Posted by Carrot on October 31, 2012 | No Comments
Although some mathematical possibilities may remain, Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen, it’s all but guaranteed that the title will now be fought between Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing and Fernando Alonso of Ferrari. As we head into Abu Dhabi, let’s look at the pros and cons for each contender.
Vettel has just about every advantage at the moment. He has the lead in the table, momentum, the fastest qualifying car and a team mate that is hindering his opposition. If we look at his previous championship winning years, it’s clear that he always finishes the title race strongly. With this historical form, a lead in the table and the tracks that remain, it’d be a brave man that would bet against him.
Alonso on the other hand is a distinguished battler when it comes to winning championships. While Vettel could have coasted to last year’s title such was the strength of his car, Alonso has never had an easy title victory. He’s the only man on the grid to beat an on form Michael Schumacher to a crown, and Raikkonen in an Adrian Newey designed car. He also has no reverse gear, not his car but his determination. If we remember how Ferrari started this year, almost no-one would have put money on him being one of the final two contenders, but his constant ability to drag the car higher than it should be and maximising the scoring opportunities has put him in this position.
Ultimately it will be development that will determine the outcome of the championship, the team that gives their driver the best tool to collect points will always stand a better chance of victory. With the almost messianic figure of Adrian Newey on the side of Red Bull and Ferrari’s recent recurring wind tunnel problems, the advantage goes to the Milton Keynes team.
In all, Vettel should take the crown and become only the third driver in F1 history to win three championships in a row. However you can never write off Fernando Alonso. All it will take is one DNF or mechanical failure from Vettel to give Alonso that psychological edge. It’ll be this weekend in Abu Dhabi, a place Red Bull have traditionally been strong, that will ultimately decide if Vettel will coast to a third successive crown or whether it’ll go all the way to the wire in Brazil.