Can Hamilton still be 2012 champion?
26th September 2012, 21:07 at 9:07 pm #132143
We all saw the events that unfolded at singapore, an unfortuante but big blow for Hamilton’s title hopes, i for one think Vettel lacks the concistency this season to seriously hassle Alonso in the next 6 races, and the RB8 also lacks consistency to perform consistently well at the next six rounds; as for Hamilton, i seriously think it’s still within his capaibilities to capture the title, they keep on going on about how no single driver has been dominant this season and how its therefore difficult for one driver to be dominant over the next 6 rounds; but barring a bit of bad lack, Hamilton could well have won 3 of the last 4 races from pole and maybe even spa given the right wing, point being, its certaintly foreseable that Hamilton dominates the next 6 rounds, but will the Mclaren hold it together and aid their driver by being flawless operations wise???
Overall, Alonso is massive favourite for the title, but with Hamilton in potentially a machine capable of capturing the next 6 races from pole, things could get boiled up!26th September 2012, 21:32 at 9:32 pm #211230
Funnily enough I’ve just written a column on exactly that topic for Unibet:26th September 2012, 23:55 at 11:55 pm #211231
No. With a name like mclaren this is just not worth getting into a serious discussion about it. But still, the answer is no.27th September 2012, 4:46 at 4:46 am #211232
Hamilton is 52 points behind Alonso, with 25 earned each race. I know most people find it easier to visualize a mathematical situation in the championship with the old point system, so that’d be about 21 points with 10 points earned each race. There are 6 Grand Prix weekends left. Raikkonen overhauled Hamilton in 2007 with a 20 point deficiency in too, only 6 races, so it is plausible, but it will be extremely difficult for Lewis himself to do so.
The difference between the 2007 case and now are:
1.) Despite being a great championship, 2007 had very noncompetitive and dry racing, in normal race conditions no car came close to challenging Ferrari nor Mclaren, thus all what Raikkonen had to hope for was Hamilton misfortunes, which ultimately happened in the final 2 rounds of the championship.
2.) In 2012; we have Mclaren, Red Bull, Ferrari and Lotus as regular top runners with Mercedes, Sauber, Williams and Force occasionally challenging those four. A lot more drivers to take points off Alonso.
3.) Alonso is very consistent and the F2012, while not necessary the fastest car, is as reliable as a rock. As a team themselves too, Ferrari are rarely spoiling/losing points. Meanwhile, Mclaren, despite having a quicker car are constantly losing points due both their car being unreliable, and the team itself constantly making stupid/silly mistakes.27th September 2012, 5:10 at 5:10 am #211233
Can Hamilton be champion? Yes. Will he? Personally, I doubt it. However, I think he will play a very big role in deciding who is champion – he may even be the driver Alonso and Vettel have to race on-track to try and secure enough points to be champion.
There are six races left, and Alonso has a twenty-nine point lead. If he is to finish second in every race from now until the end of the season, then Vettel pretty much has to win all six races to be champion; he can pass Alonso with five wins, but he can’t be champion unless Alonso has trouble somewhere along the line – and all of this assumes that they will be the two strongest drivers out there. It doesn’t factor in the McLarens, who are clearly the strongest cars at the moment in terms of pure speed, and the Lotuses who are quick on their day. If we have a McLaren-Lotus podium (in any combination of McLarens and Lotuses), then the whole ball game changes.
This does not bode well for Vettel, because Webber has conceded that they only expect to be strong in Korea, India and Brazil. They don’t have high hopes for Abu Dhabi or Korea, and they don’t really know what will come of Austin until they get there. And that’s a problem for them because the races they don’t expect to do well at are the races that will suit Ferrari. The balance of power is going to shift, and I don’t think it’s really going to be possible to make a call one way or the other until Abu Dhabi.27th September 2012, 8:07 at 8:07 am #211234
Out of the top 3, in my opinion Vettel is in the worst position; Red Bull is only a tad faster than Ferrari, but quite a bit slower than Mclaren. However, he’s 29 points behind Alonso and closer to Hamilton in the standings.
Alonso is in the drivers seat, Hamilton has to play a heavy catch-up game with admittedly the fastest but an unreliable car for the next 6 races.27th September 2012, 20:05 at 8:05 pm #211235
Prior to Hamilton’s retirement in Singapore, it seemed eminently possible that he might be able to make up the 24 points deficit on merit. To make up the current gap of 52 points, I feel that either Ferrari’s or Alonso’s consistency should waver. @kingshark makes a good point that this year there are more teams capable of running near the front than in 2007, when Raikkonen made up that 17-point gap in the last two races. However, I feel that the Ferrari is just a little bit too quick to be really worried by the likes of Sauber and Mercedes, or even Lotus in their current form. Also, Ferrari will keep pushing to the end, whereas some other teams might start to focus on 2013 before the end of the season.
So I expect Hamilton will need to finish far away from the podium once or twice, or not at all. For McLaren’s peace of mind, the earlier such a retirement comes, the better, but a retirement can also occur in the last race. In 2007 Hamilton lost the championship because of a malfunctioning gearbox in Brazil, and also in last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix we saw gearbox trouble: Hamilton retired and Vettel limped home, still in second place though.28th September 2012, 1:50 at 1:50 am #211236
@AdrianMorse It was 37 rather than 24 pre-Singapore. Or are you talking of Alonso finishing 4th and Hamilton winning?
If he signs with Merc, I think that definitely means he has shot himself in the foot. I think if he signs with Merc, McLaren will just shift focus to 2013, and not even think about asking Jenson to support Lewis.28th September 2012, 2:10 at 2:10 am #211237
@kingshark Out of the top 3? Do you realize that Kimi is in the top 3? Technically you’re saying that Kimi’s in a better position than Vettel :)28th September 2012, 2:18 at 2:18 am #211238
raymondu999Participant28th September 2012, 2:33 at 2:33 am #211239
Yeah, I was just pointing out that everybody always seems to forget Kimi. He’s been really consistent this year, he could surprise everybody…28th September 2012, 3:36 at 3:36 am #211240
I think Kimi has more of a chance than Vettel. Lotus said they are bringing an excellent upgrade to Korea and the next tracks will suit the Lotus anyway more so than Red Bull.
As far as Lewis goes; he easily has the fastest car in the field, but he is a long way behind, I can’t see him winning if Alonso stays as consistent as he has been.
I’m predicting this:
McLaren are the constructor’s champions.28th September 2012, 11:22 at 11:22 am #211241
Now that he’s leaving McLaren…
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