So who deserves the title? Alonso? Vettel? Karthikeyan? Or just whoever finishes with the most points. There are two races left, fifty points up for grabs and just two drivers able to win. Four drivers have been leading the Drivers’ Championship at some point in the season, Alonso has led for 10 races, Vettel for 5, Hamilton for 2 and Jenson Button just 1.
|Driver||Wins||Poles||Fastest Laps||Podiums||Q3s||Championship Position||Points||Wins from Front Row||Wins off Front Row|
So, eight drivers have won a race in 2012, Vettel has won the most races and set the most fastest laps but Alonso has the most podiums and Hamilton the most poles and Q3s. Only the top three drivers in the Championship have won a race while starting off of the front row of the grid and only Alonso has done it twice, winning from 8th and 11th in Malaysia and Europe. Webber, Hamilton and Button are still in a close fight for 4th place and I predict that Hamilton will take 4th in Brazil, unless the car breaks down again, which is fairly likely.
Thirteen drivers from seven teams have finished on the podium this year, which last happened in 2009, and 2008. The most different drivers and teams on the podium in one year was in 1982 when eighteen drivers and ten teams managed a podium finish. That same season also had the most winning drivers, 11, and teams, 7, with Keke Rosberg winning the title in the last race with just a single win. Sergio Perez has gained the most positions this season with 67 gained, finishing an average of 5.2 positions higher than his qualifying position at every Grand Prix he finishes.
Alonso & Vettel Head to Head
18 races in and Vettel has outqualified Alonso 11 times, definitely the better qualifier and (excluding Abu Dhabi) Vettel has been an average of 0.242 seconds quicker than Alonso in qualifying. Ignoring all driver penalties Vettel has an average qualifying position of 4th and Alonso 6th.
In the 15 races that both drivers have been classified as having finished the race Vettel has beaten Alonso in 8 of them and Alonso beaten Vettel in 7, so fairly even and just one mistake in the final two races could ruin either drivers’ title hopes. Quite amazingly if you take out Vettel’s alternator failure in Italy both drivers have the exact same average finishing position of 3.375.
To make it a little more fair I’ve classed Vettel’s 22nd in Italy as a retirement, but even with Vettel gaining 21 positions in Abu Dhabi he has still only gained 36 positions in total compared to Alonso’s 43, but he has qualified higher than Alonso is most races making gaining positions harder. Before Abu Dhabi Vettel has gained an average of 1 position in each race, compared to Alonso’s 2.7 positions gained per race.
So who will win in the end? Probably Vettel, but one mistake, one collision and it could all be over, Alonso will be close.