Who will win the 2012 championships?

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Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2012F1 is set for a frenetic end to the season with nine races crammed into 13 weekends.

These races will decide the outcome of the world championships, currently led by Fernando Alonso and Red Bull.

Both have some rapid rivals behind them who are getting within striking range. Can they hold on to claim the titles – or will there be more changes at the top before the year is out?

Drivers’ championship

After 11 races last year Sebastian Vettel held an 85-point lead in the drivers’ championship over Mark Webber.

Alonso’s advantage is less than half that at the same stage this year. He has a 40-point margin over second place which once again is occupied by Webber. There is a maximum of 225 points available over the remaining races.

This chart shows drivers? scores throughout the season. Use the controls below to show/hide different drivers:

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2012drivercolours.csv
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Fernando Alonso 10 35 37 43 61 76 86 111 129 154 164
Mark Webber 12 24 36 48 48 73 79 91 116 120 124
Sebastian Vettel 18 18 28 53 61 73 85 85 100 110 122
Lewis Hamilton 15 30 45 49 53 63 88 88 92 92 117
Kimi Raikkonen 6 16 16 34 49 51 55 73 83 98 116
Nico Rosberg 0 0 25 35 41 59 67 75 75 76 77
Jenson Button 25 25 43 43 45 45 45 49 50 68 76
Romain Grosjean 0 0 8 23 35 35 53 53 61 61 76
Sergio Perez 4 22 22 22 22 22 37 39 39 47 47
Kamui Kobayashi 8 8 9 9 19 19 21 21 21 33 33
Pastor Maldonado 0 0 4 4 29 29 29 29 29 29 29
Michael Schumacher 0 1 1 2 2 2 2 17 23 29 29
Paul di Resta 1 7 7 15 15 21 21 27 27 27 27
Felipe Massa 0 0 0 2 2 10 11 11 23 23 25
Bruno Senna 0 8 14 14 14 15 15 16 18 18 24
Nico Hulkenberg 0 2 2 2 3 7 7 17 17 19 19
Jean-Eric Vergne 0 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
Daniel Ricciardo 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Heikki Kovalainen 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Vitaly Petrov 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Timo Glock 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Charles Pic 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Narain Karthikeyan 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Pedro de la Rosa 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Fernando Alonso

164 points

Alonso has rarely failed to get the most out of the Ferrari. Since the beginning of the European season the F2012 is much-improved and, though still not the fastest car, is a strong all-rounder. The well-drilled Ferrari team have turned out some excellent pit stops.

But if one of his better-equipped rivals emerges from the pack as a consistent challenger, he may yet be kept from a third world championship.

Mark Webber

124 points (-40)

When the season began, just 11% of readers tipped Webber to out-score Vettel. He has done so far but in recent races the momentum has been with his team mate.

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Valencia, 2012122 points (-42)

Unlucky not to win in Valencia and doubly so that Alonso picked up the victory. But his car remains more than a match for the Ferrari on pure pace and gives him the chance to grind down Alonso’s lead in the coming races.

Lewis Hamilton

117 points (-47)

Winning in Hungary was a vital boost to his championship credentials. Like Vettel, he will need to score consistently better than Alonso in the coming races to get back in the hunt, but that’s not always been a feature of his title campaigns.

Kimi Raikkonen

116 points (-48)

The 2007 champion is a fascinating dark horse in the title race. There is much expectation that Lotus, armed with their new double DRS, will finally come good this weekend and deliver their overdue first win of 2012. That and the E20’s kindness to its tyres could prove significant weapons in Raikkonen’s arsenal.

Who will win the 2012 F1 drivers’ title?

Who will win the 2012 F1 drivers' title?

  • Fernando Alonso (49%)
  • Mark Webber (7%)
  • Sebastian Vettel (9%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (21%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (15%)
  • Someone else (0%)

Total Voters: 379

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Constructors’ championship

Red Bull hold a 53-point lead in the teams’ title race with 387 still to be won.

This chart shows teams? scores throughout the season. Use the controls below to show/hide different teams.

Teams chart

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2012teamcolours.csv
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Red Bull 30 42 64 101 109 146 164 176 216 230 246
McLaren 40 55 88 92 98 108 133 137 142 160 193
Lotus 6 16 24 57 84 86 108 126 144 159 192
Ferrari 10 35 37 45 63 86 97 122 152 177 189
Mercedes 0 1 26 37 43 61 69 92 98 105 106
Sauber 12 30 31 31 41 41 58 60 60 80 80
Williams 0 8 18 18 43 44 44 45 47 47 53
Force India 1 9 9 17 18 28 28 44 44 46 46
Toro Rosso 2 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6
Caterham 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Marussia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
HRT 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Red Bull

246 points

Red Bull’s situation in the constructors’ championship is akin to Alonso’s in the drivers’ title race. They have a healthy lead but not enough to relax and they could do with their closest rivals takings points off each other in the coming races.

Their key strength is that both drivers have been consistently scoring decent points, with just three no-scores between them.

McLaren

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Montreal, 2012193 points (-53)

It’s 14 years since McLaren last won the constructors’ championship and you sense they are aching to end that streak. Especially as they’ve been second on seven occasions in that time (and not forgetting 2007 as well).

Going into the summer break McLaren had sorted out their pit stop problems and made a major performance gain with their last upgrade. If they return to action as competitive as they were at the end of July, with Jenson Button seemingly recovered from his early-season slump, they should be Red Bull’s closest challengers.

Lotus

192 points (-54)

Lotus have done everything but win a race so far this year – they’ve even had both drivers on the podium on two separate occasions. Third place is already in excess of their pre-season aims, but that’s not going to stop them aiming even higher.

Ferrari

189 points (-57)

Ferrari are fourth in the constructors’ championship while Alonso leads the drivers’ title. That is a credit to Alonso’s driving and a damning indictment of Felipe Massa’s.

If Massa can increase his contribution to their points tally (currently just 13%) they should make progress. It may even save his place at the team for next year, though it’s hard to believe it isn’t already too late for that.

Who will win the 2012 F1 constructors’ title?

Who will win the 2012 F1 constructors' title?

  • Red Bull (73%)
  • McLaren (15%)
  • Lotus (10%)
  • Ferrari (2%)
  • Someone else (0%)

Total Voters: 324

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Debates and polls

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Images ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, Red Bull/Getty images, McLaren/Hoch Zwei

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131 comments on Who will win the 2012 championships?

  1. vjanik said on 27th August 2012, 14:33

    If Alonso drove for Mclaren, Red Bull or Lotus, his lead would have been greater than 40 pts (arguably) and the question of whether or not he would hold on to it would have been easier to answer. Even Alonso will have trouble holding on to that lead with the fourth fastest car. To win the WDC he will need Ferrari to improve outright pace and some wet races.

    Whoever wins this year though, we wont know until the Brazil GP. Cant see anyone claiming the WDC before that.

    The summer break is too long! Especially with so many things hanging in the air. Its like a calm before a storm.

    • That’s hard to justify because if he’d driven for Mclaren he would have been faced with 10 sec+ pitstops at least thrice – easily demoting him from race winning positions – 25 points to back of the field 8 points. 17×3 =51 points..

      Although I do think if he’s been at redbull and with No1 status they would be considered unstoppable as he’d probably have a 100+ point lead at this point,,

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 28th August 2012, 8:39

        True dd42, but I can’t help but agree with vjanik that had Alonso been in the Lotus, they would have won several races by now, and they’d be head of the WCC too (although, maybe Grosjean would whither again?).

  2. Roger Camp (@rogercamp) said on 27th August 2012, 14:35

    No question about Alonso’s talent, but I feel that he was lucky so far to build a 40 points gap with a not so good car. Only 8 points between the 2nd and 5th position in the championship, just to see how close this championship is. I believe that if Lotus can make the DDRS work, than it is what’s going to make the difference and Kimi can grab the title, which I so much hope so.

  3. Checkout Maldonado’s graph. If he’d not won then he’d have 4 points and be considered as being terrible in comparison to Bruno. Please Frank, give Bottas No1 status, take Maldonado’s money by all means, but demote him to a test role, he’s really not able to race well, but keep Bruno on so we can establish if he deserves to be in F1 – Pasta certainly doesn’t atm

    • Nickpkr234 said on 27th August 2012, 14:56

      watch out he will crash if he see you for saying that !

    • PieLighter (@pielighter) said on 27th August 2012, 15:54

      Exactly. People will say that pasta is terrible but has a lot more points than Senna, making Senna even more rubbish, but don’t actually consider the extremely fortunate circumstances of that 25 point haul from Barcelona. Under normal circumstances he would have picked up a few at most, and Bruno is so much more consistent, and perhaps slightly faster on occasion. And, as we’ve seen with Emperor Alonso this year, consistency is king.

    • PieLighter (@pielighter) said on 27th August 2012, 16:00

      As a side note – looking at the lines for only Senna and pasta is very telling. One has been quietly scoring a few points almost every weekend, whereas the other has only scored twice, with a sudden spike at Barcelona, and hasn’t scored since. The quiet, consistent scorer has been closing the gap to his teammate and, going by both drivers’ recent form, looks poised to overtake him in the standings, despite the other’s win.

  4. Aimal (@aimalkhan) said on 27th August 2012, 15:19

    The double DRS will only help in qualifying in spa and moza. and don’t forget Mercedes will be up there as well.

  5. Txizzle (@txizzle) said on 27th August 2012, 16:02

    I think Alonso will win it. I HOPE Webber will win it. And if not Webber, then Raikkonen. Anybody except Vettel to be honest.

  6. Robbie (@robbie) said on 27th August 2012, 16:12

    Yeah given that the teams are still trying to understand the tires I think one driver or team can be surprisingly competitive or uncompetitive at any given race weekend, so trying to predict the ultimate winner(s) is still very difficult I feel.

    Averaged out, I don’t see one particular driver consistantly dominating such that if it is FA he starts to run away with it, or anyone else and they start to catch and surpass FA soon. Of course a few DNF’s by FA could change everything. So I think it will remain close and could be between 3 drivers with the last race of the season remaining.

    And if it comes down to 3 drivers with one race to go, I predict those 3 will be FA, LH, and SV. And if it is among those 3 I pick FA as the one with the strongest mental game.

    What will be fascinating to see is…FM is already a non-factor and won’t be fighting FA for points. JB is likely in the same spot but hasn’t come out and said he will be there for LH. Only a matter of time before it will go without saying anyway. On the other hand MW and SV are both still in it. And both Lotus drivers seem to have fairly equal performances and chances to progress, but perhaps RG will get ‘the order’ if KR wins a race soon and climbs closer to the front runners.

    Bottom line for me…it remains that no one driver will likely dominate for the rest of the season, but one driver may somewhat outpoint the rest in the second half, and of course if that driver is FA then the WDC is his before the final race since he leads right now. If FA doesn’t outpoint in the second half, then that should leave the WDC open for at least two drivers with a few races or one race to go, and I put the mental game as being to FA’s advantage, which I think is what it will come down to.

    • I don’t think FA has the mental capacity over any of his competitors as he saw in Abu Dhabi 2010.. I think 9/10 have their right on the grid and won’t ever make a mistake for him to pounce. Aside from Vettel not being able to handle the pressure from Button in Canada 2011, he hasn’t made big mistakes whilst leading a race, and Hamilton can definitely be relied upon to bring home the gold for GB this year.

      Fingers crossed it’s going to be close…

      I

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 27th August 2012, 17:48

        “won’t ever make a mistake for him to pounce.” Sounds like too broad a statement to make, to me.

        “Hamilton can definitely be relied upon to bring home the gold for GB this year.” While I respect your opinion and your hope for LH, relying upon him while the pressure is at it’s greatest has not exactly been his strong suit.

        In terms of mental capacity to handle pressure when it is at it’s greatest, as it relates to FA, SV, and LH I would rate FA highest by far amongst the three we’re talking about, with SV second, and LH a distant 3rd. It’s not just about making mistakes when leading a race. Fighting for wins and the WDC is what we are talking about, with nobody in a car that is utterly dominant.

        • dd42 said on 28th August 2012, 4:41

          I do agree with your order in terms of mental capacity FA followed by SV then LH but I think they can all hold it together as required to win races and the championship..

          Maybe that mental edge will be enough to help Alonso keep his lead till the end of the year, if so it’d be a well deserved championship

  7. MW (@) said on 27th August 2012, 16:37

    The great thing about this year is that nobody really has a clue how to answer this.. Articles like this are the ones you’d like to pull out and wave in peoples faces after all the fanboy definitive statements made..

    If I was Alonso at this point in the Championship I think the person I’d worry about most would be Vettel.

    If he gathers enough momentum he’ll just steamtrain to the end like we’ve all seen him do before.. all other realistic contenders have their flaws/disadvantages ; webber, doesn’t know how to win a championship and can’t seem to win consistantly like Vettel, Hamilton is accident prone and so is his team, Kimi seems to have the ability but the team need to figure out how extract the maximum out of the car’s potential.

  8. Tom_ec1 (@tom_ec1) said on 27th August 2012, 16:42

    Keith, those cumulative graphs are a great way of showing how the championship is progressing and ebbing/flowing.

    One suggestion though, do you think in future you could start the lines at (0,0)? That way it doesn’t look like Button had a 25 point head start.

  9. It’s very, very difficult to say.
    The fact is that there isn’t a superior car. Red Bull and Mclaren keep changing place at the top. Mclaren was clearly faster in the opening stages, then Red Bull had some very good performances and now Mclaren is back on top. And there is Ferrari, which is rarely the best car, but it’s always very close.

    In the end, I think it will be a tough fight between Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel. I don’t want to vote, but if I have to I would choose Vettel. Why? I don’t know. I had faith in him after Spa 2010: his situation back then was much worse than his current situation. And then he likes a lot the tracks in the second part of the year.

  10. Dimitris 1395 (@) said on 27th August 2012, 17:30

    It’s not easy to make predictions at that point. Alonso is driving brilliantly. Though Ferrari has a worse car than their main rivals and they have to continuously upgrade their car if they want Alonso to claim his 3rd WDC. Hamilton and Raikkonen had some mishaps early in the season but now they seem faster than anyone else. Webber is a big surprise for me. He is getting older and somehow quicker. He is an outsider but I can’t eliminate him at any way. Vettel on the other side is not so good. Only in Bahrain, he had showed his dominance and he is not the perfect driver he was in the end of 2010 and the whole 2011 season. My risky prediction is either Kimi or Hamilton. As for the constructors championship, unless Button finds his form or Lotus bring something extraordinary out of the bag, Red Bull, is going to claim it.

  11. Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 27th August 2012, 18:18

    I said after Australia that Hamilton would win the championship and I still believe that today. He’s been driving brilliantly, and the McLaren is back on form. I think Hamilton is in the position to start to dominate the second half of the season a little bit. If he starts doing what he did in 2010 – stringing together podiums with a few wins – he’ll have Alonso within his sights by the last few races of the season.

    I want Alonso to win, and I believe he’s the best driver right now, but Hamilton and McLaren are looking too strong and too confident to ignore. As for Kimi, unfortunately I don’t think he’ll get that breakthrough win this year, while Vettel and Webber will have a continuation of fortunes from the first half of the season – good but not enough to take it all.

  12. Most people are thinking(some are even hoping) that Alonso’s 40 point lead will be erased quickly. They are forgetting that the Ferrari is very strong now, and that Alonso has been there done that- he has previously won championships while being ahead, and not chasing it. His recent poor weekends have been as bad as fifth. Also, I think that neither McLaren nor RBR will be able to rise so far above the other cars so as to overhaul Alonso’s lead. Lotus have a good chance to do that with their “the device” but they aren’t a team with the experience or expertise to win. I think it is Alonso’s to lose.

  13. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 27th August 2012, 18:19

    I think it’s Alonso & Ferrari’s WC to loose as far the DWC is concern & with recent form I think may be Lotus grab up the CWC.

  14. xeroxpt (@) said on 27th August 2012, 19:11

    I was one of the 11%, that will probably regret their choice before the end of the season.

  15. James (@jamesf1) said on 27th August 2012, 19:23

    I tihnk it’s fair to say that it’s only the current top 5 that will challenge for the title. Jenson is surely out of it now, Grosjean and Rosberg shouldnt really be fancying their chances either realistically.

    I would expect it to be Alonso. He’s a brute force this year. He’s led the title more times than any other this season (which counts for nothing, I know) and just seems to be having the time of his life at the moment. If it isnt Alonso, I just wonder if Kimi has what it takes to slip in at the last. He’ll need a couple of race wins to boost his chances and give the title any credibility, but we know he has what it takes. The question remains is does the car? I think Belgium will be indicative of things to come.

    As for the constructors, I cant see Red Bull chucking this one away. It could happen. Mclaren appear to be getting back to grips with their car and Lotus are scoring big points. Ferrari havent a hope in hell of the title this year given that only one of their drivers as actually contributing anything noteworthy. They need to drop Massa, cut their loses and get another driver to grips with the team and car before next season. I’m sure Perez has his phone on, go on Luca and Stefanio, you’ve nothing to lose…

  16. Guccio (@concalvez00) said on 27th August 2012, 19:46

    It will be Hamilton and Raikonen who will battle it out simply because these two has the most skill of the grid, Alonso is not that great as people seems to think, Alonso has been lucky the whole first half

  17. Nickpkr said on 27th August 2012, 21:36

    Sorry but Hamilton is not renewing with Mclaren deadline is been reach, in which case button gets to call the shots on development and setup and therefore frustrated Hamilton will get his crashing title back from Maldonado, wish Kimi second but tough call with webber vettel. Alonso will win if Sauber, mercedes and Williams take a few big points from them. Or maybe I’m wrong a Button really wins 5 of 9 !

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 28th August 2012, 8:46

      McLaren want the WDC & WCC this year if they can. While they are still in the fight they won’t want to jeopardize that, it’s too much money and prestige for them to just think to just wait and hope for next year, that’s not how the team works.

      And remember, in HAM’s current contract he still has to leave the trophies with McLaren ;-)

  18. Alonso in great position but emphasis should be IMO on the car. If Ferrari is 4th fastest Alonso cannot win. Want anybody but Vettel to win.

  19. F1Rollout (@f1rollout) said on 27th August 2012, 21:57

    Its simple. It will be 2007 all over again..The three greats will fight it out between themselves…

    Why not Webber:
    Webbers championship will come to a end as the teams leave Monza because he has always performed bad at Spa and Monza . Secondly Redbull will now start focusing solely on Vettel.

    Why not Vettel:
    Vettel is not fighting only Alonso and Hamilton this time. He has to deal with Raikkonen as well. I dont rate Button and Webber highly.Both are ordinary drivers placed in good cars. Secondly Redbull is not the fastest car.

    Why Hamilton:
    I think Mclaren will be the best car of the second half and Lotus there abouts. Hamilton can use it to the best affect.

    Why Raikkonen:
    He has been the most consistant of all secondly he is one with strongest head and racecraft,

    Why Alonso:
    He wont give up no matter how bad the car performs .

    My assumption is that the Mclaren will be the clear fastest car of the 2nd half. If the Redbull is fastest, Vettel will win the championship no matter whats other do..

  20. Carlito's way said on 27th August 2012, 23:38

    If Alonso wins the championship this year it guarantees his name among the greatest ever drivers. Not just because it would be his third world championship but because of the manner with which he will have achieved. Driving not the best car on the grid, extracting the absolute maximum of the car, team and himself.

    • melkurion (@melkurion) said on 28th August 2012, 15:30

      I agree with this, I am seriously not an Alonso fan, but I have to respect his driving, and if he does win the title this year, with a clearky inferior car, it will go down in the books as one of the greatest achievments. Best comparison I can think of is prost in …86? When Mnsel and Piquet in the wiliams were clearly faster, but he still took the title. And that wa sonly against 2 better cars, the Williams’, Alonso will have beaten 3 superior teams! if he pulls it of

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