Monday, October 29, 2012


The season is now fast approaching its conclusion with the Abu Dhabi race this weekend. This will be a back-to-back race weekends, from India to Abu Dhabi in the space of a week. The rush could be seen on TV last weekend as soon as the celebrations were over on the podium, the packers moved in to immediately pack everything to be shipped out. Martin Brundle and crew were almost run down by the packers.

We now have 3 races to go - Abu Dhabi, Austin and Interlagos. This has been a good season, quite fast I must say. Although it looked to be a long one when we first started early this year, it now seems too fast. I'm dreading the end really, the winter seems too long until March again next year.

So, how has the season been then? And most importantly, who is going to win the drivers championship? It was quite open from the start of the year with different drivers winning races and the competition was spread out. Then in the middle of the year, Alonso pulled out a strong lead over everyone else. There was a sense of relief actually that this year Vettel won't be so dominant and simply bore us to death.

Then came Singapore. Red Bull made some changes to their car which was tested there under everybody's noses and the result was a dominant run starting from Japan until last weekend's race in India. Vettel has won 4 races back to back so far. Red Bull have locked out the front row in qualifying 3 times back to back in the last 3 races. Red Bull is so dominant right now that it's hard to not believe that they will take both world championships again.

If that happens, then Vettel will become the youngest triple world champion in the history of the sport. And if Red Bull and Adrian Newey continue going at this rate, Vettel could match Michael Schumacher's record of 7 world championships. And the rest of us will have another 4 years of cursing at the finger and losing interest in the sport we love. McLaren is also not helping to take away points from red Bull by having a car that is fiddly during qualifying and the race. If they don't fix the car for the next few races, it will be a walk in the park for Red Bull.

But lets not forget Fernando Alonso who remains defiant. He is the still the only driver left who is realistically possible to challenge Vettel and win the championship as well, making him a triple world champion as well. His car is not the fastest or strongest but the last 2 races have showed that Ferrari have improved the car, so much so that it has proved a match for the McLarens in the race. Even though in qualifying the Ferrari is no match for the McLaren but we saw at the start of the Indian GP how strong Alonso was able to overtake both McLarens.

And Felipe Massa also showed the good race pace of the Ferrari when he harried Button and kept Raikonnen behind him for almost the whole race. The only thing keeping him at bay was his need to conserve fuel, the proof being him having to stop on the track after the race was over.

So who is gonna win it then? The logic at the moment would say Vettel as the RB8 is fast, has good downforce and is strong. But the more interesting option and one that many people are hoping for (even anti Alonso fans and other teams/drivers' fans) is that Fernando Alonso would somehow be able to wrestle that Ferrari to fight Vettel at each one of the last 3 races. Maybe we could have 2008 all over again where the championship was decided at the last turn of the last lap in Brazil.

No comments: