Thing is, Vettel’s already had his bad-luck DNF, albeit in a mechanical nature. In a sense, you could say Vettel and Alonso’s luck has evened out. In any case, one more DNF for Alonso, and Vettel would become an enormous favorite.
Raikkonen 5% – Lotus are no longer on the pace and may have the smallest budget of the top 4 teams, making it difficult for them to catch up. If they couldn’t win with their car in the summer, I don’t see them winning now. And they’ll need to do a lot of winning just to get back into range.
Hamilton 20% – I can see McLaren having the fastest car on some of the remaining circuits – they’ve always been strong in Abu Dhabi, and may be able to top the times in Brazil too. But Lewis doesn’t seem to be in the right frame of mind right now. Beyond driving fast (which he does more often than not whatever is going on), he needs to motivate and lead his team back into contention. His impending departure for Mercedes will not be fatal to his title chances, but it won’t do them any good either.
Alonso 35% – The good news for Fernando: Felipe Massa seems to be back on form. He can finally become the effective #2 Fernando needs to win the title. The bad news for Fernando: the F2012′s pace has been erratic as of late. Fernando may be able to drag that car up the order after qualifying to places where it doesn’t deserve to be. But as we’ve seen lately, poor qualifying means it’s a lot more likely that you’ll get taken out by someone else’s mistake. To make matters worse, Ferrari’s wind tunnel seems to be suffering issues and has had to be closed for checks. That will impact Ferrari’s ability to develop the car not only in this critical stage of the season, but also for 2013. Simply put, in the words of Alonso from 2010, he will need to finish on the podium at every race until the end of the season to have a good shot at the title. And hope for a little misfortune hitting Vettel as well.
Vettel 40% – A very fast (if not the fastest) driver, in the fastest car on the grid right now. If Red Bull can be consistent and keep their gap over Ferrari all the way to Brazil, they will be in excellent shape. But some question marks remain over Red Bull’s reliability – especially those pesky alternators. One other thing to note is Vettel already has 2 reprimands – one more of that and he will get a 10-place grid drop, something he just can’t afford at this point.