Alonso says five drivers can still win title

Fernando Alonso isn’t ruling the McLaren drivers out of contention for the championship despite them falling more than 25 points behind Mark Webber in the Japanese Grand Prix.

He told the Ferrari website:

I still think that the fight for the title is open for five drivers. Too many times this year we?ve seen someone come back into the game after they?d seemed out of it ?ǣ and that could easily happen again.

Having said that, perhaps the only one who can afford a bad weekend is Webber: for all the others it would perhaps mean giving up any chance, especially the ones who are a bit behind today.
Fernando Alonso

He added he will be counting on team mate Felipe Massa to help him in the coming races:

The Korean Grand Prix could therefore start to be decisive for some ?ǣ and for me it will be important also to be able to count on my team-mate Felipe. I know that he will be really hoping to make up for two negative results and he has all the capacities required to return to the podium.

What?s more, it will be very useful to work together to discover all the secrets of the new track so we can prepare our cars in the best way. In a moment like this every detail matters to achieve our goals.
Fernando Alonso

He also gave his first impressions of the Korean International Circuit from driving it in the Ferrari simulator:

In Korea we will have to attack because now we must close the gap to Webber. To lose any more ground would make the situation more complicated.

We?ve been working on the new track for a few days on the simulator: the first two sectors are very quick with long straights while the last sector reminds me of the last part of the circuit at Abu Dhabi.

The tarmac is wide, which should make it possible to try overtaking moves. I?m always curious to discover a new circuit, both from a personal and professional point of view.

From next Wednesday onwards I will try to discover if the simulations have been accurate enough. Then we will have a few more kilometres of running available on Friday compared to usual so we can find the right feeling on the track.
Fernando Alonso

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95 comments on Alonso says five drivers can still win title

  1. Damon said on 12th October 2010, 17:23

    Alonso says five drivers can still win title = Alonso knows math.

    • Burnout said on 12th October 2010, 17:32

      Haha! I almost burst out laughing at that :D

    • Lol Damon! I was thinking along the same lines. Although apparently Alonso sits down before the season and works out exactly where he wants to finish at least in the races and makes all sorts of predictions. I was quite impressed when I read that esp considering half the drivers don’t seem to know what’s going on with the points.

      • Wobblebottom said on 12th October 2010, 23:25

        Well, Alonso is one of the more intelligent drivers on the grid

        • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 13th October 2010, 1:35

          I know that he will be really hoping to make up for two negative results and he has all the capacities required to return to the podium.

          Maybe so, but this sounds almost a bit patronising and condescending to be honest. Fair enough, Alonso is the number 1 in the team and without doubt, at the moment the more competent of the two, but everyone knows Massa can be on the podium! He has been on the podium at several races actually. To me this just sounds like Alonso talking as though Massa is just his wing-man now.

          Watch this space, and don’t expect to see Massa win a race this year…

          • Daniel said on 13th October 2010, 2:47

            Well, I’ll be interested to see Alonso in the cockpit with the calculator out if Massa is ahead of him and there is a car between the two of them. Depending on exactly who is where it may or may not be advantageous to have Massa drop behind him.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th October 2010, 8:18

            Looks like he is telling him openly, that he needs him now. Interesting.

            The way he says it does sound a lot better than how Luca told Massa the same before Japan.
            Makes you wonder, weather Alonso actually went to talk to Massa and kindly ask him to, as well as promise to give him a fair shot next year?

          • Massa is his WINGMAN now.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th October 2010, 8:15

        Just think about what he had in mind at the start of 2007, before it started to unravel!

        I do admire his skill and the way he just dirigates the team to where he wants to go, even during the race (although i dislike his winning at all cost attedude as much as Schumi’s).

    • Sideshow Bob said on 13th October 2010, 5:39

      Alonso is the schemingest driver since Schumacher. I’d bet that when he goes to bed at night his head is spinning with different scenarios regarding what he has to do to edge out Webber and/or Vettel for the title. And he’s not counting out the McLaren boys either. If anybody remembers 2007 it’s Alonso.

      For all Hamilton’s speed and electricity I think it’s safe to say that he’s not quite the thinking man’s driver.

    • Yes , Alonso knows maths , like most people in the world do. But more importantly , he knows minds even better , and to put out a signal to both McLaren drivers to give it their all (which I think they will do anyway) , is a way of him speaking his wishes aloud. Nothing would please Alonso more in the next race , to not only win it , but have a Ferrari behind him followed by two McLarens…..the maths can follow even behind the Red Bulls

    • spectator said on 13th October 2010, 12:37

      and he doesnt shuts his mouth please alonso shut up i know that everyone wants to interview you but please change the subject

    • chemakal said on 13th October 2010, 15:26

      @ what would you post if Alonso said the MacLarens are out?
      Thinking a bit further, Alonso wants the MCLens to be competitive and in the podium if that means stealing points to the RBs, obiously with him in front

      • REREER said on 15th October 2010, 10:10

        Doesn’t everyone want to be at the front lol?
        He’s not scheming, he’s only finding ways to win, which is something i really admire.
        what is an F1 driver without the need to win??
        and of course, he and Massa are a team, they would all be helping each other.
        It only makes sense to do so >.<

  2. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 12th October 2010, 17:58

    Button needs a miracle, not least in his pace.

    • DeadManWoking said on 12th October 2010, 18:07

      Hamilton as well, even if Lewis wins the next 3 Webber only needs a 2nd and two 3rds to win the championship by 1 point.

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 12th October 2010, 18:11

        I should clarify: Hamilton needs luck because of his deficit, Button needs a miracle because of his pace.

        • What miracle? If he wins twice, he might be already 1st going to last gp

          • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 12th October 2010, 18:39

            Okay, I’m being harsh. Can he win twice? Yes. Is it likely? He’s probably the least likely out of the Top 5 to do so.

            They both need Webber to fail but Button needs speed too. He might be beating Hamilton because of crashes as well as mechanical issues but he needs to beat the other two too.

          • Both McLaren drivers need a miracle because they need Alonso, the other McLaren driver, Webber, AND Vettel to ALL have off weeks compared to the McLaren drivers pace. However, with McLaren as far behind as it is, if the team hasn’t decided on a driver to support yet, it’s highly likely that they won’t have a chance regardless as they will just take points off of each other. Rebull has the lead and is tied for 2nd they don’t really need to choose unless disaster strikes (double DNFs, etc.) or Alonso wins the next 2.

          • TrueF1Grit (@truef1grit) said on 12th October 2010, 19:50

            I understood what you meant Icthyes.

        • Wobblebottom said on 12th October 2010, 23:28

          Agreed. I really want Button to do well (not that he’s doing a bad job per se) but for whatever reason, save Monza, he never seems to have the pace of Hamilton and the others. I find it a bit frustrating

          • Electrolite said on 13th October 2010, 0:38

            It’s frustrating because I know he’s capable of blistering pace, he just always seems to play it too safe; which works sometimes but other times he needs to take a leaf out of Hamilton’s book. Agonising when you’re a bit of a Button fan. He got all them temperamental Hondas on the podiums all those years of the Ferrari Schumis and Renault Alonsos so why not now in a Mclaren? Not to mention last year!

        • hamilton used id luck lifelines in first part of the season. now he is out of lifelines so for him to rely on the luck is done. what he needs is god himself

        • chemakal said on 13th October 2010, 15:35

          Hammilton needs to grow up, it’s time! He might have been unlucky in Japan but not in the previous 2 races… not under pressure

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 13th October 2010, 15:50

            He was unlucky to have Webber outbrake himself and drive into his rear tyre after completing the overtake.

  3. macahan said on 12th October 2010, 19:12

    Then we will have a few more kilometres of running available on Friday compared to usual so we can find the right feeling on the track.

    What does he mean with this? Is the FP1 and FP2 longer then usual for Korea?

    Further yes agree Button needs close to a miracle, Hamilton has a though job in front of him, of course if Webber fails to finish just one race or don’t very low points (or none) and Hamilton gets podium he is seriously in on the championship fight.

    If Button wins every race left Mark can finish worst 3rd in any race. If the best he can do is 2nd in all races Mark only need to finish 6th to beat him.

    If Mark gets 1 more win and rest 3rd places it’s not enough if Alonso/Vettel wins two races and finish 2nd in one.

    Mark wins 2 then the third race he don’t need to score point to win but he can potentially not aford to not score and get a 1st and 2nd place finish then Alo/Vet “just” needs to score a 1st, 2nd and 3rd to clinch the championship with 1 point.

    If Hamilton gets a 1,2,3 Webber just need 2x 3rd places to beat Hamliton due to more 2nd place finishes to win.

    Same scenario if Mark gets 2x 3rd button needs 2 wins to beat him. If the best he can do is 2nd Mark just needs 2x 4th.

    It looks very grim for Button I don’t think he can be consistent enough to get 2nd or better and Mark fail to score twice and not get on podium at least once.

    For Hamilton it looks very hard but plausible (1,2,3 could be doable and a 3,4 for Mark could be possible).

    Alonso 1,3,5 vs Mark 2x 2′s and Alonso wins. But with 1 win and a 2nd place Alonso must do a 1,2,3 to win.

    Can’t wait for Korea to happen to see what happens.
    Maybe Massas support role is to take Mark out of the race?

    • Steve said on 12th October 2010, 19:22

      That would be great!

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 12th October 2010, 19:45

      Brilliant summary, thanks!

    • cacarella said on 12th October 2010, 21:57

      “What does he mean with this? Is the FP1 and FP2 longer then usual for Korea?”

      I think he just means that they’ll do more running than they usually do in the practice sessions.

    • “Maybe Massas support role is to take Mark out of the race?”
      Luca wasn’t best pleased when Michael tried something similar for his own good…

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 12th October 2010, 22:53

        I wonder, can the FIA do anything about a car taking out someone else’s rival? It would be quite easy to manage too.

        • Daniel said on 13th October 2010, 2:53

          Do you mean is there anything in the rules? I’m not sure that matters to the FIA.

        • chemakal said on 13th October 2010, 15:48

          FIA can check Massa’s car after the race looking for hidden weapons designed to outrace flying bulls

        • Santi said on 14th October 2010, 9:47

          You guys are assuming that Massa will ever get close to Webber at all. Unless he does it when Webber is lapping him, I don’t think that is even a possibility :)

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th October 2010, 8:24

        It might backfire, as this will enable Seb to get on top of Mark and get full team support. Then he can really run it to the end from Pole.

        I would think it is rather about finishing in front of both McLarens to get them out of the way for the title and possibly ahead of a RBR to get some points from them.

        What would happen if Massa started winning next round?

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th October 2010, 8:21

      I think you summed it up nicely. Everyone has a shot at the title, but McLaren need their rivals to fail to make it work. And Webber must end races in the points and in front of Vettel and Alonso not to loose out.

      I was also wondering about what Alonso said about having more time. Does anyone know, weather the FIA is giving them longer FP1 and FP2 in Korea?

    • “Maybe Massas support role is to take Mark out of the race?” like Coulthard in Belgium 1998?

      “Webber is faster than Fernando. Confirm that you understood the message.”

    • chemakal said on 13th October 2010, 15:46

      Great summary with a bad ending question. Alonso needs Massa (and the McLarens) to finsih in front of the RBs. If someone is showing how to outrace contenders this is Vettel followed by Hammilton.

      There are over 170 Billion mathematical possibilities in the next races, 2 M have been rated by a computer resulting in the following chances to win the tittle:
      Webber – 59%
      Alonso – 17%
      Vettel – 16.5%
      Ham – 4%
      Button – 2.5%

  4. DaveW said on 12th October 2010, 19:22

    McLaren’s hopes ride on their new F-Duct, which blows both planes, and which they did not run in Suzuka. If that thing works it might give them a signficant jump in total aero efficiency and a serious top speed edge. The track being super smooth will also help them. If Hamilton can get a perfect storm of winning, while having his teammate Vettel and Alonso between him and Webber, he can chop this down to where he can control his own destiny.

    Maybe this is too bizarre an outcome but who could expect Webber to run into the back of a backmarker. This is one of those seasons like 86, 88, 89, 07, 08, where some crazy freak event, like Mansell’s tire popping in 86, is going to edit down the discussion of car performance and driver pace very quickly.

  5. SoerenKaae (@soerenkaae) said on 12th October 2010, 20:05

    I beg for a 1-2 for Red Bull in both Korea and Brazil, with Vettel winning. this would tie the score, and the battle at Abu Dhabi would be the most epic thing since, Brazil 2008!

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 12th October 2010, 22:08

      The battle at Abu Dhabi wouldn’t be at all epic, as it would only essentially be between 2 drivers, whereas it still has the potential to have 5 drivers in it. The most epic would be Hamilton and Button getting wins with Alonso and Vettel getting a couple of mid/low scores and Webber barely scoring.

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 13th October 2010, 17:34

        I really dont think it will go down to all 5 drivers. Im pretty sure Jenson wont make it, however, if Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel all to into Abu Dhabi within 15 points of Webber, now that would be EPIC.

  6. thestig84 said on 12th October 2010, 20:46

    Alonso is spot on for a change! Look at the current table in a format we understand (the good old pre 2010 points system)

    MW 88
    SV 84
    FA 83
    LH 79
    JB 77

    Kimi won it from LH current points difference in the last race. LH has 2 extra races to close that gap down. Dont rule anyone out just yet!

  7. Jasper said on 12th October 2010, 21:02

    Anyone of those five can still win it. It isn’t over until it’s over. Remember no one can win it in Korea, but Hamilton and Button could get cut adrift, if Webber wins and Hamilton or Button fail to finish they’re out of it and 5 could become 3. Korea is a very important race for McLaren!

  8. Joey-Poey said on 12th October 2010, 21:34

    If we’re all still on our conspiracy theory kick, I wonder when people are going to start saying Massa’s intentionally avoiding being a support for Alonso.

    I personally don’t think it’s the case, but I’m surprised it hasn’t cropped up yet (that I’ve seen).

    • I’ve read a few comments that Massa purposefully stuffed up qualifying and took himself out of the race.

    • cacarella said on 12th October 2010, 22:01

      I’ve already seen this in the comments as well.

    • That’s preposterous. Nobody in their right mind would do something that stupid and dangerous. The guy is just an embarrassment at the moment. That’s all there is to it.

      • Journeyer said on 13th October 2010, 3:45

        No one wants to get taken out of the race, that’s just silly.

        But I could easily see Massa not going 100% in qualifying, and aiming for a comeback drive to finish 4th or 5th in the race.

  9. Calum said on 12th October 2010, 21:34

    I did some math and it looks very bleek for Hamilton and even worse for button…I made up some results which would favour hamilton and not webber while removing Alonso this is what turned up:

    Korea ham jen vet web
    brazil alo ham vet web
    abu dhabi ham vet web alo

    ham – 192 + 25,18,25 = 260
    vet – 206 + 18,18,15 = 257
    web – 220 + 12,12,15 = 259

    the Mclaren boys are effectively out if Webber wins one.

  10. Stephen w said on 12th October 2010, 22:07

    I guess going by some of the juvenile posts 5 possible winners is,nt correct? Or are they all so clever more or less drivers could also win the WDC?

    How about Schumacher,Kubica,or maybe Trulli?

    • Daniel said on 13th October 2010, 3:09

      Unless someone gets disqualified from a race we think we already know the result of, there are only 5 possible winners.

      Massa, Rosberg and Kubica all dropped out of contention after the Suzuka result.

  11. Electrolite said on 13th October 2010, 0:35

    Enjoyed that interview, and also Alonso’s look on the current WDC standings. Nice he mentioned Massa too, basically said he knows Massa can get the podium – unlike some very knee jerk negative comments above which is a shame.

  12. sato113 (@sato113) said on 13th October 2010, 1:46

    he’s just saying that…
    would rather ALO won the WDC than VET.

  13. Prisoner Monkeys said on 13th October 2010, 3:00

    Crunching the numbers in my head (I have a bad relationship with math, so excuse me if this is a little out), but if Webber wins in Korea, then Vettel and Alonso will need to win both Brazil and Abu Dhabi – and that assumes Webber will not score in either race (or score poorly).

    • Not if Alonso/Webber will finish on the podium in Korea, but if both of them won’t finish then they both need to win twice with Webber scoring 8 poinst or less in both races.

  14. Did some math and if you compare all the top 5 drivers with Webber as our benchmark:

    WEBBER – needs 1-1st & 2-3rd to win
    ALONSO – 3-1st vs WEB 3-2nd
    VETTEL – 3-1st vs WEB 3-2nd
    HAMILTON – 3-1st vs WEB 3-3rd (and ALO/VET 3-2nd)
    BUTTON – 3-1st vs WEB 2-3rd & 1-4th (and ALO/VET/HAM 3-2nd)

  15. Dave Blanc said on 13th October 2010, 3:23

    With 3 races left, what i’m really looking forward to in Korea is Hamiton and Button HAVING to race to win. Based on the current points and the form of Vettel and Webber, Hamilton and Button need to win in Korea to keep their championship hopes alive.

    No more playing the percentage game and picking up the points – it’s win or bust time! Hamilton tends to race like this most weekends anyway, but not Button. In particular I’m very interested to see how Button reacts – we saw last year in Brazil what he is capable of in these situations but does he have anything else left up his sleeve? Only time will tell but it’s mouth watering stuff!

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