Vettel versus Alonso – may the best man win is the consensus
16 November, 2012
Nov.16 (GMM) With two rounds left in the 2012 FIA World Formula One Championships, on the eve of the United States Grand Prix the consensus in the paddock is that Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso each deserve to win the 2012 F1 World Drivers’ Championship title, although the grand prix world is split on who will triumph in the end.
A debate has simmered amongst pundits lately about who is the more deserving triple world champion: Ferrari’s ‘samurai’-style Spaniard Alonso, or back-to-back title winner Vettel, at the wheel of the faster Red Bull.
“They are both giants and I congratulate them both,” F1 legend Niki Lauda is quoted by Spain’s EFE news agency. But Red Bull is half a second faster and that’s the key.”
“For me, in terms of overtaking ability and strategy, they are evenly matched. Alonso has the advantage of more experience. I think Vettel will win the championship but Alonso will not make it easy and will fight to the last breath,” added the great Austrian.
But there are rumblings in the paddock that, although acknowledging Vettel’s advantage, most people in F1 would prefer that Alonso triumphs.
“I don’t think so,” Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg told Sport1. “Sebastian is very popular.”
“I think it’s just the psychological games that are always there in a championship fight. Red Bull is a good team with a good driver and a good crew,” mused Hulkenberg.
The truth is that paddock opinion is split, with Alonso backed by the large contingent of Spanish and Italian media while Vettel is the hope of German and Austrian elements within the paddock while the English language media sit on the fence.
There is also a swathe of opinion that claims that another Vettel triumph will not do TV ratings any good and has the ability to bore viewers in a similar manner that Michael Schumacher’s dominance did a decade ago.
There is also the argument that a Ferrari title, the first since Kimi Raikkonen triumphed in 2007, would be a boost for the sport.
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