Sunday, 11 September 2011

Vettel edges closer to second title

Sebastian Vettel can't win the World Championship at the next race in Singapore, but we might as well all go home, this one is over.

A poor start today, or rather a lightning start from Alonso, meant that he had a fight on his hands but such was the superior speed of the Red Bull, again, it was only a matter of time before he was back in front. To give him his due though, Vettel did pull off a very bold move round the outside of Alonso at Curva Grande which left him partially on the grass.

Thereafter it was a case of switching focus to the battles further back in the pack because a Vettel win was all but guaranteed. Hamilton, Schumacher and Button provided much entertainment and while Schumacher was forthright in defence, I saw him doing nothing that every other driver would do. The one move takes you across to the inside but it is a natural second move to take you back to the racing line - Hamilton himself was doing this and much worse on the pit straight in Malaysia so complaints from him were particularly rich.

Hamilton was perhaps a bit more subdued than usual though, and the result was fourth place well shy of his team mate Button who clawed his way up to second - and equal third in the Championship.

So Vettel is now 112 points ahead in the Championship, which means Alonso has to be third or better and Button and Webber second or better in Singapore to stop him winning the title there. It's worth noting Alonso's position in second place in the standings. It's been a season-long case of damage limitation for Alonso who for the most part has had the third fastest car on the grid, one that seems unable to operate effectively in anything other than a very narrow window of conditions. The fight for second place in the Championship is now, unfortunately, the only point of interest that remains this season.