What are Hamilton, Raikkonen and Webber’s title chances?
4th October 2012, 10:29 at 10:29 am #132179
Most people see the Drivers championship coming down to a battle between Alonso and Vettel, but will any of the 3 drivers mentioned above have any chance to push those two? Unfortunately I see it going only one way and here’s why…
Hamilton: For me it is a big NO. McLaren seem top be running into a bit of reliability trouble at the business end of the season and as much as it pains me to say it, Hamilton will be lucky to hold on to 3rd spot. The Mercedes move won’t help either.
Raikkonen: The undoubted skill of this guy is there for all to see and I think it is great to have him back from the WRC, but I think that the Lotus (this season at least) is just not good enough. The Iceman will be consistent enough to knock Hamilton off 3rd though.
Webber: Unfortunately a really poor mid-season has scuppered (never thought I would be able to ever use that word in a sentence) any chance he has. Mind you, I don’t think Red Bull help him at all.
So my final positions for 2012:
I hope I am wrong though and we see some early upsets, starting this weekend with a Webber win at Suzuka, to really put the cat amongst the pigeons!
You can read more of my musings over at Wheels of Squeal… feel free to leave a comment.4th October 2012, 10:57 at 10:57 am #211684
Hamilton and Raikkonen have faster cars than Vettel. I think they’ll finish second and third respectively but no one will catch Alonso. Button will also be ahead of Webber.4th October 2012, 11:09 at 11:09 am #211685
Yeah, I really do fear for Webber. His qualifying has been really poor in recent races and as Red Bull switch to focusing even more attention on Vettel push for the title, he will suffer!4th October 2012, 11:17 at 11:17 am #211686
Every year he does a god job and is ahead of Vettel halfway through the year, then he signs a new contract for the next year and he is suddenly nowhere near as competitive as he previously was.4th October 2012, 11:33 at 11:33 am #211687
Every year? Oh my!4th October 2012, 11:54 at 11:54 am #211688
I think the championship is Ferrari’s and Alonso’s to lose, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be lost. One win and from Vettel and one retirement from Alonso and suddenly Sebastian is the favourite to win.
Hamilton is a little far back at the moment and McLaren have to bring consistency to the final races which so far they have lacked this season, but it’s far from over yet. I don’t think either McLaren or Hamilton will be distracted by his move to Mercedes. McLaren’s engineers may no longer share the deepest secrets of the MP4-28 with Hamilton, but that shouldn’t stop Lewis from driving this year’s car as fast as possible. The only person in McLaren that doesn’t want to see Hamilton win, I suspect, is Jenson Button. Button will probably have given up on the 2012 championship, but he is less than a race win away from Hamilton in the standings. I think Jenson will be more concerned about taking points off his teammate in the coming races than off Hamilton’s championship rivals.
Raikkonen: the Lotus has lacked speed the last couple of races, and Raikkonen has not impressed me as much as he seemed to have impressed others. Just how badly does Kimi want this title? As badly as the other contestants? I don’t think so.
As much as I like Webber, I don’t see him as a candidate for the title anymore. He can still play a role in the fight, though, by taking points of the other candidates in the remaining races. He needs to up his game and Suzuka is a circuit that should suit him, so Sunday would be a good time to start finishing ahead of Fernando again.4th October 2012, 12:05 at 12:05 pm #211689
Every year? Oh my!
Three of the four years they’ve been team mates, Webber has been ahead in the points at the halfway mark of the season.4th October 2012, 12:23 at 12:23 pm #211690
Vettel actually was ahead after rounds 8 and 9 in 2009.
But regardless, the championships are handed out at the end of the year. Being ahead by a couple of points at half way, if you’re going to be so poor in the rest of the year is useless. That’s why I do not consider Mark to be a serious title contender. He went out of his way to throw away the 2010 title, and in a lesser position, he’s replicating those performances.
The Mclaren is the fastest, so Lewis isn’t out of it yet, nor is Vettel, but I don’t see anyone stopping Alonso. He is arguably overdue a third title.4th October 2012, 12:43 at 12:43 pm #211691
Then look at the DNFs up to half time:
2009 – VET 3, WEB 0
2010 – VET 2, WEB 1
2012 – VET 1, WEB 0
That explains Webber leading 2010 by 7 points at halftime and by 10 points in 2012. Vettel led by 2,5 points in 2009 after halftime, even with the DNFs.4th October 2012, 12:54 at 12:54 pm #211692
I think a better way to explain duncanmonza’s theory and prove it right to compare Vettel and Webber after the Hungarian GP. Webber was leading Vettel by 4.5 points in 2009, by 10 points in 2010 and 2 points this season. Then, on each occasion, he completely falls back in the second half of the season.
Disclaimer: I still believe Vettel is a better driver than Webber.
That being said, I predict Alonso to be champion this season, ahead of Vettel, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Button and Webber respectively.4th October 2012, 13:59 at 1:59 pm #211693
Αlso don’t forget the old system in 2009. 4,5 points are something like just less than a race win. So, the diffrence would be like 12 points with the current system.4th October 2012, 17:11 at 5:11 pm #211694
@duncanmonza Re Webber, I think it’s more that his specialty circuits (those where he generally becomes a top driver) are all early in the year. Sepang, Barcelona, Monaco, Silverstone, Nurburgring (every other year). From there on, there aren’t really any circuits he’s good at – just average at best, except Interlagos.4th October 2012, 17:47 at 5:47 pm #211695
Webber has no chance.
Raikkonnen and Hamilton have an equal chance, but it’s a very slim one. I think if anything Hamilton has a better opportunity because the car is quicker than the Lotus.
Can’t see beyond Alonso or Vettel though…4th October 2012, 18:26 at 6:26 pm #211696
I personally think that, while Lewis has the quicker car than Vettel or Alonso – the points difference in relation to the pace gap is too big. I think that Vettel or Alonso are the only two realistic prospects for the title at this point, though I’d definitely call Lewis a probable longshot. I don’t believe anyone else is possible.
I actually don’t think Alonso has this title sown up by any stretch of the mind. Alonso’s car, since Hockenheim, has yet to ever feature in the top 2, let alone a victory. Other than Monza, which is always a one-off in terms of pecking order, the Ferrari has yet to be a top 2 fastest car of any given weekend, or sometimes even top 3.4th October 2012, 18:32 at 6:32 pm #211697
I find it hard to rule out Hamilton, because I think that assuming his and Vettel’s reliability is fine, I see Hamilton easily catching Vettel, and Vettel could well easily catch Alonso. It might be unlikely that both will happen, as if Hamilton catches Vettel it likely means that Vettel isn’t taking the big points he needs to close on Alonso anyway, but that is the funny logic I’m using. I would say that this weekend is crucial, but unless Hamilton wins and Alonso retires, every weekend is going to be crucial, with the pressure on Hamilton to not only perform, but also avoid a single mistake. The chance is slim, but it exists. I’m not so sure about Raikkonen, as the Lotus has been off the pace, so it depends if they can improve this weekend, which they say they will do- so I don’t have a clue on him until Saturday or Sunday. I don’t think Webber will do it at all though. He’s in the same car as Vettel, who is better.
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