Alonso should have pace to take on Red Bull

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix preview

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Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, 2010

Abu Dhabi didn’t get its coveted title-deciding season finale last year. But it’s been paid back double this year, with four drivers contesting the championship in the final round for the first time in the sport’s history.

The outcome is not the foregone conclusion we saw in 2009. While Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso leads the drivers’ championship, Red Bull are favourites to win the race – but not by the same margin they had at Interlagos.

The F10 should be much more at home around the Yas Marina circuit. There are fewer of the long, sweeping corners where the RB6 can make its downforce advantage felt.

This is a circuit where a car’s braking and low-speed traction are put to the test, like Montreal and Singapore, where the F10 was particularly strong.

With Alonso needing second place to win the title the best thing Red Bull can do is lock out the front row of the grid and romp off into the Abu Dhabi sunset. They’ve finished one-two in two of the last three races and their drivers were occupying those positions in Korea when they went out.

For Alonso, splitting the Red Bulls in qualifying is his minimum goal for Saturday, giving him a shot at prising them apart on race day.

Vettel has dropped hints that he would move over to let Webber win the championship if he weren’t in a position to. What is much less clear is whether he’d hold up Alonso to give Webber a chance of catching him – a role one could easily see Massa performing at Ferrari if he had the opportunity.

The outsider

Lewis Hamilton’s infinitesimally small chance of winning the championship rests both on him winning the race (with a car that’s further off the pace now than at any other point in the season), and his rivals being afflicted by multiple misfortunes.

In short, he needs the kind of crazy, unpredictable race that Yas Marina is ill-equipped to provide.

Everything about the Yas Marina complex is lavish, ambitious and impressive, apart from the most important thing: the track. It is as conservative as they come: flat and wide and smooth, with slow corners leading into more slow corners. Nor is the local climate likely to provide any surprises.

But with its mammoth straights and heavy braking zones it should at least offer room for overtaking should the opportunity arise.

The other Ferrari

A significant unknown heading into the race weekend is what help Felipe Massa can offer Alonso, if any.

With Alonso potentially vulnerable on engine mileage (a high-mileage unit went pop in Interlagos) getting Massa among the Red Bulls would be invaluable.

He’s certainly ready to play his role, having been talking about “taking points off Alonso’s rivals” for several races. Webber will have to be even more circumspect than usual if he finds himself dicing for position with Massa.

Aside from Korea (where Ferrari slowed Massa to ensure he didn’t move ahead of Alonso during a safety car period), Massa has not had sufficient pace of late to offer any help, except perhaps as a backmarker.

The good news for him and Ferrari is that a softer mix of tyres are being used at Abu Dhabi this year compared. The prime tyre remains the medium compound, as last year, but the option tyre will be super-soft rather than soft.

The F10 is particularly kind to its tyres: recall how Alonso was able to nurse his intermediates at Korea and his strong pace in the latter stages at Interlagos.

Get ready for a weekend of high tension and, hopefully, a few dramatic twists. Abu Dhabi has got the championship finale it wanted, all that’s left is to see how it plays out.

Who do you think will win the race and lift the title this weekend? Have your say in the comments.

For more on the championship outcome see how F1???s first four-way title fight can be won and don’t forget to use the Championship Calculator to see how the title can be won.

Drivers to watch

The four championship rivals are obviously drivers to watch this weekend.

With that in mind, here are four other drivers to keep an eye on while the title contenders trade blows. Name your top picks in the comments.

Felipe Massa – As last week, he could play a pivotal role in the title outcome. Or he could qualify poorly, suffer a pit stop misfortune and then spend the rest of his race bouncing off backmarkers. A strong result could help Ferrari to second in the constructors’ championship ahead of McLaren.

Michael Schumacher – His season in the doldrums appears to be picking up as it nears its end. Yas Marina is another new track for him, so if he can put one over Nico Rosberg here he’d certainly end his comeback year on a high.

Nico Hulkenberg – The star of Saturday in Interlagos. He’s not likely to have the benefit of rain this weekend but he has a role to play in ensuring Williams hold onto the sixth place in the constructors championship they pinched off Force India last week.

Jaime Alguersuari – Although he’s turned the screw on his team mate luck’s not been on his side lately. Three consecutive 11th places mean he still hasn’t scored since the Spanish Grand Prix. Can he turn that around here?

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    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    114 comments on “Alonso should have pace to take on Red Bull”

    1. Koboyashi was great at Abu Dhabi last year…. if he likes the track as much this year he could be one of the middle runners to watch :)

      1. I doubt that the car is up there to challenge for even top 10 qualifying but some good strategy may see him up there.

    2. For Alonso, splitting the Red Bulls in qualifying is his minimum goal for Saturday, giving him a shot at prising them apart on race day.

      Vettel has dropped hints that he would move over to let Webber win the championship if he weren’t in a position to. What is much less clear is whether he’d hold up Alonso to give Webber a chance of catching him – a role one could easily see Massa performing at Ferrari if he had the opportunity.

      I’m looking for a strong Massa this weekend, he really needs to be in the top 3 or 4 in qualifying. I think that Fred would love a 1,2 Ferrari victory no matter what the position of the finish is.

      1. Felipe Baby Stay Cool
        11th November 2010, 14:09

        Yeah, sure, a Felipe Massa win – Fernando Alonso 2p would be sweet, and a win is owed to Felipe (but I wouldn’t like Fernando handing it over to him too obviously, as Schuey did to Rubens). Better yet it the Maccas end up badly and they lose the 2P in the WCC (unlikely but possible)

        1. As much as I would like to see Felipe up there this weekend, I need to keep my hopes in check. Massa has been trying his best to compete with the Red Bulls and help Fernando ever since Singapore, and so far he has been nothing but disappointing.

          1. But the climate of Abu Dhabi should minimise his tire issues. He was after all pretty strong at Bahrain, outqualifying Alonso. I don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibility. It would be great to see a new race winner for the season to finish things off. That would put Alonso more than the magical 7 points ahead as well, which is a result I could live with.

            1. That would be absolutely fantastic!!!

            2. Talking of the “magical 7 points” , I think if Alonso wins , no matter if more or less than by 7 points , it will be a well deserved championship win , just to be leading at this point , against a superior car like the Red Bull , says a lot. Yes , Red Bull have made mistakes which have helped him too , but I think Alonso has been outstanding in consistency , whenever the opportunity for points has been there , he has taken them and sometimes even more.

            3. Or maybe Alonso was just getting accustomed to the Ferrari during the first few races?

      2. …a role one could easily see Massa performing at Ferrari if he had the opportunity

        Poor baby, I don’t think he would do that! I know it’s a different situation, but in Brazil, when being lapped, he got out of the way of VET and WEB fairly and precisely.

        1. I think what Kieth was getting at was Massa running in front of the Red Bulls, but slowing them down to get Alonso a bigger lead; a la Michael Schumacher helping Irvine in 99, rather than not getting out of their way; a la Fontana in the 1997 European GP.

      3. If massa is anywhere near the top 5 all weekend I will be astonished.

        1. As I said above, he was in Bahrain where he outqualified Alonso. His biggest problem this year has been getting heat in his tires, which is mitigated in the desert.

          1. that was the first race of the year lol.

            1. And also, and point that seems to go under the radar. Massa has never raced here.

              Simulators yes, but its a circuit he is not 100% fimiliar with.

          2. Massa claimed his problems were with the harder tyres. That he does best with the supersofts (as used in Bahrain, but also in Brazil). In Abu Dhabi the supersofts are being used again, so he should be doing better (less worse).

    3. Felipe Massa – As last week, he could play a pivotal role in the title outcome. Or he could qualifying poorly

      I think you mean Qualify poorly Keith?.

      Interesting choice of drivers to watch, the fact that its going to the wire like this with so many permutations that I’m getting a headache about it all.

      1. Fixed, ta.

    4. If the bulls are to race then let them race, I would love to see Webber overtake Vettle with Alonso in 6th place. Let’s race maybe Webber left it to late and should have gone after Vettle in other 1 2 finishes. Let’s race, still hoping for Louis.

      1. I bet he hopes you’d spell his name right :p

    5. Believe it or not but we have rain predicted for practice and quali. Not race day though. It was raining there recently (see BBC reports) to the point where it made headline news, such is the rarity of rain there. Sand and water on a track?!?!

      1. Really? the official F1 website still shows sun for the three days

    6. Ferrari slowed Massa at Korea??

      I thought only Mark Hughes made that claim, and Keith had an article here which stated that Mercedez have denied that story.

      Keith, you are contradicting your own article?

      1. Aside from Korea (where Ferrari slowed Massa to ensure he didn’t move ahead of Alonso during a safety car period)

        Hughes claim that he had inside info that Massa was told to slow may be true but his twice repeated assertion that Massa would have passed Alonso without this order was not backed up by the lap times on laps 30-33.

        1. OK but I’m not saying Massa would have passed Alonso.

          1. I know, that was intended for sumedh rather than you, Keith.

            1. Sorry, my mistake.

      2. No, the article here said Massa didn’t slow Schumacher:

        Mercedes deny Massa held up Schumacher for Alonso

      3. my exact toughts, and i found amusing reading an official press release from a team rubbishing a journalist’s view

    7. Drivers to watch: Massa, Schumi, Hulki, and Algi?! I think the drivers people will be watching at this race are Alonso, Webber, Vettel, and Lewis…

      1. Read the article again dude…

        1. Why? He got it. Just saying everyone’s eyes will be on championship contenders.

    8. The worst thing that may happen with Alonso is if he starts on the even number grid which is very dirty in Abu Dhabi he may get struck in the middle of everybody.

      1. Schumacher & Mercedes showed some great pace since Japan hope Schumi shows some of those magic again.

        1. @ wasiF!

          I agree,Schumi does seem to be reinvigorated & according to Ross Brawn,his time was as fast as Lewis in Brazil,so the team are looking for the old Schumi magic to emerge and Voila!! we have lift off again.I fancy Rosberg chances for next year also.They could be a formidable team,so fingers crossed.:)

          1. @ Dianna

            Do agree with you. I am still surprise that Nico haven’t been singned by the team so far despite showed good performance this season.

      2. there actually isnt that much of a “dirty” line in Abu Dhabi since the racing line is diagonal across the track like Malaysia

        1. But in a race like this that may have some affect?

      3. Right-hand side is probably slightly better but it’s such a short run to the first corner.

    9. I think Massa affecting the outcome is as likely as Hamilton winning the championship.

      1. hahahahaha, so true

      2. Haha so true Icthyes, yet that would make me happier than any other outcome!! Massa and Hamilton on the podium would fill me with joy.

    10. I actually dislike some of your picks for the other four. While a Schumi finish ahead of Nico would be nice for him, I would say he’s not really worth watching. I really feel for Jamie but he’s just not having any luck. Which is a shame because I really think he’s the better driver at Toro Rosso.

      Rosberg and Kubica will be battling for 7-8. Petrov, Hulk, and Liuzzi for 12-13-14 among rooks. Those are the guys to watch beyond the contenders.

      1. Rosberg and Kubica totally agree with you.

        Do Nico have a contract with Mercedes for 2011??

        1. Not yet according to this page: https://www.racefans.net/f1-2011-season/2011-f1-drivers-and-teams/

          I don’t see why it would be out of date.

          1. Not even according to Wikipedia.

            1. Then it must be true!

          2. But I’m pretty sure they will want to renew it. He has been one of the best drivers of the season… lets hope Schumi doesn’t have a problem with Nico sticking around for another year.

        2. No,nothing signed yet.

      2. I think the reason shumi is worth watching is that people are saying he has finally gotten quick again and has been ‘invigorated’ recently. therefore, the reason to watch is to see the 7-time WDC potentially back at top form.

        1. How has Schumacher been “invigorated”?

          Think he has been pretty consistent all year. He usually qualifies somewhere around P7 till P10. He finishes a few places forward (depending on how many people ahead of him crash out or have car failures) or he slips back a few when the team does something ridiculous (like “forget” to change tyres in Canada)

          Of course the Mercedes car has moved back on overall performance midway during the season and is grabbing some back the last few races, but that’s the same for both drivers.

    11. I have been saying for the last week that I think the race will end with Webber-Vettel-Alonso. Probably because I see it very realistic and it would be the worse thing for Fernando. I hope I’m wrong!

      1. I think that would be pie on ferrari’s face. And deservedly.

      2. I think Alonso can change your mind because RBR is not as good here as everybody thinks. They’ll have problems with the heat of engine, brakes and the performance of the tyres.

        I think Alonso can get pole because with supersoft they won’t have problems to warm tyres (Also Massa) and about the performace of tyres in the race, even beginning behind the RBRs, he can get them and overtake them in the last part of the race.

    12. Think of a crazy scenario….
      Ferrari are running 1-2 with Alonso and Massa…
      At the end Alanso slows down to let Massa pass :D

      1. Oh wow!!

        As a Ferrari fan, I would be ecstatic.

        But think about all the other fans. All year, they have been whining about the extra 7 points. And suddenly, that sole point – the only blemish in Fernando’s 2nd half of the season – is gone. How will they claim that Alonso is undeserving of the title then!!

      2. OK… The four championship contenders crash into each other and get deducted 25 points, Button wins the race and championship.

        How about none of the top three finish and and Hamilton trips over Schumacher in the final laps while trying to lap him (or similar)? Alonso ends up Champion.

      3. An even crazier one, Lap 55 and Vettel and Webber are 1-2 and comfortably holding the gap to 2-3 seconds to Alonso in 3rd. At Corner 20, Vettel lets Webber through into 1st Place but then has a “moment” in Corner 21 and goes wide onto the runoff and Alonso slips by into 2nd. Payback time for Turkey!

      4. That would certainly up my respect for Alonso, but it wouldn’t make up for Ferrari’s heartlessness in Germany.

    13. 1 VET 2 HAM 3 KUB 4 WEB 5 ALO
      Then in d last lap Web let Alonso pass, sweet revenge

      1. Wow, that is sinister dude.

    14. The last thing I want to see is Vettel gifting the title to Webber. This should have been Vettel’s title, and by a healthy margin, were it not for DNFs. Something similar to Kimi’s 2005 season. I would like to see either Alonso win the title by more than 7 points (so as to negate the earlier team-orders effect) or Webber win from pole. I don’t want to have Vettel on pole and then gifting the race to Webber. If Webber wins it cleanly, then he is the worthy champion. And if that happens, I will never say “never” again as it relates to F1, since it will have been 2 yrs in a row that the title will have gone to a very average driver, who happened to be in the fastest car (by as much as 1 full sec) for virtually the whole season.

      1. That’s hardly fair. If Vettel lets Webber pass for the win, then Webber will be an entirely deserving champion, because he was in the running to win it in the first place. Not to mention the fact that out of all the drivers who have lead the challenge this year, Webber has been in the lead more than the others. Considering that Webber was meant to play second fiddle, and his success this year has an element of being in spite of the team rather than because of it, if he wins it, he’ll have worked harder to acheive it than the rest.

    15. I think Alonso will take it, I feel he has been driving within himself recently, and should have enough left to up his game and take the 2nd he needs.

      As for MW, how far has he come in the past couple of years, under 2 years ago he was knocked off his bike and badly broke his leg. :O
      It would be fairytale if he can take the title just to rub it into RBR next year when he has #1 on the car a opposed to Vettel.

      However I’m obviously praying for 3 certain DNFs and a gifted victory to one of the British representatives. ;)

      1. If that happened then that would be even greater, and even more unlikely, than the way his fortunes turned around at the last minute in 2008.

    16. Am I the only one who still feels this championship SHOULD be a 1 point and not an 8 point difference?

      1. No, I’m pretty sure that point has been made at least once before…

        1. Actually Keith, I think someone illustrated their thoughts on the point best (work safe): http://tinyurl.com/2ujsf74

          http://preview.tinyurl.com/2ujsf74 (if you don’t trust me)

          1. that’s a nasty image. doesn’t belong here.

    17. I doubt Massa will be of any note, he hasn’t been so for the majority of the season, I don’t see how he’ll become magically faster on the last race to help Alonso out.

    18. From an interest point of view it’d probably be much better if Alonso had a sticky sort of race and was mired in 5th, 6th, 7th, meaning that the Red Bulls would actually want to fight each other tooth and nail for the victory.

      If it’s just the Red Bulls and Alonso cruising round at the front waiting to see if anyone has unreliability or if Vettel is going to need to move over, it’ll be quite dull.

    19. Does anyone know if Ferrari are going to bother racing Felipe Massa this weekend? ;)

      1. How long will Ferrari keep Massa as he is now ?

        1. Younger Hamilton
          11th November 2010, 18:34

          I dont know as long as they need him,He was like this when Kimi was in his first year at Ferrari and struck back a year later.Maybe Felipe will be thinking this year as a learning year about Alonso and a Recovery one after his accident in Hungary.I really hope he starts to beat the buttcocks out of Alonso in 2011

          1. I’m not a Ferrari fan, but I really like Felipe and my snide was aimed at Ferrari. He has plenty of talent and I think he is paying the price for a Faustian pact ie signing for a team that traditionally, post Jean Todt anyway, have had a policy of a pushing a single driver at the expense of another, who is designated the supporting role.

            It is just shabby and kind of dilutes their achievements and those of their lead driver. I really hope Alonso doesn’t win on Sunday, because it will leave a sour taste to an otherwise fantastic season.

            1. Alonso has gained his n1 status in Ferrari team on the track, being quicker than Massa almost in every single race throughout the seasson.

              Different situations considered as “unfair” have happened since the championship started but it seems only Hockenheim is mentioned… the media roar to thank

    20. Younger Hamilton
      11th November 2010, 18:14

      Here’s my situation,Alonso leading,Webber 2nd and Vettel 3rd with Lewis and Jenson 4th and 5th respectively.Alonso’s Engine fails Webber takes the lead Red Bull garage go Mental.Webber and Vettel Scrap it out with Webber ending up with a puncture with 20 laps to go and has to pit leaving him in 16th behind a train of Force Indias,a Sauber and a Williams,Vettel gets minor front wing damage but can carry on.

      3 LAPS LATER,Vettel shouts and panicks on the Team Radio ‘I’ve got brake Problems and i’ve lost 4th Gear’ then Red Bull urge Vettel to nurse the car home but then that results in Lewis,Jenson and Felipe catching him and passing him 7,8,9 laps later respectively.The Chequrered flag falls with Lewis Hamilton somewhat shockingly 2010 F1 World Champion with Jenson and Felipe 2nd and 3rd respectively while Sebastian Vettel came home 4th gutted and distraught along with Mark Webber despite finishing 8th.

      1. Then you wake up.

      2. I’ll take it what a race!

      3. “younger Ham “, you have been sayin this for the whole 2 months now. I think u really liike Ham and only Ham.
        I havent read a single comment from you in which u havent talked abt engine failures, crashes, punctures, gearbos faliures.
        Its good to favour ur fav driver but be realistic MUCH YOUNGER Hamilton

        1. It’s the internet Gill. No one is realistic! Besides, there’s unrealistic fans for a lot of drivers and teams here.

          Look at the Heidfeld fans!

          1. Last sentence was supposed to be in (sarcasm)(/sarcasm) but I used arrows.

    21. I think this is Alonso’s race. Neither Seb or Marc has demonstrated the ruthless racing mindset needed in a highly competative situation. Throughout the year both have made critical errors when put under pressure, particularly at the start of a race.
      I believe that if Alonso is within stricking distance at the first corner he will get one or both of them. Game over.

    22. It has been announced – a few days before Interlagos – that Alonso will use the engine used for the Barhein qualifying session. This engine has been inspected and no problem has been detected. Due to the technical reglementation this year, the rule concerning the engine doesn’t applies to the last grand prix. To me Alonso will not encounter any “mileage” issues with its almost new engine.

      1. Yes I read that as well, Alonso effectively has a new engine that could only be used in the last race.

      2. I tout that engine failed during FP in China.

        1. *thought
          (too short)

    23. imagine a ferrari 1-2. alonso engine blow on the last lap and massa pushes him with his car to cross the line…

      1. …and finish out of the points. Fantastic! LOL

        I still think that a Vettel, Webber, Hamilton, Button, Alonso finishing order would be kind of incredible!

        I reckon that Rosberg and Kubica could easily muddy the waters on this one.

    24. so if:
      1st HAM
      3rd VET
      6th WEB
      11th ALO

      then:
      HAM 247
      ALO 246
      WEB 246
      VET 246

    25. Vettel has dropped hints that he would move over to let Webber win the championship if he weren’t in a position to. What is much less clear is whether he’d hold up Alonso to give Webber a chance of catching him – a role one could easily see Massa performing at Ferrari if he had the opportunity.

      This is a real possiblity, If we have Vet, Alo, Web from the start, they could pit Webber first and Vettel could then have a slow lap, holding up Alonso. Allowing Webber to pass them both when they pit giving Webber the lead!

      1. If the lap is as slow as for that, I think that by the end of it Alonso would be a head of Vettel :)

        1. I mean “ahead”

          1. Agree. Besides slowing down to hold another driver in such a condition is way too dirty to be conceived by any racing team, let alone Red Bull. Should such a condition happen anyways and Alonso would blast Vettel’s rear tires with the frong wing of his indestructible F10 and get second place.

            Vet, Alo and Web for P1, P2 and P3 is a likely outcome though.

        2. If they are running close, webber pits does a lap 1 second faster due to new tyres(?) and Vettel slows Alonso 1 second (easy to do without being passed) that gives webber 2 seconds, I think that maybe enough.
          Or senario 2 Vettel pits, Alonso follows. Then Vettel has a few… slower laps at which time Webber stays out lapping faster and when he does his pitstop he clears them for P1.
          IT needs to be considered as if Alonso is running 2nd game over RB.

    26. Read some comments about Alonso’s engine for last seasson’s race and found many entries googeling. It seems he’s has a low mileage engine used in the first race that can be used in the lastrace of the seasson. Right foot down!
      http://www.motorsport.com/news/article.asp?ID=393036

      1. season… sorry

    27. If this race turns out to be anything less than a classic then the Herman Tilke should be blindfolded, taken out into the desert and left there. He can then use his track designing skills and knowledge of constant radius corners to find his way back to civilization…

    28. If alonso wins by 7 pts.. this will be a false championship. So good luck on alonso winning his fake championship and webber on what he has earned and vettel or hamilton, wow. I’d put those two in fangio, senna and prost leegues. I know piquet has 3 but is a punk. He may be able to drive better than me but still. Good luck to all, but if alonso wins by less than seven, it’s a fake championship. I love spain, but F that spainiard.

      1. whatever, same comments again and again… hopefully Alonso makes it with only 1 point difference, you and many others may consider it fake, Alonso will enter the selected group though whatever you keep saying.

        Alonso should have scored 15 points in Valencia that he couldn’t thanks to Hams move with the SC and Whiting to decide over 20 laps Hams penaly.

        You do the maths…

        1. thanks to Hams move with the SC

          It was a point of contention at the time but it seems the stewards didn’t think it was deliberate. However Ferrari were found guilty of using team orders at Hockenheim. I’m assuming you’re not offering any evidence otherwise?

          But the two things are so different they don’t bear any comparison. Ferrari’s policy has given Alonso the upper hand at the team for at least half the season, whereas his other championship rivals have had to contend with other drivers who are as well equipped as they are who are allowed to beat them. Of course people see that as unfair.

          1. George Chatzipantelis
            12th November 2010, 12:30

            no, I mean, seriously..
            sometimes you people make me wonder.
            Ham did something ‘dirty’ there with the SC in Valencia.

            Ferrari did the OBVIOUS thing in Hockenheim. Alonso had realistic chances of being in the battle for the championship. Massa didn’t.

            you people forgot 2008 Hockenheim. just simply, cause FOM didn’t gave us any indication of what mr Ron said to Heikki on the radio, just some moments before the weird move.

            McLaren said that Heikki just took the decision there, and moved over. who gives a crap if Felipe was leading there?
            is there any rule which says ‘heikki was not first, so its ok, he wasnt losing the win, but felipe lost the win there so its bad, so ferrari must get punished hard!” ?

            The British media are awesome, I love BBC and the whole thing. the post race forum, the ‘inside’ info from Ted Kravitz, etc.

            But they act like they’re nationalists.. they say about hockenheim, something about 10 times in EACH SESSION.

            come on..
            all of you people forget it when mclaren or any british team does it.

            I hope Fernando will win on Sunday and tell in the press conference “remove those seven points, i’m still the champion! take that! :)”

            just cause this is getting annoying.

            1. Regarding the tedious ‘British media’ thing – I’m British and straight after that race I put up an article asking if people thought Hamilton did it deliberately . So don’t give me that nonsense. A lot of peopl ethought I was being unduly cynical.

              You say “all of you people forget it when McLaren or any British team does it.” I ask, where’s your proof that he did it deliberately? Why didn’t the stewards punish him if he did?

              And I made reference to Hockenheim ’08 in articles I wrote about Hockenheim ’10. So again, don’t think you can lazily accuse me of double standards while offering absolutely nothing to back up what you say.

          2. George Chatzipantelis
            12th November 2010, 13:01

            I talked about British media, generally. not only you. I am not attacking ‘you.’

            I mean, it’s in the air now [the alonso-ferrari-illegal thing in hockenheim] , more on the british media than even the brazilians (who ‘suffered’ massa handing the place to fernando).

            More or less, the incident at Valencia had similar effect. it was unfair and there should have been a punishment as well..

            Stewards are not always fair. They weren’t fair at Lewis in Spa for example..
            I am a Fernando fan, and yes, I say that. Lewis was handed a ‘too much’ penalty there, he deserved the win, quite clearly.

            I don’t like the way Ferrari comments on things, but I agree with ’em that the Valencia race was manipulated.

            And I’m not lazily accusing you of being not fair to the ‘reds’ or anything, i’m just saying my opinion. there is too much talk about what happpened at Hockenheim, which is a bit annoying in my eyes. cause that didn’t happen in 2008 for example. it was like ‘oh, heikki has great heart and let lewis by’, then so did massa! massa is a team player and he did the right thing. he was only informed on what the situation was on the radio. I didn’t heard anything like “let Fernando pass for the championship”.

            My point of you is that the British media in general, point it out more and more and more, which is a bit unfair.

            I may be wrong, but this is just my opinion :)

    29. Great preview Keith. Agree about Schumacher’s late surge this season, can almost imagine him having some bearing on the championship result.

    30. Whatever Alonso’s pace going into Abu Dhabi, he’s going to be on the back foot. The Red Bulls are most likely going to work in tandem; Sebastian Vettel keeps dropping hints that he’s going to back Webber, which leads me to believe that this whole spat that started after Korea has been an elaborate facade.

      1. Everyone knows that, there is nothing new.

    31. I don’t know if this has been discussed but I could see Hamilton having somewhat decent go of passing Alonso or some other move that would work to Webber’s WDC advantage. Or possibly Button for that matter.

    32. Abu Dhabi prediction: Alonso picks off Webber in closing stages for P2 and the championship when Webber runs down the tires of his RB. The Ferrari has not been as fast as the RB this year, but it is more reliable and kinder to its tires.

      1. So reliable, in fact, that it ate up all its engiens before anyone else did.

        Red Bull’s tyre problems have more to do with ambient temperature than anything else. Abu Dhabi might be in the esert, but the desert gets cold at night. With the race being run at sundown, the circuit will actually get cooler as the race goes on.

    33. The bit about the climate not throwing up a surprise? I take it all back. It is raining with an hour to go until first practice…

    34. interesting theories and humourous scenarios on possible outcomes, but how about this!

      *Yes Ferrari & Germany (and that 7 points which may become decisive) will be a black mark on this year.

      *This is not Alonso’s fault as has always been a Ferrari trademark to be involved with some controversy and getting away with it.

      *Alonso is still the most complete and best driver out there, followed closely by Hamilton.

      *Championship based on form all year should’ve been between Webber and Hamilton.

      *Alonso and Vettel are coming home strong.

      *Red Bull are still convinced Vettel has half a chance which has frustrated and compromised Webber winning and giving Alonso an easier path to victory, which of all drivers doesn’t need help on winning championships.

      *Webber panciking a little at the end after being in control for most of the year as has 3 previous champions battling him as well as his team and his team mate(rival).

      *possible scenario 1.web 2.vet 3. alo if sense prevails or… alonso wins by finishing somewhere on the podium cos red bulls still fighting it out and sorting it out on the moment and you have ham, kub and rosb still trying to race a grand prix.

    35. It will blow my mind to watch a race with VET – ALO -WEB and Vettel decides the championship can’t be his so he tries to slow down Alonso without letting him pass so Webber can get by both of them and then still keep Alonso behind him. Just letting your teammate pass takes no skill. For Vettel to do hold off Alonso like two planes in a dogfight, and pull it off, would be AMAZING!

      And for added drama, lets not forget the race in Japan where Vettel smacked into Webber from behind by accident. The tention generated ever since Turkey between them would turn into a love fest!

      And apparently rain is a REAL possibility: http://bit.ly/d9iaEn

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