F1 end of season: Vettel v Alonso – the final chapter
Season enters home straight: with just two races remaining, the 2012 Formula One is reaching its climax, and with the drivers’ championship still undecided.
Sebastian Vettel, the current World Champion, remarkably came from last place to finish an impressive third in last weekend’s Abu Dhabi grand prix.
The 25-year-old currently drives a much-improved Red Bull car compared to the first part of the year, and the steady improvements has seen the German rise to the top of the points table with four race victories in a row before last Sunday’s race at Yas Marina.
Soon-to-be Mercedes driver, Lewis Hamilton, positioned in first place before his car lost all power on Lap 20 and subsequently retired from the race. He believes Vettel’s podium last weekend was ‘lucky’. But in contrast Red Bull boss, Christian Horner, believes it was ‘one of the best of his career’.
Whatever anybody thinks, his third place has put him in the driving seat now to secure a third world title, and who wouldn’t back the young German to do it?
But the man trying to stop him is also after his hat trick of championships.
Fernando Alonso has arguably taken a car that was on its knees to a title-contending machine just through proven driving ability. His performances in this year’s Ferrari have been remarkable at times, and he is looking to secure an unexpected title much like he did at Renault back in 2005 and 2006.
But unfortunately for the Spaniard, despite finishing consistently in the points positions, and featuring regularly on the post-race podiums, he hasn’t won a race since July, when he triumphed ironically in front of Vettel’s home crowd in Germany, at Hockenheim.
The 31-year-old remains upbeat about his title hopes, despite trailing by 10 points, and says “I’m confident,” and that his Ferrari team will “fight to the end.”
And despite many people now backing Vettel to take the title, Alonso does have the support of former teammate, Lewis Hamilton, who believes the Ferrari driver is the quicker of the two.
The Brit stated, “Fernando didn’t have the quickest car, not a great car at the beginning of the year and he still managed to score some great points.
“Fernando was my team-mate; I know just how quick he is.”
There’s no doubting that Vettel and Alonso have been the two stand-out performers of this season. But whichever driver does take the championship at the end of the year, a combination of bravery, ability and luck will be needed.
Both have shown it in several races already this year, but who can show it again in the sprint to the finish?