Does Alonso have a realistic chance at the title?

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    What do you guys think? He’s 13 points behind with 3 races left and he would be a huge underdog assuming the cars were equal.

    However in view of Red Bull/Vettel on the way to break every record out there, can Alonso/Ferrari do anything?


    Vettel and Red Bull are good but by no means perfect. It only takes one mistake, one bad pitstop, one alternator failure and the championship is back in Alonso’s hands. Of course with their current form such mistakes from Seb and the team seem unlikely but Canada, Abu Dhabi and Brazil least season were all unexpected events, of course they did little to championship but still proved that everyone makes mistakes. To count Alonso out with 75 points still available is a bit silly to be honest.

    However that been said, it only takes one mistake, one bad pitstop, one component failure for Alonso and the championship is Vettels for another year.


    Yes but let’s assume that Vettel does not finish a race and Alonso takes P1. In the other 2 races, Vettel takes P1 and Alonso P2.

    Vettel still wins the WDC with 290 points over 288 for Alonso. That’s assuming a race where Vettel DNFs and Alonso capitalizes to the maximum degree possible.

    We can’t count out Alonso but the odds are really low. Does anyone the betting odds?


    Alonso must get the updates and win the next race, to continue to have possibilities



    Red Bull are back into their 2011 ‘stick it on pole and lead from the front’ groove. But if their qualifying advantage can be disrupted they will be vulnerable on race day.

    That threat is probably more likely to come from McLaren than Ferrari, but even so that could provide Alonso the opportunity he needs.

    He’s only 13 points behind and at this stage I expect Alonso will at least take the contest to the final round.

    And of course that’s ignoring the ‘dumb luck’ factor of Vettel suffering more unreliability or being taken out by another driver.


    Grosjean or Maldonado, do your job.


    On a more serious note;

    It was all over for Prost after Portugal 1986, right?
    It was all over for Schumacher after Spa 2000, right?
    It was all over for Raikkonen after Japan 2007, right?
    It was all over for Vettel after Korea 2010, right?

    I remember back in 2003, with only 3 races to go the championship clearly fell into Montoya’s hands. He was only 1 point behind Schumacher, but based on what happened in Hungary and Germany it was very obvious that Williams was a much better car than Ferrari. However, Schumacher managed to turn the fortunes around, won in Italy and USA while JPM only scored a 2nd and 6th there. In a matter of one twist of faith, the championship odds were flipped around.

    It can all change in seconds. A poor pitstop, a car failure, Ferrari’s updates working better than Red Bull, etc… Those who are uber-confident that Vettel will win the championship easily need to calm down the assumptions.


    @Kingshark – Those are fantastic examples but none of those teams were facing Red Bull – a team that has dominated F1 since Japan 2010 which is 2 full seasons.

    To win, all the drivers except Prost had to get P1 in all races – 4 victories for Schumacher in 2000, 2 for Raikonnen in 2007 and 2 for Vettel in 2010. Prost had P2, P2 and P1 in 1986 but Mansell’s retirement in the final race helped him win without consecutive P1s.

    So essentially Ferrari has to dominate Red Bull in the next 3 races for that to happen. It’d be so much easier for Ferrari to just pit Massa so he comes out in front of Vettel and then Massa can claim track ownership like he did in 2011. DNF, DNF, DNF for Vettel;-)


    Alonso’s problem is that Vettel can afford a DNF and still keep the championship in his own hands. Based on recent form it’s hard to imagine Vettel not winning 2 of the last 3 races.

    But you can never rule Alonso out, can you? He’s been brilliant this year and if he gets half a chance, he’ll take it.

    It’s definitely Vettel’s to lose though.


    Looking at the betting odds, the payout on Alonso is between 3.5 and 4 which is about a 25%-29% chance of winning. Of course, the real odds are much lower since they make money on it. I would say 10%-15% – a pretty long shot.


    If both Vettel and Alonso would finish all three coming races, and not hit any trouble, then yes the championship for Alonso is over.

    But this is Formula 1: if Vettel retires next race and Alonso wins, then the situation will look quite good for Alonso. If the roles are reversed, then Vettel practically has number three in the pocket.

    I think Alonso should focus on getting the maximum amount of points out of every weekend and basically see where he ends up: there is simply not more he can do, right?


    I expect Red Bull’s dominance to continue for the next few races. They’ve won before at both Abu Dhabi and Interlagos, and should win again this year if everything goes to plan, while Circuit of the Americas, with all its high-downforce corners and hairpins, looks like it would suit the RB8 very well. Ferrari may be able to bridge the performance gap somewhat with more updates, but it’s likely that Newey and company will still be one step ahead in car development…

    The keywords in that paragraph were “if everything goes to plan“. For all we know, Red Bull could make a rare tactical error, or experience an unexpected loss of pace. Vettel could make a tiny slip-up. McLaren could come into play as an influencing third party. The “reliability ninja” could strike anyone. Knowing him, at the first chance he gets, Alonso will pounce and make the most of the situation.

    Does Alonso have a realistic chance? Just did some rough arithmetic, correct me if I’m wrong, but mathematically speaking:

    Scenario One
    Suppose Vettel wins at Abu Dhabi (he looked set to do that last year if had not been for that puncture). If Alonso finishes 2nd, Vettel’s lead in the standings grows to 20 points. In this scenario, Vettel needs to outscore Alonso by 6 points – for example, another Vettel-1st, Alonso-2nd finish – to secure the championship in Austin.

    Scenario Two
    Conversely, if Vettel records a DNF and Alonso wins at Yas Marina, the standings shift to a 12 point lead in Alonso’s favor. Alonso then needs to outscore Vettel by 7 points per race for the remainder of the season to win the title.


    It’s doable, it seems morel likely Vettel will win but Alonso could definitely do it. He’ll need a bit of luck to help him on his way but it’s happened plenty of times before.

    It’s completely possibly that Vettel could DNF the last three races with a bit of mechanical trouble, a knock from another driver and a mistake that leaves him in a wall.


    He certainly does. It’s possible that Vettel retires in Abu Dhabi or Austin and Alonso wins, and then the situation might look completely different.

    However, my feeling is that we might still see something unexpected this season but that Alonso won’t quite manage to take the title in the end. Vettel seems to be in his best shape. RBR is dominant as well although not as much as it was in the first half of 2011 and I also believe that Ferrari are throwing kitchen sink at the championship battle. As I understand, the two upcoming Tilkedromes should suit Newey’s baby very well so Alonso still has a chance but I agree with @Enigma that the title is Vettel’s to lose.


    You’re all saying how Alonso winning Abu Dhabi with a Vettel DNF would turn things around, but would it really? Vettel would still have the championship in his own hands and would win the title no matter what if he won in the last 2 races.

    Alonso needs to beat Vettel this weekend I guess. If Vettel wins Abu Dhabi it’s all over, even if Alonso is 2nd – Vettel will have a 20-point lead with 2 races to go and will need a single further win to wrap it up.

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