Vettel vs Alonso: May the best man win

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing and Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing in the press conference. Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Indian Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, New Delhi, India, Race, Sunday 28 October 2012.

Either Fernando Alonso or Sebastian Vettel will be 2013 F1 world champion at the end of the Brazilian GP

Nov.25 (GMM) Although McLarens hog the front row for the Brazilian GP, the focus is further down the grid as the 2012 Formula One World Drivers’ Championship reaches its zenith on race-day at Interlagos with a showdwon between Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel.

Race winner Sebastian Vettel Red Bull during the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at Buddh International Circuit on October 28, 2012 in Noida, India.Red Bull‘s Vettel qualified fourth, behind teammate Mark Webber.

“It was not a perfect lap,” Dr Helmut Marko told German RTL television, “but we don’t absolutely have to win this race, we need to look out for Alonso.”

Triple world champion Niki Lauda said that he senses a “slight nervousness” about Vettel in Brazil.

But Ferrari‘s Fernando Alonso, who needs to finish several places higher than his rival to have any chance of winning the title, qualified just eighth, three places behind his teammate Felipe Massa.

The Spaniard has however moved up to seventh due to Pastor Maldonado’s penalty, and it is now rumoured that Ferrari could pull out its Austin-style gearbox ‘trick’ to penalise Massa again and promote Alonso to sixth.

“That is not one of our decisions, so there is no need to lose a thought on it,” said Vettel.

Race winner Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F2012 Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Race, Hockenheim, Germany, Sunday 22 July 2012.Massa said that it is unlikely, “We are not only fighting for the drivers’ title, we also need to think about McLaren and the constructors’ standings.”

It is however rumoured that Alonso has gambled on a more rain-oriented car setup, given the weather forecast for Sunday and his hopes for ensuing “chaos” at Interlagos.

“If I am to have any hopes for the title, it’s more plausible to count on a retirement for Vettel rather than for him to finish in a position where I can get ahead of him in the classification,” Alonso said.

He, and also Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali, denied that Massa could be tasked with taking team-play to extreme levels by ‘taking out’ Vettel.

“I’ve always been an honest person and an honest driver,” said Massa. “My limit is the limit of the regulations.”

And Vettel said he is not worried about being so close on the grid to Massa.

Fernando Alonso Sebastian Vettel“Well, there are always other cars around you at the start,” said the German. “It would be boring if it was just me on the grid.”

Vettel did admit that he is not expecting any help from his teammate Webber.

“We both drive our own races,” said the German.

To the dying moments, Alonso is still deploying ‘psychological’ tactics; the latest is the suggestion that Lewis Hamilton would be a tougher title challenger than Vettel.

“Winning against Hamilton in the same situation would be virtually impossible,” the Spaniard told Brazil’s Sportv television.

“Not only this year but throughout his career, he has showed that he can win both with a good car and a not-so-good car. But when Vettel is first, Mark Webber is second,” he added.

But at the end of the day, Vettel is the overwhelming favourite for Sunday.

“We don’t need good luck to win the title,” Red Bull team owner Dietrich Mateschitz told Salzburger Nachrichten, “we just need to not have bad luck.”

The title permutations are:

  • Vettel need finish only fourth to be champion even if the Ferrari driver wins.
  • Vettel can be champion before the race is finished if Alonso crashes out or retires at any point.
  • Vettel has won five races so far this season to Alonso’s three, which means that a tie on points will hand the title to the German on race wins.
  • Alonso must score at least 14 points if he is to be champion, which means he has to finish on the podium even if Vettel draws a blank.
  • Vettel Wins if he finishes in top four.
  • Vettel will be champion if he finishes seventh or higher and Alonso does not win.
  • Ninth place will do for Vettel if Alonso is no higher than third.
  • Alonso must finish on the podium to have a chance.

Subbed by AJN.

 

  • hillside

    the best man or best cheater wins

  • Steve Maximus

    Massa had no trouble crashing into Lewis 5 times last year…

  • Tony

    History would tell you that Alonso would go way beyond fair play to get his hands on the WDC. But to simply crash into Vettle (Schumacher style) wouldn’t do him any good if he goes out as well. To get his team mate to influence his position like in Singapore 2008 with Nelson Piquet Junior would have been an option but would Massa do this now? how many times would he be happy carrying his team mate and to do something like push Vettle off would undoubtedly end his career in the eyes of the FIA I’m sure.
    Let’s hope for every body’s sake that Alonso has finally matured and would not endorse such activities. Last weeks grid position shift has me wondering though!

  • McHare

    I’m sure the best man will win today. Only he’ll be driving a McLaren way into the distance!

  • ?

    @Tony
    I think if Alonso crashes to Vettel intentionally the title will be handed to Vettel….it’s in the rulebook.

  • jl

    Vettel wdc for sure. The best man.
    Alonso wdc? The best cheater off the track.

  • Tony

    ? … I was thinking more along the lines of getting Massa to take Vettle out. I would hope that wouldn’t even cross the minds of those at Ferrari but I wouldn’t put it passed Alonso to suggested that given his record!

  • ScuFer

    All those who feel that Alonso is a cheat should stop watching f1…..coz there’s no use….u ppl dont understand anything…..
    u ppl just support the guy who’s on top……knowing he’ll win….!!!!

  • Mr Klander

    ScuFer, then no one in Finland would watch F1 any more.

  • McHare

    ScuFer….. Are you even aware of Alonso’s rather checkered history when it comes to bending the rules? Not what you’d call a true sportsman now is he.

  • Tony

    ScuFer. My focus today is on McLaren overhauling Ferrari in the WDC. Next year I’ll be supporting Perez and Button in equal measures. Have done for 10s of years now. Ok not the most original choice of manufacturer but then Ferrari are the default team for newbies so at least I have some soul!

  • Alonso_is_slow

    Alonso is the most complete cheater in this field, no doubt about it. The incidents he was part of cannot be numbered. Instead of new titles for him people in reality should talk about if his previous titles should be taken away.

  • Butterfly

    @alonso_is_slow:

    Also, remember that incident with your mother…

  • John

    The best man won today.

    Everybody starts from zero next year. If Alonso drives cleanly, and Ferrari honestly have two racing drivers in the team, and Alonso wins the WDC then that’s all fair and good. I’ll quite happily congratulate him then.

    However, I have to say I think that unless Mercedes produce something amazing it’s going to be a Vettel / Alonso battle again. And I’d put money on Ferrari simply because they’ve been spending all this money on their top driver and not getting anywhere so pressure is on!