The form book going into this Grand Prix suggested the Red Bulls would be out on their own again, with Alonso and the McLarens following closer than they were in Brazil.
McLaren have torn up the form book with a return to a comparative pace that we haven’t seen since the Summer. Throughout this season the Red Bulls have been the best qualifiers and the McLarens have been one of the worst, relative to race pace. If that trend continues tomorrow, expect to see fireworks from Hamilton.
Turning to those with a more realistic chance at the Championship, Webber appears to have blown it in Qualifying. He is certainly in no position to expect any favours from his team mate, who would beat him (but not necessarily win the title) if he won.
Vettel has given himself the best possible chance he could to win the title – he now has to win the race and then hope that Button and Webber can get past Alonso, which seems unlikely on a track that is more spectacular for its facilities than the racing we saw last year.
Alonso would appear to be sitting pretty, having qualified in 3rd. He’ll only begin to get nervous if Button can jump him and the start and Webber can show more pace than he did in Qualifying.
So, there we have it, Alonso to win the title by six points? After Hockenheim this year, Piquet’s crash in Singapore and the McLaren-Ferrari spygate scandal, there will be an awful lot of people hoping he doesn’t win it at all and saying that it would be tainted. Whilst I’d agree with that, I think Hamilton is right (as well as magnanimous) in saying that history will judge things differently – just ask Schumacher. Alonso himself has shown in all those cases that he doesn’t care either way – “Every win is special” he was quoted after Hockenheim.
For me, as a fan, wins are only special if you deserved them. But when has Formula 1 ever turned out the way you expected? That’s why we love it.