Jousting under the lights at Singapore!

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As the 2011 Formula One season nears its end, the battle for numero uno is more or less a dead rubber with Vettel in the driver’s seat, but the jousting season is still on as four drivers—including three former world champions—are in contention for the second spot. Fernando Alonso (172 Points), Jenson Button (167 Points), Mark Webber (167 Points), and Lewis Hamilton (158 Points) are all within a striking margin of each other and knowing their penchant for competition, suffice it is to say that the joust for the second spot would go right down to the wire.

Mclaren drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button are the strongest contenders for the runners up title this season. They are the only drivers this season, who have managed to offer some resistance to the Red Bull juggernaut. Both, Button and Hamilton have shown flashes of brilliance but haven’t managed to show the level of consistency that is expected of former World Champions. Lewis is undoubtedly one of the most talented and promising drivers on the circuit, but with just two wins in the season he has surely not performed as per his caliber. In fact, 2011 has been a season of crashes and penalties for Lewis as he has often faltered in situations where his temperament was truly tested. He crashed out of the race at Spa whereas he hit his teammate during the Canadian Grand Prix. At Budapest, the bad choice of intermediates caused him the race victory. At Monza, he frustrated himself by getting himself involved gullibly in a battle of cat and mouse with crafty Schumacher, which eventually cost him a podium finish. He should surely learn to keep a check on his emotions and not get carried away by his adrenaline. Being at the bottom of the top 5 has also put him at a handicap, and it would be difficult for him to cover the gap of 14 points between him and the second best driver on the board, Fernando Alonso. Jenson Button too—given his level of experience—has disappointed with just two wins in the season. However, he did give a display of his grit, class and composure in a hard fought victory at the Canadian Grand Prix. His second victory of the season at the Hungarian Grand Prix—which also happened to be his 200th race—was nothing short of exemplary. Button needs to draw some motivation out of his charismatic performance in 2009 with the Brawn GP Team, which had earned him his first World Championship. Overall, Button and Hamilton together hold the key for a probable, though farfetched, Constructor’s Championship for Mclaren.


Mark Webber is the only driver, other than Vettel, this season to have taken Pole and that too on three occasions: Spanish, British and German Grand Prix. He also lapped the fastest in five of the thirteen Grand Prix, which is the highest this season. One of the biggest advantages in Webber’s favor is that, like Vettel, he too drives in a Red Bull racing car which have been, by far, the fastest cars on the circuit this season. His failure to capitalize on his good run last year—where he finished third in spite being in lead for better part of the season—would also provide him motivation to try and capture the second most coveted spot in the Formula One World Championship.



As far as Alonso is concerned, one can never count him out. He is undoubtedly the most skillful driver on the circuit—counting Schumacher out—and has the ability to get the best out of what is available at his disposal. Like all great champions, he is known to perform when the chips are down as he proved during his victory at the British Grand Prix this year. The fact that he drives in a Ferrari—known for its reliability and peaking at the right time—is bound to improve his chances to finish second. He is one of the few drivers on the circuit who have the ability to make a podium finish even with a relatively less competitive car. He would also be able to gain motivation from his two consecutive World Championships in 2005 and 2006, where he thwarted Michael Schumacher from winning his 8th Formula One World Championship. Moreover, his grit and consistency has already helped position him at the 2nd spot at the moment with him having a 5 point advantage over his nearest competitor.

 

As we near the Singapore Grand Prix, speculations are rife as to whether anyone could actually step up to the Red Bull challenge or would we once again see a meek capitulation on the part of Mclaren and Ferrari. Come this weekend, Singapore would once again turn into an epicenter of action, suspense and drama as some of the best drivers in the cosmos would joust under lights for the greatest accolade in the world of motorsports. Moreover, if these drivers stand up to the challenge, they could even curb Vettel from becoming youngest two time world champion at the earliest and this competition can go down to some races.

These drivers have been forced to accept defeat from time to time during this season at the hands of talented Sebastian Vettel. However, the million dollar question lurks from the behind: Can their passion exceed their expectations and overcome their limitations at the grandest stage of them all?

Talking about the constructor championship, although Red Bull racing is sitting comfortably on the top of the table with 451 points, the Constructor’s Championship is still very much open with Mclaren (325 points) having a fair chance of closing in with as many as 258 points to be won by any team from the six remaining races. Ferrari (254 points) too have an outside chance as the battle for Constructor’s Championship can technically go on till the last race of the season at Sao Paulo.

 

Written By:

Ravi Goel and Murtaza Ali

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F1 Statistics

Brazil GRAND PRIX
23-25 November, 2012

Practice 1 : Result

Practice 2 : Result

Practice 3 : Result

Qualifying : Result

Race : Result

1 Sebastian Vettel 281
2 Fernando Alonso 278
3 Kimi Räikkönen 207
4 Lewis Hamilton 190
5 Jenson Button 188
6 Mark Webber 179
7 Felipe Massa 122
8 Romain Grosjean 96
9 Nico Rosberg 93
10 Sergio Perez 66
Full Table

1 Red Bull Racing - Renault 460
2 Ferrari 400
3 Mclaren - Mercedes 378
4 Lotus - Renault 303
5 Mercedes 142
6 Sauber - Ferrari 126
7 Force India - Mercedes 109
8 Williams - Renault 76
9 STR - Ferrari 26
10 Marussia-Cosworth 0
Full Table