How Vettel and Red Bull can win the titles in India

2013 Indian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2013There’s a strong chance both of the world championship crowns will be won in India this weekend, three races before the end of the season.

Sebastian Vettel is on the verge of winning a fourth consecutive drivers’ title and Red Bull could do the same in the constructors’ championship. Let’s do the maths.

How Vettel can win the drivers’ title

Vettel holds a 90-point lead in the championship and needs to leave India with at least 75 points in hand to win the title.

The only driver left who can keep him from the championship is Fernando Alonso.

Here are the circumstances under which Vettel can win the championship this weekend:

  • If Alonso does not finish the race or finishes in third place or lower, Vettel is champion regardless of his result
  • If Alonso finishes second and Vettel finishes eighth or higher, Vettel is champion
  • If Vettel finishes fifth or higher, he is champion regardless of where Alonso finishes

How Red Bull can win the constructors’ title

Red Bull hold a 148-point lead in the championship and need to leave India with at least 129 points in hand to be declared champions again.

The only teams who can keep them from the championship are Ferrari and Mercedes.

Here’s how Red Bull can put a lock on the constructors’ crown in India:

  • If Ferrari finish first and second, Red Bull must finish at least third and fifth to be champions
  • If Mercedes finish first and second, Red Bull must finish at least sixth and seventh, fifth and eighth or fourth and ninth to be champions
  • If neither Ferrari or Mercedes scores, Red Bull are champions
  • If neither Red Bull scores but Ferrari finish no higher than third and eighth or tenth and second, and Mercedes finish no higher than first and eighth, Red Bull are champions

Of course we will keep a close eye on the unfolding championship situations throughout the race on F1 Fanatic Live.

Do you think the titles will be won this weekend – or are we in for a surprise? Have your say in the comments.

See the interactive 2013 F1 championship points charts

2013 Indian Grand Prix

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74 comments on How Vettel and Red Bull can win the titles in India

  1. gatekiller (@gatekiller) said on 23rd October 2013, 16:30

    Do you think the titles will be won this weekend

    Yes.

  2. Michael Brown (@) said on 23rd October 2013, 16:31

    Drivers’ championship will surely be wrapped up this round, but the WCC will be a bit closer.

    When was the last time a team won the WCC and the WDC at the same Grand Prix?

  3. infernojim (@infernojim) said on 23rd October 2013, 16:34

    It’s almost 100% certain both will happen.

  4. I calculated (and I know these statistics are fairly meaningless) that because the last time Alonso out-scored Vettel by more than 15 points was Europe 2012, solely on the basis of this season – and purely from a statistical perspective – Vettel has a 100% chance of winning the world championship!

    • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 23rd October 2013, 17:26

      @vettel1 – I know it’s not more than 15 points, but Alonso did outscore Vettel by 15 points at Silverstone this year, and at Monza last year.

      • @william-briefly that’s the point though: it must be over 15 points, otherwise Vettel will win on countback regardless (Alonso cannot win more races than Vettel this season).

        • @william-brierty – I apologise for the interesting concoctions of autocorrect!

          To elaborate, Vettel is currently 90 points ahead of Alonso. If Vettel is 75 points or more ahead by the end of the Indian GP, he will be confirmed champion: 9 race wins to Alonso’s 2 with 3 races remaining and 75 points available.

          That essentially means Alonso must outscore Vettel by 16 points or more to have a mathematical chance of winning the title. So a 3rd to a non-score (as was the case in Britain 2013 and Italy 2012) will not be enough – of course that would only be +15 points in Alonso’s favour!

    • BJ (@beejis60) said on 23rd October 2013, 17:59

      Statistically speaking, you’re incorrect. If he had a 100% chance of winning, he would already be champion.

      • @beejis60 I am not understanding your comment.

        @nick-uk now I’ve said what I have, probably :P

      • and I know these statistics are fairly meaningless

        solely on the basis of this season

        purely from a statistical perspective

        All quoted from the original comment. Therefore, you have picked up on a point that I had covered with “they are fairly meaningless” – I know that if of course he had a 100% chance of winning the championship! he would already be champion. That is stating the obvious.

        What the comment implies is that Vettel – on the basis of this season, which was also mentioned in the original comment – by not having been outscored by Alonso by +16 points at any stage this season statistically has a 100% rate of championship-winning margins for this season. Of course, it is not a certainty, but statistically he should win the title.

        Essentially, what you have done is taken my statistics as defined fact, which as highlighted by the quoted extracts was not the intention. I do believe @william-brierty and @nick-uk understood that point @beejis60.

    • Nick (@nick-uk) said on 23rd October 2013, 18:11

      Vettel will retire this weekend guaranteed. I have foreseen it.

    • Since statistics is commonly misunderstood, let me play a missionary for a moment:
      a) The fact that something happens all the time does not give 100% chance of the same happening again. A simple example: Take four dice and roll. Did you get four sixes? Repeat. Do it 13 times (Why 13? My fav number, feel free to substitute yours). Did you ever get four sixes? Most likely not. Based on this experiment, would you be willing to roll them again and bet your house on not getting four sixes?
      In other words, we should not get much comfort from the fact that the sun comes up every day :-).

      For the curious out there, depending on the number of observations we can actually calculate the reliability of the guess “it will happen again”, and while this reliability will approach 100% with the number of observations growing (under some other assumptions), it will never reach it.
      b) I suspect some people were thrown off by the 100%. Even if Mr. Jacobson was right, 100% probability does not mean that it will definitely happen. Here’s a simple example again. Take a dartboard, throw a dart at it. Missed? No problem, wherever your dart went, the probability of exactly this happening is 0% (one point out of infinitely many possibilities). Voila, you just did the “impossible” :-). Now a little twist: the probability of missing this spot is 100%, yet you did not miss it.

      • pH I have no problem with your statement as you seem to have grasped the intent of the comment!

        I suspect some people were thrown off by the 100%. Even if Mr. Jacobson was right, 100% probability does not mean that it will definitely happen.

        By a realistic observation, the chances of Vettel winning the championship are really 50/50: he will either win it, or he won’t. But the likelihood, on the basis purely of past form – what the original comment is actually discussing – would be 100%.

        In practice however, you are absolutely correct. There is never certainty, for there are too many variables. That is what I believe @beejis60 was stating, but had ignored the fact that the perspective being taken was incorrect. I was observing from the current time into the past, where everything is defined, and applying that to the present. That is not a realistic observational stance, and I fully acknowledged in my original comment.

        Hopefully that has clarified matters!

  5. WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 23rd October 2013, 17:27

    How can Vettel and Red Bull can win the titles in India?

    By turning up.

  6. Merv (@) said on 23rd October 2013, 17:43

    Frankly Vettel nor RedBull need to turn up for the rest of the season, other than to fulfil contractual obligations.

  7. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 23rd October 2013, 18:05

    Alonso must see red (not talking about Ferrari red) every time he thinks about Vettel, in full seasons, Vettel has beaten him every year but 2008 (and let’s agree Toro Rosso was weaker than Renault AND 2008 is the year of the Crashgate).

    It’s even worse for Webber, who has never beaten Vettel (during a whole season, remember 2007 Vettel started mid-season).

    • Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1) said on 23rd October 2013, 18:24

      Poor Alonso, a great driver worthy of 3 WDCs but will probably never achive it.

      • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 23rd October 2013, 18:40

        @full-throttle-f1 agree, The “logic” said to us that when Michael retired, the one who beat him 2 years in a row (aka Alonso) was obviously going to “have it easier” without him. Guess nobody expected Kimi doing so well on his 1st year at Ferrari, and nobody expected Hamilton (as good as he could have been beore F1) to become a match for Alonso (and technically he also beat Alonso that 2007, equal on points, more 3rd places, etc etc)
        Alonso couldn’t resist the “bad treatment” in McLaren and missed his probably-best-to-date chance to become 3WDC. Hamilto stayed, so he got his WDC (and let’s be honest, Alonso would have annoyed or vanished his 2008 WDC).
        And when finally Alonso got a ferrari drive, thinking to be unbeatable there, appears another rookie to mess his plans up… and did it again, and again, and probably this weekend… and maybe next year. And when finally he gets what it takes to beat Vettel, there will appear another rookie (in my opinion Hulkenberg) to cancel his 3rd WDC again… and again.

        • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 23rd October 2013, 18:58

          well Hulk isn’t a rookie, but you get my point.

          • ME4ME (@me4me) said on 23rd October 2013, 20:29

            Pretty accurate sum-up in my oppinion. It’s a bit of a shame really, Alonso is a great driver and under other circumstances he would have had alot more championships. But talent alone does not garantee WDC, nor F1 seats nowaday, if it has ever done. In 2010 Ferrari made a tactical error, and in 2012 his car just wasn’t good enough. But this year, even considering cars etc, Vettel has outperformed him. Maybe Alonso’s time to shine will be next year.

          • spoutnik (@spoutnik) said on 24th October 2013, 12:01

            I’d not be so pessimistic :) Let’s see next year.

  8. if vettel wins again…both the championships would be wrapped!!! irrespective of where ferrari, mercedes or mark webber finish.

  9. ME4ME (@me4me) said on 23rd October 2013, 20:33

    If they get both championships out of the way this weekend, the question is, what do they do next? Start testing parts for next year? Can they do that within the regulations, as in running a narrow front wing, single exhaust etc? Could they put aside Webber, releasing him to Porsche, and put Ricciardo in the seat, and Kvyat in the Torro Rosso? Soo many possibilities…

    • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 23rd October 2013, 21:32

      @me4me or even better, they could put both Vettel and Webber in the Toro Rosso, with Ricciardo and Vergne in the Bulls (nothing left to lose for RB). That would be a possible way to give Toro Rosso strong results at the end of the year. (And I would love to see how much both Vettel and Webber could thrive from the Toro Rosso car)

  10. Sauber (@mumito) said on 23rd October 2013, 20:59

    Let me put it this way….for the last 30 years, every man driving the best car was a champ.
    You might argue Massa 2008 got a better Ferrari than Hamiltons Mc Laren, but thats it. Champion does not mean best driver.
    Was Senna less of a champion for driving the Mugen Honda Mc Laren? NO.
    Was Mansell? NO.
    Schumacher? Prost? Alonso? Button?

    Come on guys

    • Jueta (@eljueta) said on 23rd October 2013, 21:12

      Nobody’s saying that Vettel is a lesser driver, on the contrary. Just that it’s more exciting when there’s competition. Schumacher was a hell of a driver, but had no competition in the Ferrari years. It’s a sport. If the same guy wins everytime, it gets boring.

      • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 23rd October 2013, 21:34

        @eljueta Vettel has became champion in an era of Champions. What else does he need to prove? He (or for the critics, he+car) has proved to be better than Alonso, Hamilton, Button, Kimi and Schum 2.0. And Webber who was also a contender in 2010.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 23rd October 2013, 21:42

        Well in fairness, 2000, 2003, 2010 and 2012 weren’t boring or lacking in competition. Then again, people just whinged about SV last year anyway.

        • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 23rd October 2013, 23:04

          @mumito

          Let me put it this way….for the last 30 years, every man driving the best car was a champ.

          Prost had the best car in 1986? You’ve got to be kidding me.

          • Sauber (@mumito) said on 24th October 2013, 0:09

            16 Races
            4 Wins
            11 Podiums

            The fact Keke Rosberg had a terrible season does not make the Porsche suck.
            Mansell and Piquet were smoking hot in 1986.
            But thats not the point. Lets add 1986 to the equation. 28 of the last 30 champions were driving the best piece of machinery.

          • Sauber (@mumito) said on 24th October 2013, 0:12

            What is more….Alonso could have been 2012 champ, should Grosjean be a good racer. Or Japan incident with Kimi.
            Or having picked 4 more points in the other 16 races.

            My point is….the best car will crown a champ 90% of the times.

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 24th October 2013, 7:26

            @mumito

            99% of the time. Alonso almost beat the odds in 2010 and 2012, but beating a car/team as strong as Red Bull, makes even the 1% chance even slimmer

        • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 24th October 2013, 16:23

          @mumito Alonso COULD HAVE been 2012 champ, SHOULDGrosjean be a good racer. OR Japan incident with Kimi.
          OR having picked 4 more points in the other 16 races.

          Too many ifs. You can say it other way too: Vettel would have been champion sooner in 2012 IF his car hadnt broken in Valencia, or IF he hadn’t had the Abu Dhabi glitch in the gasoline sensors, or IF he hadn’t been caught in the first lap crash in Brazil.
          Using many “ifs”, even Maldonado COULD HAVE been the 2012 champion. “Ifs” are nothing. Welcome to reality

      • Ron (@rcorporon) said on 26th October 2013, 21:46

        @eljueta not if you’re a fan :).

        Believe me, after cheering for the Ottawa Senators in the NHL for years and years I’m more than happy to see my favourite driver & team win races and championships!

  11. Jono (@me262) said on 24th October 2013, 9:51

    the same driver/team to be crowned champion 6 races from the end for the fourth time….can formula 1 get anymore exciting? if they win it for a fifth…there must be right for a name change….Formula Vettel? more like Formula Bull ;)xD

  12. Dafffid (@dafffid) said on 24th October 2013, 11:20

    How Vettel can win the championship this weekend – by getting in his car, basically.

  13. Malik (@malik) said on 24th October 2013, 12:35

    Now they can win it in court :'(

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