Button: Championship between Alonso and Vettel

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Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Marina Bay, 2012In the round-up: Jenson Button says Sebastian Vettel is the only driver likely to catch Alonso in the championship.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Title Alonso or Vettel’s: Button (BBC)

“It’s hard for anyone [to catch Alonso] except [Sebastian Vettel] at the moment. It’s between those two but there’s still a lot of people with a long shot. That’s what we’re all going to go for.”

‘Ferrari must find more performance’ (Sky)

Stefano Domenicali: “There are six Grands Prix to go to the end of the season and clearly, we need to make a step forward in terms of performance, because we cannot rely purely on the misfortune of others.”

GP2 champion Valsecchi feels he deserves F1 chance (ESPN)

“In Italy they always say there is no Italian driver in Formula One, but before now who deserved it? Last year we finished second with [Luca] Filippi, which was fantastic but we were unlucky because it was second. The year before no Italian, and before there was [Giorgio] Pantano, who was a great champion, but there was the story that he was in Formula One before, and the story that maybe he was too old, but this year there is another Italian champion.”

Nico Rosberg: Message after P5 in Singapore (Mercedes via Youtube)

Horner hoping for alternator fix by Suzuka (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“Every time I saw a Renault powered car stop, the first question was why? Maldonado retired, but I think that was hydraulics, then we saw an issue with a Caterham, but that was because I think they forgot to put a wheel on.”

Lotus says it paid for poor Friday (Autosport)

Trackside operations director Alan Permane: “We had a very poor Friday, but we understood pretty much where we’d gone wrong. We recovered an awful lot of it, but didn’t get it perfectly right.”

Red Bull races new front wing at Singapore (F1 Technical)

“Red Bull Racing debuted a new front wing on the RB8, featuring two changes.”

F1 will bring S$1b worth of “additional value-add” for economy: Iswaran (Today)

“Staging the Formula One Grand Prix will bring $1 billion [Singaporean] worth of ‘additional value-add’ for Singapore’s economy over a 10-year period, says second minister for trade and industry S Iswaran.”

Barrichello to drive in stock car race in Brazil (The Sacramento Bee)

“Barrichello will earn more than $100,000 for competing but will donate the money to charity.”

Kevin Garside: Lewis Hamilton remains hard to love after his fast-lane feuds (The Independent)

Kevin Garside: “In terms of his working-class background and his ethnicity, Hamilton smashed the great Formula One stereotypes to gain access to the paddock, yet his portrayal is all too often negative.”

No has-been, Schumacher needs another year (NBC Sports)

John Leicester: “Schumacher isn’t the dominant driver he was when he was winning championships with Ferrari but nor, the numbers indicate, is he a middle-aged embarrassment or a has-been. His seven world titles are his forever. Another year of racing, even if it doesn’t amount to much like the three he’s just had, cannot alter that fact and so cannot tarnish the memory of the champion he once was.”


Comment of the day

@Debaser91 compares Sebastian Vettel career with Michael Schumacher’s at the same point:

Sebastian Vettel has won an awful lot of Grands Prix in his short career to date. There has been talk that if anyone is going to be able to match Schumacher?s titles and victories record it will be him, because he has such a long time in the sport ahead of him (the same goes for Hamilton as well but not to such a great extent.)

Therefore I thought it would be interesting to compare Vettel to Schumacher at similar stages in their career, and assumed Vettel would be ahead.

After five full seasons in the sport (’92-’96) Schumacher had 22 victories, whereas Vettel (2008-present) has had 4 and three-quarter full seasons with 23 victories.

However during that period Schumacher only started 79 Grands Prix whereas Vettel, excluding his first eight races with Toro Rosso in 2007 has started 86 races due to longer seasons. Taking Schumacher?s first 86 races in full seasons he then has 24 victories, which is one more than Vettel.

I think that just shows how difficult Schumacher?s incredible victory record will be to beat, even without taking into account his dominant Ferrari years where he was winning nine, ten or more Grands Prix a season he is still neck and neck with Vettel.

Of course in the mid-nineties with the death of Senna and retirements of Mansell, Prost and Piquet, and much less competition for race victories at the front it is arguable whether Schumacher had it easier with poorer competition, but that is a different argument entirely.

Vettel is going to have to have ten to twelve years sustained competing at the front to get anywhere near as close. Thinking about it now, despite Schumacher?s faults and putting aside my own dislike of some of his behaviour on track it really is quite remarkable that he competed at the front pretty much for over a decade.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to James Brickles, WouT and OEL F1!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Keke Rosberg clinched the 1982 world championship in the final round of the season, held at Las Vegas.

Rosberg finished a distant fifth, well over a minute behind surprise winner Michele Alboreto, but that was all he needed. Title rival John Watson came in second, ending the season five points behind the Williams driver.

Eddie Cheever finished his home race on the podium for Ligier.

Here’s the moment Alboreto’s Tyrrell took the lead off Alain Prost’s Renault:

Image ?? Singapore GP/Sutton

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  • 117 comments on “Button: Championship between Alonso and Vettel”

    1. One must wonder whether Vettel will be allowed to match Schmacher’s records, insofar as it would take him to be dominant for several years, something which would not be possible these days when the powers that be are so concerned about maintaining “the show”.

      1. In a sense you are reight, that there is no area where a team can get so far ahead like Ferrari was for some years with Schumacher. But I think its not about show, but about sport to have rules that do not make it easy to keep an advantage for so long with one competitor.

      2. I don’t think “maintaining the show” is anything new and shouldn’t be any more of a barrier in the future than it was to Schumacher. Schumacher had plenty of the same barriers to overcome and still managed to amass an amazing record – 2003 and 2005 were clear situations in which the controlling powers changed the formula to limit his success (and he still managed to scrape a title in one of those years).

        Schumacher also missed part of a season (and almost certainly another drivers’ title) when he broke his leg at Silverstone and he spent some of his best years dragging round a useless Ferrari.

        I don’t expect anyone to beat many of his records in my lifetime, but I don’t think that is due to having any less opportunity but because, love him or loathe him, he was the best driver over a very long period of time. I would personally love to see Vettel give it a good shot though.

        1. When Schumacher was at Ferrari, most new rules were designed to cut Ferrari’s advantage but they were very good technically and managed to keep their superiority for many years.

          1. The only way Vettel will surpass MS’s numbers is if they contract him a guaranteed subservient and then build the car with strictly SV in mind. The FIA would also have to be motivated to see SV break MS’s records, and I think when they were motivated to head MS in that direction it was for different reasons…the circumstances were different. Senna had died and with him the last connection to the previous era (Senna, Prost, Mansell, Piquet, etc), so the FIA felt the need to create a new chapter in F1 headed by MS.

            The rules were changed to try to stop the juggernaut that was MS/Ferrari, but only enough to make it look like they were doing something to stop the processions, but in fact they were bandaid rule changes which Ferrari had a say in forming, so it was smoke and mirrors to suggest that MS/Ferrari was being unfairly held down to stop their dominance. There was never a serious effort and in fact it was the FIA that created the monster to begin with. The rule changes didn’t address the fact that there was a permanent team order at Ferrari for RB to be subservient which shielded MS from any worries from his teammate beating him, nor did it prevent MS from having a designer car with designer tires, so of course the rule changes which would be the same for everyone, didn’t affect MS from having a golden package and situation. And passing for the most part took place off the track through pit strategies while we continued to watch fast cars in dirty air held back by slow cars.

            Bottom line, SV will only beat MS’s records if the FIA wants it so.

            1. the FIA felt the need to create a new chapter in F1 headed by MS

              Does anyone actually seriously believe stuff like that – please tell me you’re joking?

            2. but in fact they were bandaid rule changes which Ferrari had a say in forming, so it was smoke and mirrors to suggest that MS/Ferrari was being unfairly held down to stop their dominance.

              To me it is purely speculation.

              The rule changes didn’t address the fact that there was a permanent team order at Ferrari for RB to be subservient

              Actually they changed the rule after Austria 2002, didn’t they? While Ferrari has a “more to see” politics of number1 and number2, they would never apply it at the begging of the season. If by half the season a driver is ahead, the next one is to support the other one. Barrichello never managed that. Even when he drove for Brawn GP he felt like the team was treating him as number2, remember that?

            3. Jeez @Robbie, you never fail to amaze me with the level of nonsense you spout regarding MS and Ferrari. Your entire post is conjecture and fabrication and in fact bordering on ridiculous.

              You talk about things like ‘designer car with designer tires’, err, in the heat of the tire war, all the top teams where with Michelin, therefore those teams most often had the upper hand.

              You say MS had a ‘golden package’? Apart from the obvious double entendre, you must have been asleep from 96 – 2000. In 2000, it went down to the penultimate race, not exactly a runaway.

              From 2001 – 2004, they kicked ass, in a similar fashion to many other teams before.

              There was no conspiracy. They had the fastest driver and had developed a car over a number of years and the combination worked. Combined with team mates who could rarely match him for speed, but took points off the opposition, it was a tough combo to beat.

              Seriously dude, get some help.

            4. A little short on time right now but I’d be glad to expand on this a little later. Suffice it to say, it is equally ridiculous to deny some of the massive advantages MS had, like I have pulled all this stuff out of a hat or something. The level of nonsense in denying even the most basic stuff such as EI and RB admitting they were under contract to be subservient is quite unbelievable. At least I can admit that some of what I say is conjecture, but it is based on piecing together facts, so to ignore even the most basic facts is to me worse than what you are accusing me of. It is you guys who need the help if you need to cling so desperately to the concept that everything was on the up and up at MS/Ferrari and that his 7 WDC’s were virtuously won.

    2. I think the championship is still Alonso’s to lose. They are always switching places behind him, and he continues to pull away. Mr. Podium isn’t going to lose it just like that, even if the Ferrari isn’t in top form (at least in Singapore, but that tends to be an unique circuit… because in Monza and Spa they were very fast !).

      Vettel, Hamilton and the others will take points from each other, and Alonso is going to keep it like this. I said on friday that I’d not be surprised if come the last bit of the race we find him on the top three positions and I wasn’t wrong. It’s always like that, you don’t know how, but he gets there…

      1. Still I think he need at least 1 win for the rest of the season to win the title. Unless his rivals should do nasty thing to ruin their championship. Not enough just take off points each other. When Alonso had massive point advantage, he won a couple of times. For sure now the gap is much narrower, Ferrari should deliver proper performance. You can’t win the title with consistent 3rd place unless there’re a couple of DNF.

      2. If Vettel can finish ahead of Alonso for only a few races, he will probably catch and overtake him. His lead is really tiny when you consider how many points are up for grabs at each race.

        1. But there’s only 24 points between Hamilton and Vettel too. Given his present form, can’t you see Vettel being kept off the top spot (denying the vital maximum points) and actually caught by Hamilton?

          1. (assuming reliability doesn’t factor)

            1. ..and assuming that Hamilton doesnt already sign for Merc, prompting the emotional Dennis to declare war(even if the consequence wud be to lose the WC)!

              So, it IS Alonso’s WC to lose, which he did in 2010…and by covering Vettel during Pitstop, Ferrari have displayed that they are *again* going to take a very defensive strategy for this WDC…So, any takers for a 2010 repeat?

        2. Seb is close but will Red Bull be better than Ferrari at every venue? I don’t think so, Alonso is likely to finish ahead at some races.

        3. Depends if McLaren can continue their form. If Lewis keeps winning and Jenson can finish ahead of Vettel than Vettel may only be taking 3 points out of Alonso’s lead. Of course this means Lewis cannot be written off and assumes the status quo at Singapore will remain constant for the remainder of the season which is unlikely.
          Ferrari may be better in Suzuka and Red-Bull may struggle due to the layout being similar to Spa (where Vettel would have surely finished about 5 places lower were it not for Grosjean) and if it rains again this year than it will favour Ferrari & Red-Bull to a lesser extent over McLaren.

          I cannot predict it. I was certain Hamilton would have toppled Alonso were it not for that DNF but now see it as a dead heat. The guy with the fastest car has the most to make up, the guy in the slowest car of the 3 has the lead. It couldn’t be better written.

          1. @brum55 – Vettel traditionally runs very well at Suzuka, I wouldn’t bet against him beating Alonso.

      3. Button is in good form he won at belgium effortlessly and running a strong race in monza before hit by reliability and second at singapore looks like he got his rhythm back,he may be practically out of the drivers championship but if he wins a race or two it will definitely play into alonso hands.Only way vettel can beat alonso is by winning 1-2 races because of alonso consistently accumulating points race after race…for hamilton one more dnf and its over for him

      4. @fer-no65 – It’s Alonso’s championship to loose and Vettel’s to win!

    3. i bet the ferrari nicky was in is faster than fernando’s

    4. “In Italy they always say there is no Italian driver in Formula One, but before now who deserved it? Last year we finished second with [Luca] Filippi, which was fantastic but we were unlucky because it was second. The year before no Italian, and before there was [Giorgio] Pantano, who was a great champion, but there was the story that he was in Formula One before, and the story that maybe he was too old, but this year there is another Italian champion.”

      Sorry, Davide, but if I had to make a list of the two twenty-four drivers who would race in Formula 1 in a perfect world – ie, one where the driver is judged solely on natural talent and money was not a factor – then you probably wouldn’t be on it. If I had to make a list of the top twenty-four rookies who I thought deserved a place in Formula 1 in the order of priority, then you probably would be on it … but I don’t think you’d be in the top ten or twelve.

      1. a list of the two twenty-four drivers

        Sorry, that should read “a list of the top twenty-four drivers “.

    5. Another interesting article on Lewis and his public image. I wouldn’t mind knowing if Vettel has similar features written about him in the German press.

      Again though, I see that people want him to move to Mercedes to become the ‘man who turned it around’, rather than the eternal protege. Personally, I’d like to see him in a Williams (former home of another brit with an image problem). I think he’d fit in there, he’d drive them forward, he’d bring them long-term sponsorship and security (and therefore consistency), and I think his gutsy driving style would be great to watch in a car that’s nearly, but not quite, up to scratch. Come on Lewis; what would Ayrton do?

      1. Ayrton would stay with the team with the fastest car, no matter what.

        1. No, I think he’d take the team with the fastest car and the atmosphere that would allow him to get the most out of it.

          Take, for example, Renault in 2009. Flavio Braitore favoured Fernando Alonso so exclusively that Nelson Piquet was really only there so that the team could meet the requirement that they ran two cars. Piquet was effectively left out in the cold, forced to do all the hard work to make any progress, for which he would receive a moderate amount of support from the team. Now, the R29 was not the fastest car in the world – I suspect a motorised anvil would have been quicker – but the atmosphere was toxic. And if Renault just so happened to have the fastest car on the grid, racing them would still not be a very appealing prospect because it was pretty clear the team didn’t want their second driver hanging around. As good as he was, could Senna have overcome all of that in any team? Or would he just pass on having the fastest car in a poor working environment for having the second-fastest car in a much better working environment?

          I’m pretty sure he’d take the latter.

          1. That’s what almost everyone else would do, but not Ayrton, at least not the way I see him. He simply would not take second best, he would fight tooth and nail to be top dog in the top team.

            Lewis, on the other hand, I think would fare much better in a team he feels would do everything to help him. And the chance that Mercedes will have a faster car than McLaren in 2014 is considerably high.

            1. I agree — I think Senna would get himself into the fastest car and then do whatever needed to be done to make that team his team.

        2. Indeed, Ayrton didn’t even really want to race in F1 in 1993, just because his McLaren wasn’t fast enough.

      2. I wouldn’t mind knowing if Vettel has similar features written about him in the German press.

        I think the two are on two different situation. Lewis has had bigger scandales than the ones Vettel has had.

      3. Not sure Ayrton ever found himself in the same situation. It appears Lewis is being offered a pay cut of £3m a year (£15m down to £12m) with the attitude. Take it or leave… McLaren can afford to play this game as they appear a much stronger option than Mercedes.

        1. Yet interestingly Brawn is saying that the place to be for 2014 will be with the manufacturer based teams. He may be right and if so I see that as one reason LH might consider a switch to them, because I also see MS retiring, and I see LH needing to leave the nest and spread his wings with someone else, as in, a change is as good as a rest. I also think that at Merc he will be more free to take on personal sponsors which Mac frowns upon. I also think it would be exciting from the standpoint of the audience to see LH leave Mac and try to build something elsewhere. Not unlike Ayrton Senna moving to Williams.

    6. Maybe this is Button managing expectations? I still wouldn’t rule Hamilton out of the Championship hunt. He’s in the fastest car and is driving well. To me Hamilton shares a similar trait with Alonso and Schumacher of old – you never, ever count them out until the maths does.
      For Button, even though he’s out of the hunt and has apparently told Whitmarsh that he’s there to support the team and Hamilton in their WDC bid, by saying that it’s so tough and such a long shot, is he trying to keep the door open for his own personal gain? He’s an F1 driver and wants to win every race the same as his 23 peers. By talking up how difficult it will be for Hamilton he may use that to justify going for his own glory in future races this season, provided Hamilton isn’t in the position immediately behind him during that race.

      1. If things keep going the way they are, Button knows it will go Alonso’s way. However you can see that McLaren have the best car, and can certainly get 1-2 finishes if they get on top of reliability and any stuff ups. If this starts to happen, and Vettel keeps coming 3rd, Alonso will find it hard. But who really knows that is going to happen? Most likely Hamilton and Vettel will push Alonso to the final race, but Alonso takes the championship coz he has been so consistent over the whole season. Still can’t count Kimi our from getting amongst it also, and if that is the case, it just makes it easier for Alonso. Webber will have to play support role to Vettel now.

        1. Perhaps Jenson is playing mindgames on Lewis. I wouldn’t want my teammate to win the championship either if I were to look like finishing sixth in the championship with the same car.

          1. @kingshark
            If Hamilton manages to get the title I really doubt that Button would finish 6th. It is still possible even for him to win the title, but he has to win at least 3-4 races and always finish ahead of his teammate, the same goes for Hamilton. But if none of them gets the title, I think they will end up at 3th-4th, and with a WCC.

          2. @kingshark I think of it the same as you. On one hand he is saying he would support Hamilton, on the other saying it would be difficult. It is as if, even with his support, Hamilton can not make it. But at least we know what LH is capable of.

      2. I agree with @kingshark . Button does probably not want to play bridesmaid for Lewis. He has shown a penchant for shooting off his mouth and raising many an eyebrow with his words. For instance, he said after Valencia that Alonso’s drive was overrated.

        1. Button’s always been a case of sour grapes though… and you can just tell from his constant moaning about the balance and grip of his car.

          But I guess some mind games are always going on amongst rivals. I found it funny how Fernando in the 2010 season said that Button wasn’t really a championship contender although he was very much in the title hunt at the time. That absolutely cracked me up

          1. My memory’s faded… when exactly did Alonso say it?

          2. Button’s always been a case of sour grapes though… and you can just tell from his constant moaning about the balance and grip of his car.

            Yeah, and when he’s not moaning about the balance and grip he’s winning races… what’s the go of that?

          1. http://www.crash.net/f1/news/181475/1/button_surprised_by_alonso_praise.html
            When someone asks you about a particular driver, if you switch gears and talk about another driver(in this case, Vettel) it is really not respecting the driver in question.

            1. @chicanef1 He was asked to give an opinion on how he rated Alonso’s drive – which he did, and he didn’t see as much of a standout as Vettel’s. The comment about Vettel was a mere 1 paragraph, while a majority of the article was about Alonso and how well he has done and that he believe’s he’s done a far better job than Massa with the same equipment. How is it that you could focus on 1 paragraph (roughly 10% of the article) and deduce that he’s talking negative about Alonso? BTW, Vettel drove an outstanding race at Valencia, and if it wasn’t for the alternator he would’ve won it easily. Alonso drove brilliantly from 11th, but Vettel qualified 1st and was convincingly faster than everyone else – which is what Button was pointing out.

      3. I was thinking exactly the same. Button is out to belittle Hamilton’s chances to prevent McLaren spending more resources on Hamilton.

      4. Jenson said some weeks ago that he would be fighting until the end, now he changes his speech to “Alonso vs. Vettel” when his team8 (usually portrait as the petulant) is 52 points shy of Alonso. For the sake of his (JB) image, Jenson should say “I’m out of it but Lewis still has a shot so I’ll be there to help if needed”.

        1. Jenson would never want to help another teammate win the title. The ego of a circumstancial champ I guess

          1. @todfod
            It is pretty harsh. I wonder if Hamilton tried to help Alonso in 2007, or vice-versa, hmm that may be the ego of two other “circumstancial champs” (just as every other).

            I really dont understand how could Button help Hamilton. He could move over for him if they are running close to each other, but there were no sutch situations in the last few races.

            In Monza, Hungary and Singapore Hamilton was ahead, in Belgium Hamilton dropped out, in Germany they were close, but Hamilton was a lap down. So how could he help Hamilton? Maybe he should crash into Alonso two or three times, so others could say he is helping his teammate.

            And another interesting stat: in the last five races JB collected more points than any other in the top 6.


            1. “It’s hard for anyone [to catch Alonso] except Seb at the moment,” Button said.

              “It’s between those two but there’s still a lot of people with a long shot. That’s what we’re all going to go for.”

              So from this quote I don’t see how JB is eliminating LH from his shot…just saying it’s a long one and that they are all going to go for it. ie. unlike the above posts I don’t see that JB is playing headgames here, nor do I read into anything that he won’t support LH if he can be of some help. He may not be able to help literally but he certainly doesn’t need to fight LH if somehow in the next few races LH is looking to take a big bite out of FA’s lead. I’m quite sure JB at least understands that his is the longer shot than LH’s and others, so I’m sure he will know the right thing to do if the opportunity presents itself, without even being asked. I think JB has more class than the above posts seem to portray.

            2. Interesting stats so why should Jenson give up and help Lewis. If JB keeps scoring like he did last season Lewis will be supporting him

          2. Your really cant help yourself from making snide remarks about Button and his achievements whenever an opportunity arises. So transparent.

            The Brawn car was only dominant in the early phase of the 2009 championship. I have no idea why people insist that it was dominant for the entire season when it’s blatantly obvious that it wasn’t.

          3. @todfod Normally I agree with what you post on this site, but I don’t think it’s sour grapes or the ego of a ‘circumstantial champ’.
            I’d like to clarify that my original comment was not meant to be taken as I think that Button would do anything out of resentment or ‘sour grapes’. I only meant that if he truly sees Hamilton out of the championship hunt then he has every reason to pursue wins for himself, instead of dedicating himself to the betterment of Hamilton’s championship aspirations for the next six races.

            By saying what he said, he is freeing himself from being obligated to play number 2 for the rest of the season.

            1. could it be that he was just expressing an honest opinion that many people share? Drivers are criticised for being too corporate but when they say what a lot of people can work out for themselves the conspiracy theorists jump into action and start looking for hidden meanings. Call me naive but I think these guys do far too many interviews to have time to be pre-planning every sentence in some Machiavelian way.

            2. @Salcrich Yeah, that’s a good point. It’s highly possible that he meant exactly what he said, no more, no less with no subtext…but where’s the fun in that?! :)

            3. By saying what he said, he is freeing himself from being obligated to play number 2 for the rest of the season.

              McLaren has always pride themselves on not having a number 1 or 2 and that their drivers are open to race each other. Even with the change of rules to allow team orders, they haven’t exercised this, and I don’t believe it’s in their mantra to do so. So I don’t think JB is trying to free himself from anything, but he has mentioned to Whitmarsh that if the time comes when Lewis needs the help, he’d do it for the sake of the team.

              BTW, did anyone hear Lewis’ comment during the Singapore race to his engineer to ask Jenson to put pressure on Vettel in the opening stages of the race?… is Lewis asking for help to win?

        2. If you read a bit further into the article, JB explains that the inconsistent scoring makes it difficult for anyone else other than Vettel to close up to Alonso. And the fact is; Lewis, has had two retirements since coming back form the break, Vettel has had one, Alonso has had one and that he has had one too. The scoring has been inconsistent and that with 5 races remaining no one can afford to have any DNFs, if the trend continues it quickly takes any chance away from the ones furthest away from Alonso should they have a DNF. Looks like JB is trying to explain what is pretty obvious but it seems that the JV haters tend to take things out of context when he tries to explain things or speaks a bit of intelligence. When JB highlights the issues with his car when it’s not to his liking, and the haters jump on it as excuses – I don’t understand why people just can’t see it as a driver trying to give the fans a bit more information as to what is going on without giving too much team secrets away… but I guess they’d prefer the driver to Tweet it instead.

          1. *5 races remaining… I meant 6

        3. @jcost Didn’t you have the same doubts as JB just the day before?

    7. Keke Rosberg clinched the 1982 world championship in the final round of the season, held at Las Vegas.

      Nice footage from 1982. I still think Keke’s world championship was one of the most impressive title clinches of all time, considering the Williams car had a natural powered V8 Cosworth engine compared to the turbo-charged monsters Renault and Ferrari had.

      1. @kingshark Well Rosberg wouldn’t have had a shot at the title had Gilles not died at Zolder, or Pironi not suffered career-ending injuries at Hockenheim. I personally feel, after Hunt in ’76, Rosberg was the luckiest champion.

        1. And if the sun hadn’t come up this morning it would be dark.

          1. But the Sun comes up every morning, but world championships are not decided every year, because of the reasons mentioned above.

      2. Yes, and this was the legendary ‘Las Vegas Car Park’ circuit, loved by all (not).
        Keke won the year by consistency, picking up points for places almost everwhere. Whereas the fire-breathing turbos often consumed themselves. 11 different drivers won races that year – a few more than this season, but we’ve still got six races to go!

    8. I wonder if this is Button’s tactic of sort of “If I can’t have it you can’t either” – almost as if he prefers a non-McLaren to win the title, if he can’t.

      While I have no doubt he is (begrudgingly – these guys are selfish as hell on track) a team player – but I’m sure being a teammate to a WDC-winner is always a blow to the ego. If he doesn’t win the title, and Lewis doesn’t – then it could be compartmentalised to a car that wasn’t “good enough” for the title. If he doesn’t win the title but Lewis does – it could be seen as him being the weak link.

      1. I wonder if this is Button’s tactic of sort of “If I can’t have it you can’t either” – almost as if he prefers a non-McLaren to win the title, if he can’t.

        I don’t think Button is like that. He’s never really indulged in psychological warfare in the past, instead preferring to be upfront about everything.

        1. Because you know Button better than Button knows himself?
          Button himself said earlier this year, that he really isn’t such a nice guy.
          I guess you will say Button doesn’t know what he is talking about also.

        2. @prisoner-monkeys I didn’t mean psychological warfare against Lewis, but rather a comfort to his own self psychologically. If Lewis does win the title, it would mean that Jenson was unable to win the title in a car which Hamilton showed was capable of it. If someone else won the title, then Button could still compartmentalise the loss as down to the car somewhat.

          1. I think JB did well enough last year vs. LH that he (JB) knows what he is capable of and knows that some years it just doesn’t work out, like last year it not working out for LH and this year the roles a bit reversed from last year. The car didn’t seem to suit him, and/or the tire ‘lottery’ especially earlier on did JB no favours but I, like PM, say that JB hasn’t really portrayed an image in the past of ‘if I can’t have it then you can’t either.’ I think JB is well aware that it is about more than just he and LH. They also have responsibilities to the team and it’s sponsors for all the money and time and effort put behind them.

            @raymondu999 “but I’m sure being a teammate to a WDC-winner is always a blow to the ego.” Said like you have forgotten that JB is a WDC as well. ie. he knows what he himself is capable of and so I think will only be lamenting and trying to rectify how his own year has gone, not rueing how LH’s has gone a little better, at least in terms of points.

            1. @robbie I know he is a WDC as well – but he hasn’t been realistically in contention for the WDC at McLaren, ever. In 2010 he was knocked out before the final race, in 2011 everyone was knocked out (practically) by Singapore.

              While he knows he is a WDC – and that he is capable of the WDC title – does he “know” he is WDC-capable with Lewis as a teammate?

            2. Yeah I see what you are saying, but I’m just not sure it is as extreme a case of ‘if I can’t have it you can’t either.’ I’m not sure LH winning would be a blow to the ego. Does he ‘know’ he is WDC-capable with LH as a teammate? I would like to think that he wouldn’t have signed with Mac if he thought it would be his WDC death warrant. Otherwise, I would like to think that these guys are well trained, like many athletes, to not get to high on the highs nor too low on the lows, so I think if it doesn’t work out for JB and it does for LH, JB will have the attitude that it didn’t work out for him this year but he had a fair shot, but how great to be in a WDC capable team and I’ll go get em next year. After all…what else could he do, and it would be a waste of energy and a real negative if he were to dwell very long with a ‘blown ego.’ I think these drivers let go of that stuff pretty quick. I’m sure after the heat of the moment, and not long into the off-season, JB would happily rationalize that he is on the WDC team to beat for 2013, if in fact LH won it this year.

      2. Or if Lewis wins, JB could also see it as he’s beaten a double WDC from the same team.

        BTW, it’s interesting that some Lewis fans from other websites had already hinted that JB should’ve been helping Lewis win WDCs earlier… is it that Lewis has no capability to win himself?

    9. I don’t know why Button says such thing. He didn’t abandon hope even when he didn’t have best car. They surely have the best car so far and there would be DNF or bad weekend from anybody. Juse one DNF will chance championship battle massively.

      That’s why I think Hamilton is in better position to Alonso than Vettel. Also even it might be true that Button is a long shot, he still can win or get on podium so he can affect championship. I won’t say Button should help Hamilton, but as Whitmarsh said, he would do right thing at right time…

      1. @eggry Button’s comments sound a bit strange to me, it seems that Button believes that Hamilton’s chances to win the title are not much higher than his own and that Jenson is not ready to play a support role. There has been some talk that the relationship between McLaren and Hamilton has improved again (which would suggest that Hamilton is going to stay where he is) but I don’t really see any evidence for that.

        1. I think that without anybody assuming FA and SV will have dnf’s, the odds are in fact as JB has said it…they (SV and FA) will be hard to catch if they continue to get top 3 positions come the end of race days. ie. LH’s chances aren’t that much higher than JB’s right now, assuming SV and FA keep going the way they have. Those with the longer shots cannot proceed with the assumption that FA or SV will have dnf’s to close up the chase for the WDC. The assumption for those with the lesser shot has to be that they themselves must podium and preferably win in order to keep the lion’s share of the points away from FA and SV and ensure that more than just those two have a shot for the WDC going into the last race of the season.

          So it’s all well and good to discuss the what-if’s in terms of FA or SV dnf’ing, but the teams cannot play it like that will happen. They have to assume FA and SV will keep scoring meaningful points and that the onus is on those with the longer shots to stay ahead of them. ie. sieze the day…stamp their authority on it…as opposed to hoping and praying it doesn’t go well for others and winning only due to the attrition of others.

    10. Besides Australia Button never finished ahead os Lewis in normal circunstances. By normal I mean: punctures, failures, accidents, penaltys, etc. That’s an interesting fact, but I’m sure nice excuses will be made to prove that they are evenly matched. Althgouh I must admit that looking back, the two had a lot problems during the season. Mclaren needs better reliability if wants to win a championship.

      1. @edmarques
        Im a huge Button fan, but no excuses needed, Hamilton simply drove better this year. By the time Button came to terms with the tyres and the upgrades, the WDC was all but over for him. They both have to constantly finish on the podium if they want to have a shot at either title.

    11. @keithcollantine Is Lewis going to get a penalty for changing his blown gearbox for the next race?

      1. @mahavirshah
        Nope. He did not finish the race, so he can start a new series of 5 (GPs) with a new gearbox.

      2. @mahavirshah, off the top of my head, there’s no penalty if you retired because of the gearbox the race before. I’m not sure about the rules if you retire for another or an unclear reason (such as Vettel being instructed to retire in Malaysia from 11th place even though there didn’t seem to be too much wrong with his car).

      3. @bag0 @adrianmorse Ahh Thanks. They should really replace the gearbox penalty with something else other than a grid drop in any case. But that discussion was already done :) !

    12. I would say that Schumacher is still good enough for F1 but not good enough for Mercedes, a team that seeks to fight for the world championship. If I was Peter Sauber and had to choose between Kobayashi and Schumacher, I would prefer Schumacher. But I’m sure that Mercedes can replace him with a better driver even if Hamilton refuses to join them after all. Nico Hulkenberg would be happy for such a promotion I guess.

      Mr. Leicester, the columnist at NBC Sports, argues that Schumacher should stay for one more year so that he can end his career on a high. But isn’t that what he’s been trying to do for the last 3 years? This season has been Michael’s best since the comeback but he still is too inconsistent and makes too many rookie-like mistakes. If he repeats his Singapore “number” for one more time, he will most likely get a one race ban. I’m sure Schumacher could still win a race in the right car on the right day but does he and his team really want to continue to embarrass themselves regularly, hoping for occasional successes?

      1. @girts I am surprised that Schui didn’t get a one race ban for Singapore. I think Romain Grosjean can feel a little peeved. If that was the other way around and Vergne had smashed into Schumacher, I expect Vergne would have been banned….

        1. Good point but maybe RG’s penalty was more severe because he took out LH and FA and I forget who else, but anyway two WDC hopefuls (at least LH was more of one at the time RG took him out and before this weekends dnf). MS nor JEV are WDC contenders this year. Had MS taken out FA, I wonder if the penalty would have been more severe.

          1. I dont think that a penatly depends on who was involved. In 2009 (Spa) Grosjean took out Button (the WDC leader), Hamilton and some others, and if I remember correctly, he didnt get any penatly.

    13. Button’s comments are expectation management, nothing else.

      McLaren have far and away the best car at the moment, and the pace to win all six of the remaining GPs if their reliability holds out. I said before Singapore I wouldn’t have been surprised to see a McLaren 1-2 in the championship – I think that’s a tall order now, but Hamilton should still win it easily as long as reliability isn’t an issue again.

      1. Easily? Hamilton’s chances are not much different from Button’s.
        Waiting until you are dependent on other drivers having bad luck, is not the way to go about winning a championship. Hamilton and Button will have to win every remaining race if ALonso, Vettel, Kimi and Webber are getting podiums.
        That is a very big ask, as they speed of the car may not even be consistent on the other tracks they are yet to visit. Even in Singapore, RBR had I would say, the fastest car on the grid, just that they messed up their qualifying.
        Conclusion, Hamilton can’t win it easily or win it at all.

        1. Hamilton’s chances are not much different from Button’s.

          If we assume that Alonso will keep his consistency, then he should score about 90 points in the remaining races. This means that Hamilton would have to win 5 races and finish second in the last one. Slim chance, but Button doesn’t have even that. Their situation is different, because Jenson must hope for Alonso’s misfortune. Otherwise he’s out of the championship.

    14. For me is going to be alonso’s way because hamilton will win a few races. Vettel is going to be very not much likely to substract enough points to alonso. The difference between 2nd and 3rd is just 3 points per race.

    15. Suppose Alonso finishes 4th in every race from now on. This probably won’t happen – he will fail to finish and he will get on the podium at some point – but in terms of points it is a sensible enough assumption.

      Alonso would finish with 194 + 6*12 = 266 points.

      Thus if Vettel wants to win, he must score (266-165)/6 = 17 points per race. That would be, for example, two wins, two 2nds, one 3rd and one retirement. Or alternatively, 2nd in every race. Either way you put it that sounds daunting.

      If Hamilton wants to win (and Alonso finishes 4th each time), he’ll need (266-142)/6 = 21 points per race. That’s three wins, two 2nds, and one 3rd. Or alternatively… if he retires just once and wins all five of the other races, he would scrape home by just one point.

      I hope that helps people to understand just how hard it will be for anyone to outscore Alonso if he maintains any kind of consistency. We’d need to see something special.

      1. By the way – given this, I think it’s time that McLaren started using team orders. I know this would depend on both of their cars finishing the same race, which hasn’t happened often lately. But quite simply, if Hamilton is targeting three wins, two 2nds and a 3rd then he can’t afford to drop points to his team-mate.

      2. I think that you are underestimating Alonso a bit. So far he’s very consistent and scores on average 13,9 points per race. I think it’s reasonable to expect the same in the remaining six races. This would put him at 277 points at the end of the season.

        1. In other words, it might be even harder for Vettel, Raikonnen or Hamilton to catch him!

          Five wins and one retirement for Hamilton might still not be enough…

      3. Hamilton five wins? Actually that looks likely. Alonso not scoring at least 2 podiums? Very unlikely.

      4. Nice calculation. Still Alonso needs to finish consistent top 4 right? then improved Ferrari is essential.

        1. Yes right, cause in last 7 races ALO has 2 wins, 1 second, 2 thirds, 1 5th, 1 GRO, so not bad really looks like a winner, you think they have to give him a pole sitter still ?

          1. I’d rather read much recent races than 7 races. if you see it, there were 2 thirds were best which is not good enough considering it was helped by DNF from rivals. I’m not necessarily saying he needs pole position to win the title but I’m sure he needs at least 2nd row of the grid.

      5. Everyone seems to discount the possibility of someone taking Alonso out (not on purpose). We’ve seen it once already. If he doesn’t qualify in the top three, the chance is there of another Kamikaze moment in the midfield. We’ve seen plenty of them this season. Maldonado, Grosjean and Schumi are but a few who could deliver in that regard.

        1. I wasn’t saying he would definitely finish every race in 4th or better. I was saying he would probably get at least 12 points a race on average.

          As two people have already pointed out, he’s done much better than that so far this season.

    16. Everyone keeps saying McLaren is the fastest car, but Vettel seemed much faster than Button…

      1. @jason12 Well, then Button was much faster than Webber.

      2. Vettel was slower than Hamilton in Singapore. Button was much slower than it.

        1. I would say Vettel was slower on SS Button was slower on S.

        2. I’ve got a live timing app on my phone and I can tell you that Button was faster than both Lewis , up until he retired and Vettel up until the last 9 laps of the race. As mentioned Mclaren slower on S. The app is really good get it on your phone

          1. Lewis said in his interview that he was conserving his tyres.

          2. Is that the official FIA App? The one that you have to pay for, whereas last year it was free.

    17. Merry Birthday to my fellow birthday sharers :)

      Realistically in my view, it’s a three way championship battle between Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel, but it would be such a fairytale for me if Raikkonen were to win in his first year since his comeback. (Not because I placed a ten pound bet on him ;) )

    18. this is the way i see the 3 drivers fighting for the championship:
      Hamilton – fastest car, sometimes 2nd fastest, didnt get the necessary results in the first half of the season start of the season, even with pitstop errors, he didnt look after tyres and should have won more with the car he has, he was never as fast in the races as he was in qualifying. only 1 mechanical dnf.
      Vettel – 2nd fastest car, sometimes 3rd fastest – quite consistent. could snatch the championship the way he did in 2010, at the last race. 2 mechanical dnfs
      Alonso – 3rd fastest car, sometimes maybe 2nd fastest. Outdriving his car, consistently good results, no mechanicle dnfs – he would still be mixing it with them even with dnfs. Worthy champion.

      Alonso should win it from here, mclaren were expected to be good in hungary, spa and monza, now i think it will be some races redbull, and teams like Sauber and Williams will take points away from the leading teams.

    19. Appears the Round up may have missed someone about to be rounded up. lol. German newspaper reporting indictments imminent for Ecclestone. http://wp.me/p2HWOP-4x (translated)

    20. Hearing that Jaime Algersuari’s 2013 race deal that he’s mentioned on Twitter over the weekend is with either Sauber or Force India.

      1. Don’t see that either teams have an opening to be honest. They both have good line-ups already.

        1. It basically means that one of the bits of paddock speculation is true.
          Either Perez is off to Ferrari or Di Resta is off to McLaren or Mercedes.

          I already heard the speculation Friday from a paddock source & Algersuari told the Spanish media on Saturday that he would be racing in F1 with “A team between fifth to seventh in the constructors’ championship. Being in the points consistently.”

          Thats either Sauber, Force India or Mercedes.
          It won’t be Mercedes as should Schumi retire or Nico move elsewhere they would almost certainly bring in Di Resta (Mercedes backed driver for many years & already heavily linked with them) if they can’t get Hamilton.

        2. @andrewtanner Peter Sauber now think Kobayashi is not good enough since Perez and Kobayashi’s gap is widening. I think he wants fresh blood. I don’t know about Force India though. They usually choose underdog drivers so why not?

    21. Is it just me or is Jenson more and more coming across as a conniving schemer?

      1. Just like the other bloke that tries to lie to officials and Tweets the team’s performance data to the world – stating that his team mate got the new wing that beat him and not the fact that he chose not to use it, or state that because of his skin colour that is why he’s been summonsed to the stewards? Or the other bloke that blocks his team mate during qualifying and black-mails his team boss that he’ll go to the FIA, or denies any association with his team mate “conveniently” crashing to bring the safety car out, or the other bloke that’s tried to run two competitors off the track (one was successful) to win the WDC, and also purposely parks his car on the track so no one else can finish their qualifying? Hmmmmmmm… there’s more convincing evidence of other drivers being conniving than what JB has said throughout his article… but I guess it’s easy to turn the blind eye for the driver that you support.

    22. It should have more straights and less corners. One overtaking opportunity per lap is not enough for a 5 Km circuit. This would also reduce time laps and the infamous 2-hours issue during the race.

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