Alonso poised to wrap up title

Abu Dhabi GP pre-race analysis

Posted on

| Written by

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Abu Dhabi, 2010
Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Abu Dhabi, 2010

The four-dimensional championship showdown in Abu Dhabi could be resolved in any number of ways.

But with a precious eight-point championship lead and his closest rival behind him on the grid, the cards are stacked in Fernando Alonso’s favour.

The start

The start is an important moment of any race but with a world championship hanging in the balance between four drivers, all of which start in the top five, the opening corners take on critical significance.

From the one F1 start here last year plus various GP2 races, starting off-line does not seem to too great a disadvantage at Yas Marina. Sergio Perez powered into the lead from second on the grid in Saturday’s GP2 feature race – a heartening sight for Lewis Hamilton, who starts there in the Grand Prix.

Most of Red Bull’s advantage over McLaren is in the last sector of the lap, so expect Hamilton to give pole sitter Sebastian Vettel a very hard time in the first few corners.

The McLaren may not have the straight-line speed advantage they enjoyed at the beginning of the season, but Vettel’s was the third-slowest car through the speed trap in qualifying, giving Hamilton a 3kph advantage.

There’s a clear difference in approach between Hamilton, second on the grid, and Alonso, third. Hamilton is ready to throw caution to the wind:

On the grid tomorrow, I don?t have to worry about who?s around me ?ǣ they all have to worry about who?s around them! I?ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. It?s the other drivers who?ll have to worry; I don?t have to be cautious at all in the race. Perhaps they need to think about that.

I?m not focusing on winning the drivers? title; I?m just focusing on winning this race.
Lewis Hamilton

Whereas Alonso knows he has to stay out of trouble:

Normally after the first ten or twenty meters you understand if you had a good or bad start.

If you are that good, you can think of attacking. If you feel that something is going wrong, you try to defend your position, so it will be a reaction or action that we need to take tomorrow after the first ten or twenty meters, but in general I think we will not win the championship in corner one. The only thing we can do is to lose it, so we will see.
Fernando Alonso

Even so, Hamilton has run in front of Alonso in both of the last two races – only to go off and lose the position.

Alonso has another McLaren to worry about behind him on the grid, in the form of a rejuvenated Jenson Button.

Alonso’s principle title rival Mark Webber hasn’t made the best getaways from the start line in recent races. Hamilton was able to get alongside him in turn one at Interlagos and has lost places on the first lap on several occasions this year.

It’s imperative for him that he avoids that happening tomorrow, as he would likely end up stuck behind Felipe Massa – which would be another blow for his ever-diminishing championship hopes.


The Abu Dhabi pit lane, with its unique tunnel exit, is second only to Shanghai in terms of the amount of time the drivers lose making a stop. Coming into the pits costs them 20.5 seconds (according to Williams), plus the amount of time the car spends stationary.

That means the front runners could be left out a while until they have enough of a gap behind them to make a pit stop.

Webber’s best hope for improvement in the race could come from his strategy. Red Bull have excelled in this area this year – bringing him up to third at Singapore, for instance.

Ferrari’s poor pace on high fuel on Friday is likely to be less of a problem tomorrow now that the track surface has had chance to rubber in.

But it remains to be seen whether McLaren’s improved pace this weekend has been matched by improved tyre wear, which they struggled with at Interlagos.

As usual, everyone in the top ten is starting on the softer tyres, which this weekend are the super-softs.

The championship

Alonso may only be ahead of one of his championship rivals on the grid, but it’s the one that matters most – Mark Webber, who’s eight points behind him in the constructors’ championship.

That means that were the top five drivers to finish in the order they qualified, Alonso would be world champion.

The most realistic threat to Alonso’s title hopes heading into the race is likely to come from Vettel. If he wins the race, Alonso has to make sure he finishes in the top four.

Were he to fall to fifth – behind, say, Button and Webber – he would end the race level on points with Vettel, and lose the championship due to Vettel having more fourth place finishes.

In that case his new best friend could come into play – Lewis Hamilton, who may pose the biggest threat to Vettel on race day.

Of course Alonso only needs to gain one place on his starting position to be guaranteed the championship regardless of what happens to his rivals.

How do you think the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will unfold – and how will the championship be decided? Have your say in the comments.

Don’t forget to join us for live comments during the race here at F1 Fanatic to see the race unfold. We set started one hour before the Grand Prix gets underway.

And keep track of how the race finishing order could decide the destiny of the title using the Championship Calculator.

2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

    Browse all 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix articles

    Image ?? Ferrari spa

    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...

    Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

    125 comments on “Alonso poised to wrap up title”

    1. No idea how it’s going to turn out. None whatsoever.

      All that is written below this comment is idle speculation. None of us knows. That’s why it’s so exciting!

      1. Agree. I tipped Vettel for pole, he just has that magical ability to do it when it matters.

        What a great story it would be if Webber were to win the Championship tomorrow. Or Hamilton, although I would be sad to see so many of the title contenders drop out of the race.
        Vettel winning it would be boring, if he would run from pole to finish in 1st position, but given Lewis is ready to go and Vettel will have to be a bit more carefull, so I count on them to have a bit of a scruff. Same goes for Button and Alonso.
        The first corner pile up with Webber coming through close to the lead might have some merits, especially if it would have Massa second and maybe Rubens or Jenson 3rd.
        Lets hope it will not be the anti-climax of last weeks race though.

        1. Agreed that it would probably make for a boring race to have Vettel lead everyone home from the start, but it would certainly be a fitting touch on his championship, not least because it would be symbolic of his excellent driving…. when not having to overtake.

          1. i do genuinely worry for vettel when he finds himself in a dreadfully uncompetitive car in the next few years.

        2. Yeah, you’d probably have that magical ability as well if you were driving the RB6.

          I guess talk is cheap for some people…

          1. you’d probably have that magical ability as well if you were driving the RB6.

            It seems Webber didn’t.

        3. Tipping Seb for pole this year has been easier to predict that last nights boxing.

      2. Ideas: none. Hopes: one. Go Fernando!!!

    2. I hope for a Hamilton win. Anything else would be a bonus.

      May the champion be the best.

      1. May the champion be the best.

        That’s a given I think. Whoever wins the title will deserve it IMO.

        (Before a member of the seven-point brigade steps in to refute this comment, my opinion of your opinion can’t be expressed in accordance with Keith’s comments policy. So let’s not bother, ‘kay?)

        1. I’m glad you saw the meaning behind my strange wording :)

          F1 is F1. If the title is lost by Webber by 6 points or Hamilton by 1, then that’s their teams’ fault for not being brave enough to use team orders too.

          1. Aren’t team orders banned? ;)

            There are team orders and then there are ‘team orders’.

            I don’t want to have the feeling that someone’s trying to fool me again.

          2. In fact, if Alonso wins by more than 7 points, Hockenheim team orders will be redundant in hindsight, and a win needlessly taken away from Massa. So actually, Ferrari is vindicated if Alonso wins by 7 points or less.

            1. Either way, he will be champion and thats all that matters.

          3. “brave enough to use team orders” ? Hahahaaaah :-) It’s like “brave enough to eat chocolate” :-)

            Brave enough to really race to the end sounds much more deserving respect, no?

            I’m Alonso fan, but this team spoils him with such tactics/antics.

        2. Well, now you mention it…
          Actually I think Alonso has shown determination, skill and consistency to get to so close to the championship. Still doesn’t take away the fact it’d be better if he did win by a 8+ advantage.

          I’m with Icthyes, hoping against all odds for a Hamilton win and some major problems for his rivals. But whatever, the race should be phenomenal!

        3. the seven-point brigade

          Thats a good one!

          If Alonso does win, he’ll deserve it.

          He has been the better driver at Ferrari. Sure, the team orders thing left a sour taste but the received their punishment if you can call it that, but that is the end of it.

          Red Bull and Mclaren are right to let their drivers race. But it may, in the end, cost them dear.

          Ferrari have been ruthless in their quest for victory this season. I reckon this could be their year.

          I personally want Webber to win, but Alonso has been Mr. Consistency for the last few races. He knows exactly what he has to do and appears to be doing it without any help from his teammate.

          1. The point really though is the actual punishment at the time is nothing compared to how F1 history will view this.

            Take Schuey as the prime example. For all his amazing achievements what gets brought up more often than not are the negatives in his illustrious career.

            Alonso is forever similarly tainted. Not that he gives a chuff :) If he wins this one his brilliant speed and consistency in the second half of the season will always be overshadowed by the Hockenheim incident.

        4. My opinion of Ferrari fans who only thinks that it is ok given Ferrari did it would also run afoul of the same rules.

          Given your track record on these forums, we can safely put you among those.

          1. No need to get personal. If you think I’m a Ferrari fan you clearly haven’t been paying attention to my “track record,” whatever that is.

            1. It’s more Marxist Red than Maranello Red ;) Keep up LosD.

            2. Whoops, sorry, I remembered wrongly. It was the strong anti-McLaren bias I had picked up, not pro-Ferrari.

            3. Bias is such an ugly word. I prefer “preference.” ;)

      2. I hope so too, but I think its going to be Vettel and his “magical” abilities who wins the title. Its what uncle bernie would have wanted ;)

        1. Hamilton to be WDC as Ive got 20/1 for it >.<

    3. I only hope that the drivers championship isn’t decided in the same way that the result of the German GP was decided.

      1. I second that. At least the grid positions do not indicate a race constellation where that would immediately become a consideration. But, as I’m sure it’s been said at every press conference this weekend, “we will have to wait and see what happens.”

      2. I’ve tried several simulation starts on ‘F1 2010’. Out of 5 attempts, Alonso never made it passed the 1st corner on 3 occasions. LOL

        Lewis lead out of the first corner 3 out of 5. Vettel twice.

        1. Your Alonso doesn’t know that a podium is enought. There will be an update on Monday to fix these bug.

          1. :P:P:P nice comment!

        2. lol. In the F1 2010 game, Hamilton wins almost every race, showing just how unrealistic it is.

          1. Really? i find i win almost every race…

          2. That’s the english language version.

            On the final two laps in the Spanish version, Lewis gets a puncture or Vettels engine blows up, or he loses brakes

          3. Since the F1 2010 game was mostly programmed before the season, strength will course have been a guess by the Codemasters team.

            However, it might miss a bit of randomness if the winner is the same too often (or they might have thought that Lewis would dominate completely).

      3. It could be that the 2 incidents cancel each other out though, and we end up with the points gap that we should have had all along?

    4. The best strategy for RB could be some slow but deffensive start laps from VET. It could be caothic. It will give chances to WEB and BUT for overtake ALO. But at the same time some chances for HAM. Does VET knows to drive this way?

      1. Does VET knows to drive this way?

        Very good at being slow when there’s a safety car in front of him!

        1. Yeah, when you think back to some of the stupid mistakes that were made!

      2. Vettel is an on-off switch.

      3. Actually I’m wondering. Is Red Bull’s best chance of a champion Webber or Vettel? I’m sure this was a key question in the Red Bull garage as they worked out their strategy after qualifying. A bit bizarre but maybe Webber actually needs to help Vettel and not the opposite. Webber finishing two ahead of Alonso looks very difficult. If Vettel wins, Alonso needs to finish 5th. And this is where it gets interesting. They can count on Hamilton chasing Vettel and probably on Alonso letting both go: he can’t risk being chased closely by either and is unlikely to escape into the sunset. That leaves two more needed to push Alonso down to fifth. Presuming Webber regains the Red Bull pace in the actual race, he has every chance of hassling Alonso, either getting past or forcing an incident. Button is well placed in 4th and could have a strong race. He looks in the right frame of mind. Their only unknown is Button getting and staying ahead of Alonso. So how can Red Bull help achieve that?

        1. (post-race: like I said…!)

      4. Overtake Alonso? The man drives a Ferrari almost as wide as the track. Goodluck making a move stick on him.

    5. AsHamilton only has one goal, hopefully no more timid driving from him. I expect him to lay a front tire on Vettel at the first turn, if he is not by him already, and to let chips fall where they may. Seeing Hamilton in his full on bezerk mode will be a treat, providing the car has the lungs to keep up with Vettel in the long runs. For once I want to see Button just go after alonso instead of trying to noodle some kind of lame strategerie.

      1. Button is definitely going to use strategy to try and jump cars tomorrow. Fernando would keep him behind with ease.

        1. I dunno, first of all theres the start, anything can happen there. And secondly Buttons actually a pretty good overtaker when hes in the right frame of mind (admittedly he’s usually too careful). Its the last race of the year and he’s out of the championship, sounds like the time when he might be?

    6. Hamilton going all out eh? You know what would be ironic in that case: Hamilton going off somewhere in the first 5 laps because he overdrives it. And all the other championship contenders later ending their race because of mechanical troubles.

      But that’s just one possible scenario out of god knows how many.

      1. That’s as likely as any I’ve heard over the past week or so. :)

    7. I haven’t been so excited about a race for a long time. Bahrain this year comes closest, but unlike Bahrain, I believe this one might turn out to be a classic.

      Hamilton seems to have the pace and determination to win this and I hope he does. His situation might look disastrous, but if one considers the pressure on all the other three contenders, his chances are not that bad. Alonso has to stay out of trouble, which, especially in this race, might be thwarted on the first couple of laps – be it through being taken out or being too cautious resulting in losing many positions. Also, let us not forget his engine situation. Vettel, in theory, is in a better situation than Hamilton, but realistically he also needs to win; unlike the Brit, however, he still has a chance of becoming world champion even if he were not to win this race, which mounts additional pressure on him. Vettel has shown that in tense situations he can he loose his head. Finally, Webber does not seem to manage the pressure well and might easily drop to sixth or worse, which would put him behind Hamilton in the championship if he were to win. Considering how appalling his starts have been this season, I would not be at all surprised if Webber would have to fight his way back to the front, risking of a DNF either through a collision or the RB6’s unreliability.

      Furthermore, Button could spell trouble for the Red Bulls and Alonso. He starts in fourth, and like Hamilton, he might gain a place on the fist lap, which would allow McLaren to dictate the race from there. Hamilton thus is the only contender who has a team mate that could realistically help him.

      Most importantly, however, is the fact that Hamilton has, as he says, nothing to lose. All the other contenders either have to finish high or cannot afford any mistakes. Because they all still have a realistic chance of becoming champion, the likelihood of them failing is higher than ever. All this is not to say that Hamilton’s chances are great, but the small chance he still has paradoxically lies in his unlikeliness to win.

      1. If Hamilton takes first place near the start and Button holds position, or even takes Alonso (who could be expected to back off under a heavy challenge), then the chances for Lewis increase. Alonso pursued by Webber, Button maybe holding them both back and allowing Rosberg and Schumacher to snap at their heels, Hamilton off into the distance with Vettel, but counting on more reliability problems for the latter.

        Of course it will be nothing like that!

        1. Nothing can prepare us for what actually will happen.

      2. Great post Victor, I hope you’re right :)

      3. You forgot something, the last 2 races hamilton lost 2 positions because someone put pressure on him and he was in better position then for the championship.
        I believe he´s going for it, but the others aren´t rookies at all, especially Alonso.
        Don´t get me wrong, i would take Hamilton for the win and if nothing out of extraordinary happens he may have a shot at least till the end of sector 2 but after that, then better say goodbye to Vettel.

    8. too many scenarios, i’ll surely have a lot of nightmares tonight.

    9. I expect Alonso to drive very conservative and consistent. I think he’s not going to get in trouble tomorrow and he’s going to win the championship if his engine doesn’t blow up. I expect Hamilton and Vettel to go at it like wild dogs chasing each other, Button won’t be able to get past Alonso, Webber will probably lose a place to Massa and as he gets stuck, he will make a mistake. I expect him to do as bad as Australia this year, where he was absolutely terrible. It’s not that I don’t want him to win, it’s just that he somehow doesn’t seem confident. He’s struggling with his car and he’s no Alonso or Hamilton, who can get to the front driving a tricycle if they have to. I just can’t see him get to the front. It’s a hard circuit to overtake, he’s not a very good overtaker so his best chance is at the start, but he’s not a very good starter either!!! So I can’t see him getting past Alonso. I also think Alonso won’t make mistakes. Vettel and Hamilton should be exciting to watch! Let’s hope neither of them crashes out.

      1. “Vettel and Hamilton should be exciting to watch! Let’s hope neither of them crashes out.”

        That statement pretty much sums up these two for me.

        1. Yes it will be knives-out between those two. I will have to close my eyes if Hamilton comes onto the back straight right behind Vettel on the first lap. You have a guy who likes to brake late and who thinks he can pass anyone anywhere, and a guy who gets a little bit mental in tight fights.

          1. Hamilton vs Vettel on the first long straight should be quite a show if they are still 1 and 2.

    10. “Even so, Hamilton has run in front of Alonso in both of the last two races – only to go off and lose the position.”

      A bit unfair this statement – given that the McLaren just did not have the downforce under braking and in the corners to compete with the Ferrari. It is a testament to Lewis that he managed to keep Alonso behind him for as long as he did. Remember, Schumacher just breezed past Button. That’s how bad the MacLaren’s were!

      1. It is a testament to Lewis that he managed to keep Alonso behind him for as long as he did.

        For a couple of corners of the restart?

        1. What do you expect, no downforce and not-up-to-heat tyres?

          1. Umm, I kinda think that saying “It is a testament to Lewis that he managed to keep Alonso behind him for as long as he did” suggests that Hamilton held off Fernando for a long time. A few corners isn’t much at all. Anyone would have buckled around that stage, so this was definately not a testament to any quality shown by Lewis Hamilton.

            1. Actually it was more like a whole lap.

            2. I just checked Icthyes, and it turns out that Hamilton ran wide at TURN ONE on the restart, so for the last time, no, Hamilton did not do anything special.

      2. That’s true. McLaren is not the best car.
        I think Alonso and Hamilton have been the best drivers this year because they could get a pole without the best car proving they add something else to the car.

      3. Apart from the lack of downforce, what was really hindering the Mclarens was locking brakes. Both drivers complained of locking brakes all race, Hamilton managed to find a way to drive around it eventually, but it caught him out immediately after the restart.

        This was the same problem both cars suffered in Korea.

    11. I hope Vettel moves out of the way for Webber to win, that would not only be hilarious but also quite fitting really and touching in light of what Horner has been saying (if he is indeed genuine).

      1. What on Earth? Did you even look at the positions?

    12. I hope a great race tomorrow, will see if mclaren have the pace to win, it depends in the stint of option tyres i think

    13. I think they should make this an endurance race instead….just keep them running until 3 of the 4 championship contenders’ cars break and then finish the race there…

    14. I see a crucial role for Massa. He usually starts very well, his main task tomorrow will be to pass Webber and keep him behind as long as possible, slowing him down as well. This way half of the battle will be won for Fernando and make his race much easier.
      So Webber has an extremely difficult task tomorrow to do a really good start, but he will remember Massa start in Suzuka for sure.

      Fernando will try to defend his position, avoid any fights and just keep the tempo, save engine and tyres. I think he will fend off Button without major problem. The first corner will be most crucial for him.

      Vettel and Hamilton cannot do too much except just trying to win, if I am not mistaken.
      Button may try to pass Alonso to slow him down and create a train of cars in hope that Alonso will become a victim of someone’s mistake. I just hope he won’t make accident with him, it would be controversial.

      1. You’re right. Massa’s main or single brief will be to try to contain Webber from the start. If he gets past him and holds him back until at least the first pits, Alonso will be 3/4 there. And I can see Button’s brief as somewhat similar: get past Alonso and hold everyone else back, putting Webber and Alonso under pressure from other drivers. Alonso is in a good position and a very vulnerable one. If he gets a superb start into first place, say, he’ll be under intense pressure from Vettel and Hamilton. So presumably he’ll sit back to avoid any clashes. Tucked behind Hamilton and then Vettel with the three front runners ahead of the rest must be Alonso’s ideal. But if Button passes him, he comes under pressure from Webber. For me the crux to the race – forgetting the potential mayhem off the grid – is the pace difference between Button and Alonso. If Button matches or betters him, the pressure on Alonso will increase hugely.

        1. exactly – ALO will be content to defend his 3rd, letting HAM and VET be busy by themselves, instead of him.
          Imho Button can’t do a lot of harm to ALO, knowing that ALO is one of fastest on the long straight. He effectively could keep pushing ALO to force him defend himself, thus provoking driving error or engine failure.
          But then there is still Vettel.

      2. That’s about right. Ha, you think Massa’s Suzuka attack on Luizzi was a test launch for tomorrow? If Massa harpoons Webber Keith’s server will explode.

        Webber will be quick in the race and if Alonso falls behind both Button and Webber the math gets dangerous for him. He will have to rely on Massa to protect him from the Mercedes if they get feisty.

        Basically, Alonso is the only one who will not be trying on a touch of the crazees tomorrow and being the only sane person in the asylum is not a safe position.

        1. Massa will resolutely attack Webber during the start because otherwise Webber could be too quick for him to be caught.
          And Massa lose nothing if he has an accident, contrary to Webber who loses everything.
          If Massa overtake Webber during the start, he has enough speed on the straight to fend off Mark and red bull’s higher speed in slow corners won’t allow for overtaking there.
          Tomorrow I will watch how Massa starts.

        2. Now this morning I’ve concluded that only Vettel is most possible threat to ALO to grab the title. Mark’s chances are actually doomed.

          Vettel has a pole and is likely to win. He will then need Alonso to be on 5th or lower.
          And here comes Mark to help that happen.

          Assuming Button will take over Alonso in the first corner – which is possible because Alonso must avoid any trouble unlike Button – then Vettel only needs also Mark to pass Fernando.
          This should be possible by pit stop strategy.

          Conclusion – Mark will receive team orders to help Vettel become a champion as soon as he passes Fernando. Mark himself is lost. Only some kind of accident to other contenders or a super start could save him.

          So the key to the outcome of the race will be whether during the start Massa passes Webber or contrary. Can’t wait to see.

    15. Imagine this: Hamilton and Vettel fight too hard as they need to win and crashes. Alonso leads Webber after the pitstops, but with 2 laps to go Alonso loses power with an engine failure and as Webber is about to overtake him Alonso does a “Schumacher 1994” (takes both out). Alonso is the immediate champion but is later disqualified so Webber takes the title.

      1. HounslowBusGarage
        13th November 2010, 22:44

        Laugh laugh laugh!
        I’d love it to happen that way.

        1. Theoretically it could this – top 4 eliminate themselves in unsporting way in the race, for which they receive penalty in the championship.
          Thus, despite no mathematical chances, Jenson Button succesfully defends his champion’s title.

          1. We have a winner.

    16. I wouldn’t go getting too comfortable just yet. There’s still a long way to go. I’m predicting a tussle into the first corner that is going to take someone out of the championship.

      1. You are right. Bye Hamilton! Ask Macca for a more resistant car next time.

        1. I figure if anyone is going to rumble, it will be Hamilton, Alonso and Button. Hamilton will want to defend his position to stay in touch with Vettel and keep his championship hopes alive. Alonso will want P2 because he needs P2 to be champion, and he’s never been the type to settle for anything less than the best position he can get. Button, on the other hand, is out of the title fight, but will be in the thick of the racing, and like Hamilton, he’s on the dirty side. As for Webber, he’s far enough back that he should be able to skirt danger if it’s close at hand. The most likely combination I’m predicting is an Alonso-Hamilton tangle. It will probably put both drivers out.

          1. Yep. Hamilton and Alonso will tangle, as well as Massa and Webber, leaving Seb free to win the race and the championship.

            1. I think that if Alonso has one weakness, it’s that he pushes when it would be smarter to hold formation. He won’t settle for second-best, and if the first five drivers finished as they qualified, he’d still be the champion – but he’d rather win the race to win the championship. And that could be his undoing. Of course, it requires Hamilton or Button to be equally-stubborn (probably in the first two laps).

              If Alonso has a second weakness, it’s that he’s an ends-justify-the-means kind of guy (after all, he saw no problems with the way he won in Singapore 2008 or Germany 2010). If winning the championship means he has to get a little rough with someone, he will. He won’t be afraid going into the first corner, and he won’t back down for anyone. Combined, the two – being rough and being stubborn – could hurt. Knowing Alonso, his tactics off the line will be to pin Hamilton to the inner wall, cut him off into the first corner and take second. If he wants to stand a chance at catching Vettel (probably in the pits), he cannot afford to get caught up by Hamilton for even so much as a lap. Of course, Hamilton’s tactics will be to cut right to take the racing line (and the grippy side of the circuit) into the first corner to save some speed … and the two will probably be dangerously close to one another going into the first corner.

    17. HounslowBusGarage
      13th November 2010, 22:47

      No matter what, that clip of HAM attcking the TV camera on top of the bollard is going to be a classic.

      1. so true, you can guarentee it’ll be in the BBC end of season montage

    18. “Were he to fall to fifth – behind, say, Button and Webber – he would end the race level on points with Vettel, and lose the championship due to Vettel having more fourth place finishes.”

      Does it get any crazier than having scenarios that come down to the most 4th place wins?

      It’s 5:30 am… I wake up and run downstairs to read this blog and Tweets! It’s going to be a very, very, very long day!

      No matter who wins the WDC… no one can say it’s been a dull F1 season!

      1. Does it get any crazier than having scenarios that come down to the most 4th place wins?

        Yes: scenarios that come down to whoever has the most 5th places.

    19. Mark Webber, who’s eight points behind him in the constructors’ championship.

      since when did these two guys start building F1 cars?

      1. Well, there’s the Alonso Kart for go-karters, and Webber joined up with Arden’s mangement for GP3 (that’s what the “MW” in “MW Arden” stands for – Mark Webber).

    20. I know said earlier in the season that I’d be happy with an Alonso victory, but well, turns out that I won’t be afterall (even though he is my favourite driver). At least I don’t have to worry about being a high state of tension all day now, Webber put me out of my misery early :(

    21. To finish first… first you have to finish. There’a good 200 miles of racing to do year.

      1. Said the hare to the tortoise… :D

    22. I’m eagerly waiting for vettel’s radio transmission while in the lead — guy’s what’s the championship situation looking like :) so he’ll know what to execute

    23. It will be Alonso, I dont like him or big red but hey lets face it, he did not win it, Red Bull lost it why, becuase they raced fair and said no to team orders.

    24. Title’s Alonso’s unless his engine blows. It’s a shame Webbers reckless driving has cost Hamilton so many points in Oz and Singapore as it would’ve been a nearly a straight fight to the finish.

    25. Gotta say I’m a little surprised Hamilton wasn’t penalised for the Massa incident, especially considering he’d been given a caution earlier this weekend.

    26. ” On the grid tomorrow, I don’t have to worry about who’s around me – they all have to worry about who’s around them! I’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. It’s the other drivers who’ll have to worry; I don’t have to be cautious at all in the race. Perhaps they need to think about that.”

      Have to be comment of the day. My heart is biting very fast since last night not sure why, seems like I am more tense than the F1 drivers.I think what Alonso will do is to sir behind Hamilton & Vettel & watch them fight for the lead as needs to win maximum,cruse to 3rd & win the title.Webber is in very very bad situation he might be having a sleepless night.Alonso shouldn’t have trouble he just needs to stay out of trouble & finish on the podium,Ferrari needs Massa to back him up.

      1. Yesterday before the qualifying I was telling that it will be a miracle if Hamilton wins the title but for now it will be a miracle if Webber wins it.

    27. Recalling when Shumacher’s engine blew up in 2006 in Japan giving Alonso the win and, in essence, the title.

    28. It seems to me that since the German GP Massa manages to be out of position to help Alonso out. I think it that Alonso’s main danger is engine, then Button taking him on strategy and VET winning.
      Could be spiced up if HAM fails to pass VET on first lap and cooks his tyres following too close then pitting early and steaming back up the field with red mist in his helmet. Also the Merc boys could give Alonso some stress if they manage a long first stint and hold up him up after his after first stop. Lets hope the VET does not drive into anyone.
      Fancy HAM to win, Alonso WDC and the RB boys to hold station as overtaking is something that seems to happen to them more ofter than the other way round (#poles >> #wins).
      Don’t see how HAM could get a grid penalty as Massa not on fast lap and HAM took avoiding action at risk of damage to his car. HAM was to blame for the incident, but it was of absolutely no consequence and should not affect the race.

    29. Also I don’t understand why people are using the word “consistency” in connection with Alonso’s up and down season. Yes he’s back on form, but that’s not consistency.

      Just hope that WDC not won by a driver who gained from mid season team orders or one who is just a qualifying specialist in a car that has had a second on the rest of the field almost all year (Alonso, Hamilton and Button would have wrapped it up long ago in that car).
      Oh well, rant over, all been said b4, and I’ll probably just have to live with the disappointment :o(

      All the 4 contenders have made mistakes this year and the winner will just as deserving as many WDCs.

    30. Wonder if Robert is gonna throw a spanner among the pidgeons if the options go off quick and he starts on primes, which he should.

      1. i’m afraid no. he really struggled to make a single clean lap in Q, I’m afraid he will keep struggling to just defend his position. Pity ending of otherwise brilliant season considering possibilities available.

    31. does anyone here have a time machine!!! pLEEEASE TAKE TO 5pm Abu Dhabi time, i cant wait. i have exams i cant study. i am running all over the house.i cant eat,i cant sleep.i been visiting f1 fanatic every 30 mins,the list goeeess onnn and on and on…. I CANT TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!

      1. 7 hours and counting jake. tick tick tick tick…bwahahahaha

      2. I know what you mean, Jake – the anticipation is killing me.

        1. Really? I feel the build up is the same as Haye v Harrison. An enormous amount of waffle leading to a brief, boring and very foregone conclusion. Unless Alonso’s engine goes, he takes the title. Those 7 points wrecked this season and Brazil and now Abu Dhabi seem like a damp squib waiting to happen. Ending the season on a dry track where it’s impossible to overtake is not exactly setting it up for a classic. I hope I’m wrong, but I think it’s going to be a dull procession and a disappointed Vettel. the others have already blown it

          1. Daffid I’ve been following F1 for longer than I can remember… a lot I can’t remember, but this season has been crazy, and the last race we could still have 4 possible winners… I can’t see Ham or Massa or Button backing off or giving a break. They have nothing to lose, but Webber Vettel and Alonso do. I think and hope that we are going to see a real classic.

            There is also a slight possibility of rain… hold your breath M8!

            1. Alex I really hope you’re right! :)

              But I suspect Vettel will sail round to a win with Hamilton never able to pass.
              Alonso will easily keep Button behind him
              Webber might sneak Button in the pit-stops
              But that’s it.
              Win for Vettel, title for Alonso and an absolute snooze.
              The odds on a Hamilton or Webber title are tiny now. And even if Alonso slips to 5th, he’ll have Massa safe behind him and still win, it would need a pit-stop disaster for him to lose.
              The most likely excitement is Vettel and Hamilton taking each other off which makes the title even more certain.

              But I hope by saying all this I’m totally jinxing my prediction and it won’t go like this at all…. come on lads, get stuck in!!

            2. Never been so happy to be wrong :)

              Although I was very close, except for Ferrari forgetting there was other teams on the track.

    32. Three or four races ago I said that Webber had absolutely no chance of winning this title, that he would find a way to blow the once fairly healthy lead that he had, and I said that was because he is a mediocre driver. That’s a fact, and recent events are yet another proof of it. He is just not that good. He is occasionally fast, and occasionally error-free, which is occasionally good enough to grab pole or win a race. But it is nowhere near enough to win a championship, at least not in F1. So while I really do like the man as a person, I do not regard him as a top-level driver … because he is not.

      Vettel would be a worthy champion. Alonso would be a worthy champion. Even Lewis would be a worthy champion, in case all of the unexpected things happen during the race today. I would have no problem w/ any of these three winning it all.

      And to that end, something tells me that when it’s all said and done, some small German town (Heppenheim) will be getting ready for a parade.

      1. I like how people would rather the guy favoured by his team and have the dominant car tuned to his liking win than the guy who punches above his weight.

        Unless performing to within 3 old points of Fernando Alonso is now considered a small achievement.

        1. lol… when you said old points my mind went straight to the old 9 for 1st, 6 for second and … with points for 2 finishes dropped.

          You still have time to do the math and really create some new insane scenarios!

    33. I don’t know if I will be able to stand watching the start! I am going to be so nervous!

      1. Damon I’m the same… this is the most nerve racking finish I can remember…

    34. Keith, I think you mean “principal title rival”, rather than principle.

    35. Button will play a big role today if he can get ahead of Alonso at the start. And who knows what could happen if Webber can get ahead of Alonso too.

    36. How about this, running order on the last lap:
      HAM, VET, WEB, BUT, ALO. Alonso is set to win the championship on points from Vettel. But then Hamilton develops an ‘issue’ allowing Vettel through, problem mysteriously disappears as soon as Vettel is past, Hamilton finishes second but Vettel, winning the race, seals the championship from Alonso on 4th place finishes.

      ‘Revenge is a dish best served cold.’

      1. I think u meant “steals” not seals?

    37. Not much mention of Massa so far in any of the possible scenarios….

      1. Meaning that he’s right alongside Webber on the grid….

    38. Please please please launch the live blog Keith…the race starts in an hour! I’m going nuts!

    39. Ferrari are cheats, and we all know it… besides, the fizzy drinks boys are the better constructors, and that’s official!

    Comments are closed.