Alonso: Hamilton and Vettel are the biggest challengers

17 August, 2012

Fernando Alonso with Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton during qualifying for the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 9, 2012 in Montreal, Canada.

Fernando Alonso with Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton

Aug.17 (GMM) Ferrari driver and world championship points leader Fernando Alonso has singled out Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel as his toughest challengers for over the remaining nine races of the season.

Race winner Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F2012 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27. Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Race, Hockenheim, Germany, Sunday 22 July 2012.With half of the season done, Spaniard Alonso has won more than any of his rivals and has a 40-point lead in the drivers’ chase over Mark Webber.

But close behind Australian Webber is his Red Bull teammate and reigning back to back world champion Sebastian Vettel, followed by another 2012 race winner and former title winner, Lewis Hamilton.

Alonso is quoted by Brazil’s Totalrace: “Hamilton and Vettel are the drivers we have focused on since the beginning.

“They are the biggest challengers, but all of the teams are close. Hopefully, they will fight among themselves and not one of them will dominate,” he added.

With nine races still to run in 2012, Alonso is taking nothing for granted.

Race winner Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari. Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Race, Hockenheim, Germany, Sunday 22 July 2012.“I think the distance between the top five, top six is not impossible to recover,” he said. “You just need one good race or two good races and you are up there.”

Pundits have lauded Alonso’s extreme consistency so far in 2012, the Ferrari driver finishing all eleven races in the points.

“Sometimes we know we can be on the podium, other times maybe it’s only seventh, but we cannot afford to make any mistakes or do anything that we will regret,” said the 31-year-old.

F1 veteran Rubens Barrichello told Auto Motor und Sport, “Alonso is in the form of his life. He does not have the fastest car but he is the one getting the best out of what he has.”

“And his rivals are taking points off one another. In the end I see this [championship] as a duel between Alonso and Vettel.”

Subbed by AJN.

  • Chris

    I think Vettel will have chance over Lewis because of Mclaren only
    They think Button also in place but Redbull only keep Vettel ahead of Webber
    So as Per Alonso and Barichello
    It was going to be a Battle Between the Complete Driver of Grid The Magiacal Alonso and the Best Future Driver of Grid the Youngest Double World Champion Vettel what a year 2012 was …..

  • McLaren Fan

    I do not think you can forget Kimi.
    Yes I would love for McLaren to win with Button or Hamilton yet I still think that Kimi is getting more out of the Lotus package now he has found his sweet spot and they have the new fluid operated F duct so they will have the speed on all straits not only in the DRS zone also it will work when they cant open the rear wing.
    It is a win win bit of kit.

  • f1 fan

    yes for sure you cant rule out Kimi, he looks pretty strong, not bad for a comeback!!

  • f1 fan

    I hope they can make the super DRS work for Lotus as they expected to, winning in Spa and Monza will put lotus in a good position to fight for title !!

  • McLaren Fan

    Well Lotus appear to have the thing working so the potential is there and if Kimi gets within half a chance we all know he will go for it. all that can screw it up is the wonderful game changing TYRE’S

  • Lauda Fan

    I have tremendous respect for Alonso, indeed he IS my driver. That’s why I’m confident he’s also keeping a wary eye on Mark Webber who is the most underrated and otherwise written-off driver in F1 history.

  • muddles

    @Laud a Fan.
    Great comments.

  • McLaren Fan

    @ Lauda Fan:
    Unless Mark is driving a HRT he can never be written off but if Marko starts setting up his car Seb will always be ahead, I hate to be the one to say this but lets be honest Marko will never want Mark to win the WDC over seb.

  • Chris

    Of Course how can any one Forget Kimi
    The Top three by the End of Season will be Alonoso , Vettel , Kimi can’t say who will finish in which Position

  • BuddyBenny

    When you lead the championship by 40 points and continually say all the right things, there is only one conclusion a sensible person can draw –> Alonso will will the WDC this season. However, he didn’t mention Mark. I hope Mark wins.

  • Chris

    May be May be not we can’t say for sure Because this is 2012
    Alonso May Falter in 2nd Half or Complete the Season with out having Even a DNF and clinching Title
    All we can do is Watch and Enjoy but Vettel and Kimi are the real challengers for him.

  • Hawk

    Kimi to challenge Alonso for the WDC? Dream on..
    Alonso is not stupid, he knows who his real challengers are.
    For instance he knows where Lewis and Vettel would have been if it was not for McLaren pitstop blunders and fuel mishap – Lewis lost at least 31 points, let alone the racing incidents in Valencia(with Pastor) and Nurburgring puncture. For Vettel, Karthikeyan in Malaysia and alternator failure in Valencia. For Kimi I do not recall any Acts of God or serious team mistakes. he is at his best which is 48 points down. maybe next year, if Romain has nothing to say about it.
    therefore leaving all factors constant, Alonso knows exactly who his biggest challengers are. He just prays Acts of God work only in his favour if they come.

  • F1Follower1991


    I do think you are failing to take into account both Lotus’s new DDRS system that has been developed and Kimi’s excellent record at the next two grand prix’s.

    Whenever Kimi has finished a Grand Prix at Spa he has won the event, (4 times in total). The Lotus car loves fast sweeping tracks and hot gp’s. Although Spa will not be hot, it is extremely fast so just like Silverstone I expect the car to be sublime – with the new DDRS system the car will be upwards of 6-7km/h faster than beforehand and on the run up to Eau Rouge and Radillion will provide a grerat advantage.
    Monza too will be hugely fast, and most probably hot once again favouring the Lotus car, Kimi’s record is 3 podiums in the last 4 races there too.
    Then we have Singapore that is incredible tight twisty and hot like Hungary, where Lotus were easily the fastest car on race day.

    Raikonnen has had problems too, his tyres let him down while in 2nd at China and had steering problems at Monaco, he is the second most consistent visitor to the podium alongside Hamilton, and if achieved that result in China would have been 2nd in the championship. With the next 3 gp’s in his favour from the evidence above and Alonso has 1 DNF it could dramatically change the face of the season.

    You just have to look at his first 6 seasons in F1, he only finished outside the top 6 on 5 occasions when he did not retire, when the car is quick (the lotus is) just like 2003 and 2005 he will regularly challenge the podium and use his superior consistency to win the WDC. 2003, 1 win and finished only 2 points off Schumi – He could well do the same this year only go one better with the current unpredictability we are witnessing.

    Think you might want to reconsider him as a title contender ;) Mark my words!

  • Speedo

    Kimi and Mark should also be included in the. Don’t write them off.

  • Chris

    I agree with F1Follower 1991
    that’s why i said Kimi is the Challenger for WDC
    You can’t count Only Vettel and Lewis You need to Count Kimi too
    If you are going to see the 1st one to out from Contention it will be Mostly Lewis due to the Poor Mclaren Strategies and Equal status environment which doesn’t required at this time

  • Hawk

    I think you all have genuine reasons to consider Kimi a contender and I respect them. However,
    you are relying more on how you predict the Lotus to perform in the remaining races. I differ when I look at the past races of this season to predict the final outcome. For you, you only see improvement which does not go one way ie Lotus’ way. For me my assumption is that ALL cars will be good (or bad anyway), no Acts of God (bad luck) which will now boil down to the driver => Kimi needs to polish on his Saturday skills and adapt to that steering wheel. when it comes to China, we all saw it that he was never going to make 2nd. Why? Simple, he had not pitted. everyone had. there was no way those tyres were going to last.
    I agree on McLaren’s very poor strategies. case in point: why did Jenson have 3 pitstops in Hungary? How could “I” have seen that it was never going to work for him, and not the team? I only prayed that Lewis would not go onto that fake Plan B.
    Lewis does not need a weak second driver to do well. It happened in 2007 when he paired the best driver of the grid. So, how about JB?

  • Chris

    You can Say due to Lewis Caliber as it was Very high which Was Only matched by Fernando and Sebastian Currently But Racing is not only one Man show it needs a team Lewis has a good team and Good car but the thing is
    1.Jenson was also a good driver who can do well when he has the Good Car like he did in Germany and Hungary upto 2 nd Pit
    2.When Jenson says he can also Challenge it will keep the others to score less but point is If Lewis was right Behind Jenson Mclaren never order him to give that place to Lewis to go for WDC in this kind of tight Situations Where Ferrari did in 2010 Hockenheim Even though it was controversial and We all know the Open Secret that Redbull Allows Vettel to Challenge Instead of Webber
    Those Points would be Crucial and Mclaren and Martin Whitmarsh never Allow Lewis to take them
    In 2007 Ron was there to Help Lewis but Now Martin was there so i don’t expect the same thing for Lewis If Jenson was in Lewis Place Martin allows Jenson to do so….
    It looks Harsh but its true if Lewis was out of contention Blame Mclaren not Any one ….

  • F1Follower1991


    But by discounting Raikonnen as a WDC contender you are thereby being hipocritical yourself saying that the Lotus wont improve – when yourself say ALL teams will improve – what im saying is based on evidence from this season, the next 3 GP’s will certainly favour Lotus. No extensive work has been done to the cars over the Summer break so form will very much be down to the last GP at Hungary where Lotus were quickest.

    It is accepted by pundits and fans alike that the E20 suits extremely fast circuits and warm conditions – both drivers had proved that this season, that is why I said the next 3 GP’s suited the car and therefore potentially Kimi can become a huge factor in the WDC. The facts simply do not lie and that is what I presented to everyone.

    Yes McLaren are developing their own DDRS, however that is still in the prototype phase and will not be ready in time for Spa or Monza a week later, with no other major news surrounding development of their competitors that is why I outlined Lotus as the team to beat. Even Domenicalli and Whitmarsh have come out saying Lotus will be incredibly strong this second half of the season.

    I am not saying Lotus are favourites by no means, however to not consider him a title contender would be totally misplaced based on his most recent run of form (3 podiums in his last 4 races)

  • McLaren Fan

    Lets be honest with the cars and tyres this season we all know that Pastor will not win the WDC.
    Given that we know that the big red car with Fernando is in a prime position.
    After that we have Lewis, Seb and we agree Kimi.
    Mark will have team orders to back off Seb if he is in front (Marko).
    McLaren will let Lewis and Jenson fight if they are close to each other until the Math says one has to defer to another.
    The rest is in the hand of the gods (No not Bernie).
    I have a feeling that the Lotus F duct is going to play a big part, and McLaren are also working on something similar but is it ready and there were pix of a Williams with tubes around the front wing, but with there repair bill they won’t have enough money left to finish it.

  • Chris

    @Mclaren Fan That’s what i said
    The Difference between Lewis and Vettel is Vettel can do the Reeling and So do Lewis but Redbull gives every thing when it Needs at the end where as Mclaren Hesitates to do and When Mclaren think they are ready to do it The Situation will be Gone from their hands. The Teams are differ.

  • McLaren Fan

    @ Chris:
    You are right.
    Seems a shame to be fair to your drivers is also unfair.
    We know it is a team sport and in that way the team wants the CONSTRUCTORS.
    Both drivers want the WDC not always possible there can be only 1

  • Chris

    @Mclaren Fan:
    When situation demands you need to Favor your Driver and Vettel
    was right up there for Redbull
    to be honest being a Sebastian Fan i don’t want Lewis to be out of Contention because i want to see the Battle between the Big 3 and Kimi for final
    But If Mclaren uses Stupid Strategies they will suffer most and Lewis was the Man to suffer
    AS Hawk said in his previous post “Why Jenson has a 3 stop in Hungary as we all know it was not a good strategy”
    We clearly saw Redbull did the same for Vettel but they Concerned the gap between P4 and P5 and when they find the Right time they called seb for Soft tires to reel Romain but Mclaren called Jenson to Get the clear air but they Choose Completely wrong Strategy that costed them P4
    So Not only Drivers teams also Need to give everything which the Mclaren clearly Lacks at present.

  • McLaren Fan

    @ Chris:
    The team strategy that put Jenson on the 3 stop plan (B) cost him big time just as he was starting to show pace that he previously lost.
    There seems to be more than just McLaren who are not having the right strategy at the right time Sauber are another and not mentioning Pastor’s own game plan.
    Titles are won and lost by the strategists as are jobs.
    Given that fact I am hoping that the season runs tight to the wire giving us an epic finale.

  • Chris

    @Mclaren Fan:
    You are right about Sauber and Pastor but here the Point is
    Sauber drivers wasn’t challenging for WDC so do Pastor May be their Strategies can make them Win a Race in 2012 but not Championship
    If you are a Championship Contender then you have to Make your strategies right in order to win if you get it wrong then you will be no more in contention

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