

    @75 - Thanks for agreeing with me about Legard.

    @80 - In 95, Damon Hill kind of did that. He'd take pole, then something happen during the race for him to lose it due to retirement, collision or even to Schumacher during the pit stops (but I'd still consider Damon one my favourite drivers, along with Button and a few others).

    But Vettel goes crazy with pole positions, I think he gets too eager and enthusiastic about them that it all goes pair-shaped in the race (with the exception of two races this year).

    @82 - Don't forget, Honda had already started work on the 09 car during the 08 season. Plus I think it was good for Button then with the breath of fresh air, after two crap years with two crap cars and so much praise and attention from the media going to Hamilton.

    Plus don't forget the regulations had changed drastically for the 09 seaon, where teams like McLaren, Ferrari, Renualt and BMW Sauber were struggling; Honda (now then Brawn) and Red Bull rose to the top compared to where they were during the 08 season. So it was generally lack of the draw, and look where Red Bull and Button are now (if anyone said in 2008 that in two years time Button would be World Champion and that Red Bull would be having pole positions, winning races and being in contention of the both Titles they'd be laughing).

  • Comment number 84.

    #82 - Yes, I think he is worthy of his championship. When he has a good car he does well. Last year he took the opportunity that was presented to him. Compare his record against his team-mates over all seasons and he generally does well.

    He had good form in 2004 and came 3rd in WDC with plenty of podiums and had a win in 2006.

    I think he's been somewhat unlucky in his career but has come good once again. He has served his time at the back of the grid and his perseverance has paid off.



  • Comment number 85.

    Gents;

    A) I'm glad I am not the only one who finds Legard unacceptable. Please BBC find someone else or indeed fit the Martin Brundle microphone with a KERS over ride. Martin remains the only presenter with any integrity, and he NEVER SPECULATES.

    B) When I look back over recent years I find the raikonnen, jaques villenueve and damon hill etc. championships unpalatable. I can't shake the feeling that the button championship will feel the same in some years time, and that a webber championship though somehow feeling 'deserved' will be found equally so.
    I would much rather see an extra WDC added to a true great's tally such as Hamilton's or Alonso's than to see yet another very good but not exceptional driver win it once, just because of a temporary exceptional car advantage.

    C) If the media is to be believed, Alonso is becoming increasingly paranoid. If such fears were stated in a psychotherapy session instead of in the press, a specialist could have real grounds for a diagnosis of delusional psychoses.

  • Comment number 86.

    @85 - I totally agree about Legard, someone like Ben Edwards would be a good replacement for Legard. Edwards and Brundle would be decent, it'll be that inbetween factor of Brundle/Walker and Brundle/Allen.

    As for part B. those those championships from Villenueve and Hill were won by incidents from their championship contenders. E.g. Villenueve lost his wheel in 96 for Hill to win (not matter what would have happened to Hill), and Schumacher tried to take Villenueve out in 97 and failed miserably. while Raikkonen won in 07 when Hamilton suffered problems in Brazil and despite two retirements he remained consistent (along with Hamilton and Alonso).

    I also noticed (which I don't want to say) but since 06, the person won the first race went on to win the WDC (but that has also happened in the past before hand, such as 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 98, and the majority of the early 2000s except for: 03 and 05.

  • Comment number 87.

    All you Hamilton fan boys seem to forget very conveniently while bashing everyone else your hero almost blew it at Spa when he missed the barrier by fractions of an inch during his off road excursion. He even admitted it was his mistake...
    Get some perspective! If you unload on everyone else by pointing out their mistakes, don't forget Lewis is far from perfect and suffers from brain fade as much as the next driver. The only leading driver with a clean record in that respect in JB, but he lack overall speed when his car is not 100% to his liking. He should have won Monza but for sloppy pit work..
    Nope, I'm NOT a JB be fan, but credit where credit is due to both Mclaren drivers.
    The strongest candidate must be MW- if he doesn't blow it. Chances are quite good that Alonso will either loose an engine and not finish in one of the two remaining races, or require a new one and take a 10 place penalty..
    Now that would put the cat among the pigeons...

  • Comment number 88.

    I agree with some of the comments above in regard to Jenson Button's worthiness to the WDC. He has, in my opinion struggled big-time with the Mclaren compared to Lewis Hamilton. To be honest, the two drivers are worlds apart. Lewis can get the maximum performance from a horse-drawn-cart, whereas Jenson wants and needs everything with the car to be "perfect"......for me Lewis would deserve the WDC more than anyone the year, his Mclaren has by no means been up to scatch.....and has therfore, had to take more risks, and push harder which has resulted in the mistakes we have seen from him. That said, Lewis with a good car is simply ..."unstoppable".

  • Comment number 89.

    @cheatinggermanslag
    Has any other driver had worse luck when leading, noticably 2 engine issues, one wheel nut failure, one puncture from behind? If it werent for them, he would have won atleast 6 races, Alonso only 3 (thanks to his team mate).

  • Comment number 90.

    Hey, go to vote Rookie of the year on http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/87910
    I hope Kamui Kobayashi will win 2010 Motor Sport's Rookie of the year. I think he deserved it.

  • Comment number 91.

    #59 Why doesn't Webber deserve to be Champion? He's been extremely unlucky in F1, plus unlike Vettel and Hamilton (and probably even Button and Alonso) he won't have another chance like this again (probably not even in 2011).
    _________________________________________________________________________
    Alonso is not going to have another chance to win a WDC?
    This is really funny. He just arrived Ferrari and eveybody knows he is very good developing cars. He has the strenght and attitude of a champion so I don't think there is any reason to not win in the future.

    He was not lucky since 2006 (team not supporting him in 2007 and bad car 2008 and 2009).

    But now, he has a competitive team, a good car, big sponsors and the most important thing, the team and italian fans are devoted to him so watch him and see what happens...

  • Comment number 92.

    Why is it that poor old Jenson Button is always put down by fans on Andrew's blogs?!? I certainly do not think he deserves to be regarded as one of the worst World Champs. So many drivers have been blessed with better cars but have not taken advantage of it (Vettel/Webber take note). He had never had a realistic chance of winning the championship before 2009 but when his chance came around he nailed it. As ever with our plucky Brits he didn't always make it easy (see Hamilton in 2007 & 2008 for this as well) but at least he took his chance.

    Right, Button rant over.

    It's a fact of life - generally the guy with the best car wins the world championship. This year it looks as though it will be different: exactly the reason why I have loved this season!!! Bring on Sunday :)

  • Comment number 93.

    There is a Spanish kid in my year for this year and all we talk about is alonso!! Come on Fernando and come on Ferrari!!!

  • Comment number 94.

    @89
    I'm not attacking Vettel. I am only interested in the statistics.

    (Please don't tether me with the uninformed, biased majority of forum members!)

    As for WDC unluckiness, see Mansell, N.

  • Comment number 95.

    @86
    Last time out Legards drivel reached an all time low. His capacity for overstating the most irrelevant tat is unsurpassed, but to blank out mr. Brundle with it on so many occasions is unforgivable.

    On the same note, mr. Jordan is incapable of beginning a response without the word "well..."

    Christian Horner is addicted to "yeah, no..."

    And that self absorbed idiot that 'hosts' R5 continually forgoes punctuation in favour of copious random mid-sentence spatterings of "uuuuuhhh" as if to increase the gravity of his commentary without actually adding to it's relevance. I love when karun is there as well, as his observations are a masterclass in what to pay attention to during free practice, while the host looks out of the wrong window and commentates on the view or the journey to the track.

  • Comment number 96.

    IMO it's realistically down to Alonso or Webber. When you look at the maths the other drivers, especially Button and Vettel, need a lot to go their way to win.

  • Comment number 97.

    "What's the point in F1 if the drivers arent going to try and overtake each other?! Imagine if he hadnt attempted it (and therefore we wouldnt ever know it wouldnt have worked), and he then lost the title by a point......that's the difference between the top drivers and the good one's. They make the moves, they take the risks."

    No the drivers who take the risks end up in the wall or in the kitty litter and throw championships away. If world titles were awarded to the most daring drivers Montoya would now be dominating F1 today. I'm not saying that it's a good thing, but it's a fact.

  • Comment number 98.

    A lot of unfair comments with regard to Vettel. True, he has made a couple of mistakes under pressure this year, but apart from Button, who is still in contention only because of this, all the contenders have done the same. In fact, the biggest mistakes have been by Webber, who ironically is also the driver with the most finishes.

    You have to give the guy some credit for his youth and Vettel has impressed more than he has disappointed over the 3 seasons that he´s been in F1. He has lost at least 75 clear points through car problems, and Kubica, Alonso, Hamilton, Rosberg, Button would be in exactly the same place with the Red Bull. Adrian Newey designs cutting edge, brilliant cars, but they are more often than not over-stressed and lose to more reliable cars.

  • Comment number 99.

    IMO C.Horner has made a few unfair comments on Webber, and it very much looks and sounds like RBR favour the German Vettel as their NO.1 driver........and their (future) WDC.

  • Comment number 100.

    with alonso (231 pts), webber (220 pts) and vettel (206 pts), here's a possibility on the points tally...

    alonso: 231 + 10 + 15 = 256
    webber: 220 + 18 + 18 = 256
    vettel: 206 + 25 + 25 = 256

    giving alonso and vettel 5 wins, 2 second places, 3 third places each and webber 4 wins (correct me if i'm wrong).

    in such a case, what is the tie-breaker between alonso and vettel?

 

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