VF1blog: Are McLaren done?
What a difference a few days make.
Before the Singapore race weekend, Vital F1 friend Ernie Black wrote an article asking whether Jenson Button's hopes for the season were over.
Once the chequered flag fell in Singapore, he was asking the same question regarding his team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Here are the two articles, for you to read through with the benefit of hindsight. Is Jenson Button Done?
The 2009 F1 champion will tell you that he’s not giving up the fight for the 2012 title just yet and that he is not willing to play a supporting role to team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
After the Belgian GP I would have agreed with him as he was only 16 points behind team-mate Hamilton. The situation has changed now and not in Button’s benefit.
Button now sits seventh in the championship standings, 41 points behind Lewis Hamilton who is second and a whopping 78 points behind leader Alonso.
It is true that there are still 7 races until the end of the season and it is equally true that he mathematically still has a chance at winning. For that to happen however, it would take unlikely events and perhaps the helping hand of a higher being when all the stars and moons align just so on the day before pigs grow wings and fly as hell freezes over.
Ok, too much? I’m joking of course; however, let’s just say that at the moment, it’s highly unlikely that Alonso, Kimi, Lewis, Sebastian and Mark all fail to score enough points to stay ahead of Button.
herefore, one could essentially make the bold assumption that Button’s title charge realistically is over. Then again…anything can happen if F1 and it just might. Is Lewis Hamilton Done ?
Before the Singapore GP, I wrote an article with a similar title only I was referencing Jenson Button.
While most of it still holds true, a new development is beginning to take shape. Prior to this past weekend’s GP, It was fairly clear to most F1 fans that Lewis Hamilton was Fernando Alonso’s biggest threat. McLaren clearly has the fastest car on any given weekend and both have momentum on their side.
The driver’s championship however, has been somewhat of an enigma this season. With this said, it is very difficult to draw conclusions or make predictions with any form of certainty.
Alonso still holds the lead, albeit shrinking, however the rival most likely to challenge him for it keeps moving about like a magician’s game of cups and balls. At one point it seemed Webber was going to be the one to take the fight to the Ferrari driver but now sits 62 points out but still ahead of Button. Button hasn’t been mathematically eliminated yet so he refuses to play a supporting role. As mentioned, Hamilton seemed to be the strongest threat but now sits 52 points behind Alonso and has been leap-frogged by Kimi Räikkönen by seven points.
The one driver who has quietly been in the mix has been Sebastian Vettel. The one known as “Finger Boy”, has now closed the gap to Alonso to 29 points. The points gap is still more than the sum of the total points of one victory, however with only six races left, it becomes ever more crucial.
Lewis Hamilton is by no means close to being eliminated as a threat to Alonso. The situation is such however, that with rivals and team-mates taking points away from each other, they are all playing a role in eliminating each other. This is a stark reality.
The only real glimmer of hope for anyone looking to take down the Spaniard, is that his Ferrari F2012 has proven that it is not the fastest car on the circuit on any given weekend. While it has been reliable, it hasn’t been the kindest to its tyres while it struggles for down-force and top end speed.
Ferrari know they must improve the car for the final races to hold off the charge. The cannot rely on the misfortunes of others. At this stage however, one must wonder if it would make sense for McLaren and Red Bull to pick their man and support the one with the best chance.
Hamilton might not be done yet, but time and luck are running out.
Author: Ernie Black
Blog: f1goggs.wordpress.com Want to be a guest writer on VitalF1.com?
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