Tag Archives: Fernando Alonso

Points standings after Monaco Grand Prix

Driver Standings

Driver Points
1 Fernando Alonso 76
2 Sebastian Vettel 73
3 Mark Webber 73
4 Lewis Hamilton  63
5 Nico Rosberg 59
6 Kimi Raikkonen 51
7 Jenson Button  45
8 Romain Grosjean  35
9 Pastor Maldonado 29
10 Sergio Perez  22
11 Paul di Resta  21
12 Kamui Kobayashi 19
13 Bruno Senna  15
14 Felipe Massa  10
15 Nico Hulkenberg  7
16 Jean-Eric Vergne  4
17 Daniel Ricciardo  2
18 Michael Schumacher  2
19 Timo Glock  0
20 Charles Pic  0
21 Vitaly Petrov  0
22 Heikki Kovalainen 0
23 Pedro de la Rosa 0
24 Narain Karthikeyan 0

Constructor Standings

Team Points
1 Red Bull-Renault 146
2 McLaren-Mercedes 108
3 Ferrari 86
4 Lotus-Renault 86
5 Mercedes AMG 61
6 Williams-Renault 44
7 Sauber-Ferrari 41
8 Force India-Mercedes 28
9 Toro Rosso-Ferrari 6
10 Caterham-Renault 0
11 Marussia-Cosworth 0
12 HRT-Cosworth 0


Alonso tops shortened Monaco first practice

Fernando Alonso put his Ferrari on top in Thursday practice 1 today.

The session was red flagged with 10 minutes to go, after Heikki Kovalainen’s engine blew. With the racing line covered in oil, no more running was completed.

Michael Schumacher’s session was cut short, after damaging his car at the exit of the Swimming Pool chicane. He suffered front wing and wheel cap damage.

Meanwhile, Kimi Raikkonen didn’t set a fast lap at all, the Lotus team opting to adjust the steering on his car.

Lewis Hamilton and Romain Grosjean initially traded fastest laps, but it was a 1:16.265 for Alonso that put him on top.

Times from FP1:

 1.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               1:16.265            22
 2.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault         1:16.630  +0.365   17
 3.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari        1:16.711  +0.446   19
 4.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes      1:16.747  +0.482   12
 5.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault      1:16.760  +0.495   20
 6.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari               1:16.843  +0.578   19
 7.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari        1:17.038  +0.773   21
 8.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes      1:17.190  +0.925   13
 9.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault      1:17.222  +0.957   14
10.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              1:17.261  +0.996   18
11.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes              1:17.413  +1.148   14
12.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes  1:17.631  +1.366   18
13.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault      1:18.106  +1.841   14
14.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:18.209  +1.944   25
15.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:18.252  +1.987   28
16.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes  1:18.302  +2.037   16
17.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault      1:18.617  +2.352   20
18.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault      1:19.039  +2.774   20
19.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault      1:19.341  +3.076   16
20.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth          1:20.838  +4.573   26
21.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth     1:20.895  +4.630   18
22.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth     1:21.638  +5.373    9
23.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth          1:22.423  +6.158   15
24.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault         N/A       N/A       1

Alonso leads Spanish first practice for first time in 2012

Alonso put Ferrari on top

Alonso put Ferrari on top

Fernando Alonso gave Ferrari their first top spot in an official F1 session this year.

The Spaniard pleased the home crowd with a 1:24.430. Sebastian Vettel briefly went fastest after the first half hour, but settled for 2nd, ahead of Kamui Kobayashi.

McLaren ran a new higher nose on their MP4-27, with Jenson Button 4th and Lewis Hamilton 8th, the latter complaining of understeer on his car. Button lamented that it was difficult to turn the tyres up to temperature.

Valtteri Bottas was 5th, over a second ahead of Pastor Maldonado back in 17th. Force India ran a batch of new updates, with Nico Hulkenberg entering the top 10. Jules Bianchi took over the second car, ending the session in 18th place.

Alexander Rossi tested for Caterham, his first F1 practice session, and ended up 21st, a second behind Vitaly Petrov. Dani Clos drove for HRT, and was 2.5 seconds off Pedro de la Rosa.

Times from FP1:

 1.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                1:24.430           20
 2.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault       1:24.808  +0.378   18
 3.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari         1:24.912  +0.482   28
 4.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1:24.996  +0.566   24
 5.  Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Renault       1:25.120  +0.690   24
 6.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes               1:25.187  +0.757   15
 7.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault          1:25.217  +0.787   16
 8.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes       1:25.252  +0.822   20
 9.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault          1:25.285  +0.855   29
10.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes   1:25.339  +0.909   24
11.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:25.367  +0.937   22
12.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                1:25.433  +1.003   21
13.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault       1:25.539  +1.109   23
14.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes               1:25.607  +1.177   20
15.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari         1:25.918  +1.488   19
16.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:26.226  +1.796   24
17.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault       1:26.297  +1.867   18
18.  Jules Bianchi         Force India-Mercedes   1:26.630  +2.200   21
19.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault       1:27.475  +3.045   20
20.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth      1:28.267  +3.837   21
21.  Alexander Rossi       Caterham-Renault       1:28.448  +4.018   25
22.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth      1:28.633  +4.203   22
23.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth           1:29.107  +4.677   19
24.  Dani Clos             HRT-Cosworth           1:31.618  +7.188   19

Malaysian Grand Prix analysis: Victories for the underdogs

The Malaysian Grand Prix will go down as a thrilling and unforgettable race. Not just because of the shuffled order, or the heavy rain showers, but because of the fierce and spirited drives that put so many surprise faces on top. A brilliant drive from Sergio Perez, an unrelenting charge from Fernando Alonso, and a quiet ascent to 6th for Bruno Senna was what made this race special.

Perez – the man of the moment

Few will argue that Sergio Perez’s drive was anything but spectacular. A good strategy call at the start put him up to 3rd, and he held the position under treacherous conditions.

Once the track dried out, he demonstrated Button-like prowess on the damp track, eating into Alonso’s lead relentlessly. A poor final pit stop, as well as a slip near the end, cost him the victory, but he has still made his point.

It is the first time since 1971 that a Mexican driver has put a foot on the podium – the last time was for Pedro Rodriguez, 19 years before Sergio was even born.

With such a great performance, the top teams have surely taken a good look at the young Sauber driver. Which leads us to…

Massa bashing: Round 2

Another atrocious drive from Felipe Massa, another reason for Ferrari to ditch the beleaguered driver. And with Sergio Perez seemingly knocking on the door, the Brazilian surely won’t be around for too long.

As his teammate crossed the line to take the chequered flag, Massa was 5 seconds away from being lapped. He now sits 19th in the driver’s championship, behind the Marussias, while Alonso leads the title hunt. There’s no denying that the gap between the two is growing immeasurably long.

The Ferrari F2012 is a handful, but it deserves to be finishing higher than 15th place. I make no secret of my disliking of Massa, and his dismal performances only make this view worse.

Another side of Sebastian Vettel?

As the Red Bull team slip behind McLaren, we are now granted the opportunity to see how Vettel handles with not having the fastest car on the grid. Unfortunately, he hasn’t gotten off to the best start.

His clip into Narain Karthikeyan may seem insignificant, but it shows a very poor attitude from the German driver. He seemed to move across Narain’s path, then showed obscene gestures when his tyre blew as a result.

Afterwards, he referred to him as a “cucumber”, which is just about the oddest insult I’ve heard in a long time. It appears as if he hasn’t learned from Turkey 2010, when he refused to take responsibility for clashing with Mark Webber.

Granted, he’s not in the position he wants to be, but this is no excuse for his behaviour. A true driver’s colours are shown when he’s dealt a bad hand – just look at Fernando Alonso. Vettel appears rattled, and will need to cap his temper if he wants to claw his way back to the top.

Alonso wins while Perez shines in Malaysia

Hamilton fends off Button

Hamilton fends off Button

Fernando Alonso has won the Malaysian Grand Prix, ahead of a brilliant Sergio Perez, who drove his heart out and almost won the race. Lewis Hamilton again lost the lead and finished 3rd, while it was another poor show from Mercedes. Here is what happened:

Light rain 10 minutes before the start of the race forced all the cars to switch to the intermediate tyres. At the start, Lewis Hamilton held the lead against his teammate, while Romain Grosjean jumped into 3rd. Michael Schumacher spun at Turn 3, and fell to the back of the grid.

As the rain grew in intensity, Sergio Perez, Timo Glock and Felipe Massa opted to stop for extreme wets. Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso stopped on Lap 5 for the same tyres. Button’s passing of Schumacher on the wets prompted everyone else to make the change on Lap 6.

The safety car was out, but the red flag is soon thrown

The safety car was out, but the red flag is soon thrown

The different strategies left Perez 3rd, while Button harassed Hamilton for the lead. However, the rain had quickly become too heavy to continue, and the safety car was deployed on Lap 7. As lightning struck race control and the media centre, knocking out the power, there was some confusion about an accidental red flag.

Once it became clear that the monsoon conditions weren’t ending any time soon, the red flag was thrown. The teams bizarrely brought gazebos out on the pit straight, as the rain shower moved away.

After more than half an hour, the race was restarted under the safety car. Bernd Maylander peeled away on Lap 13, and the racing resumed. Several cars dived into the pits, while Sergio Perez moved into 2nd. Sebastian Vettel made a move on his teammate, but Webber used his superior traction to retake 5th place.

Hamilton stopped a lap later, but a slow pit stop dropped him behind his teammate. Button’s joy didn’t last long though, as he hit the back of Narain Karthikeyan’s HRT, breaking his front wing. He pitted for repairs, while Sergio Perez stopped for inters, leaving Fernando Alonso in charge of the race.

Daniel Ricciardo put an excellent move on Bruno Senna for 14th place, taking the Williams around the outside of Turn 5. DRS was enabled on Lap 21, allowing the battle for 5th place battle between Rosberg, Vettel and Raikkonen to take an extra twist.

Vettel powered past Nico Rosberg for 4th, and was soon followed by Kimi Raikkonen. Mark Webber didn’t need DRS to get past, slicing past Rosberg at Turn 6.

Felipe Massa was ordered to catch the Mercedes, but slipped wide instead, allowing Paul di Resta through for 7th. After he was swiftly passed by Jean-Eric Vergne Bruno Senna, he pitted for a new set of intermediates.

Perez gets within inches of Alonso

Perez gets within inches of Alonso

Kamui Kobayashi passed Michael Schumacher around the outside of Turn 5, while Jenson Button passed Felipe Massa for 16th position.

The focus soon switched to the front, as Sergio Perez began to reel in Alonso at incredible rates. The new rain shower failed to materialise, and the frontrunners’ worn inters soon began to come into the equation. Daniel Ricciardo was the first to try on the slick tyres, and instantly set fastest sectors.

This prompted a mad dash for the pit lane. Alonso pitted on Lap 41, while Perez stayed out. He stopped the next lap, but the damage had been done, as Fernando now led by 7 seconds.

Alonso and Perez congradulate each other after a thrilling battle

Alonso and Perez congradulate each other after a thrilling battle

Despite this, the Mexican driver continued to push, and astonishingly began to reel in the Ferrari once again. With 10 laps to go, the Sauber was only 3 seconds behind. Further back , Sebastian Vettel received a puncture, and dropped down the field.

But, the focus was on Perez. As he closed on Alonso, he made a slip at Turn 14, and dropped back by several seconds. He attempted to repair the damage, but there was not enough time left.

Fernando Alonso crossed the line first to win the Malaysian Grand Prix, with Perez chasing him past the line. Lewis Hamilton hung on to third place, with Mark Webber ahead of Kimi Raikkonen. Bruno Senna impressed with 6th, while Michael Schumacher inherited a point on the second last lap after Pastor Maldonado’s retirement.

Jerez testing day 4: Alonso ends Jerez test on top

Fernando Alonso showed some of the pace of the F2012 in the final Jerez test

Fernando Alonso showed some of the pace of the F2012 in the final Jerez test

Fernando Alonso concluded the 4-day test session at Jerez by going quickest in the Ferrari.

In a much colder day than previous days, Alonso set a 1:18.877, beating Jean-Eric Vergne and Sebastian Vettel by 0.7 seconds. The world champion got off to a slow start, being delayed by an electrical problem on the Red Bull RB8.

The top 6 drivers were separated by less than a second. Lewis Hamilton headed Romain Grosjean in 4th and 5th.

Kamui Kobayashi suffered a hydraulics leak in his Sauber C31, causing one of three red flags. Bruno Senna caused the other two when his Williams stopped out on track.

Jarno Trulli finished much slower than the other 8 drivers, but hailed his introductory day in the Caterham CT01 as his “best ever” first test. He also reported no problems with the car’s power steering – an issue he struggled massively with last year.

There will now be a 10-day break before the next test begins at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Times from Jerez day 4:

1. Fernando Alonso        Ferrari F2012       1:18.877   39 Laps
2. Jean-Eric Vergne       Toro Rosso STR7     1:19.597   80 Laps    +0.720
3. Sebastian Vettel       Red Bull RB8        1:19.606   49 Laps    +0.729
4. Lewis Hamilton         McLaren MP4-27      1:19.640   86 Laps    +0.763
5. Romain Grosjean        Lotus E20           1:19.729   95 Laps    +0.852
6. Kamui Kobayashi        Sauber C31          1:19.834   76 Laps    +0.957
7. Nico Hulkenberg        Force India VJM05   1:19.977   90 Laps    +1.100
8. Bruno Senna            Williams FW34       1:20.132   124 Laps   +1.255
9. Jarno Trulli           Caterham CT01       1:22.198   117 Laps   +3.321

2011 final driver rankings: 3rd – 1st

This is the final article in a 4-part series, ranking all 28 drivers this season. As you would expect, this post tackles Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel.

3rd – Jenson Button

Button is a drastically improved driver from last year

Button is a drastically improved driver from last year

Previous ranking: 3rd

Review from previous ranking: “He has shown himself as a more complete driver this year, and unlike his teammate, shows restraint where necessary.”

In the first few races of 2011 it appeared that Jenson was still a step behind Lewis Hamilton in terms of performance. A single podium in the first 4 races was earned because of his trademark tyre conservation, not because of outright pace.

However, from Monaco onwards, the balance of power had shifted at McLaren, and Button is now comfortably ahead of his teammate in all areas.

He has scored double the amount of podiums compared to Hamilton this year (12 against 6). As well as his damp/wet weather skills, he was able to keep his car out of trouble – a complete contrast compared to Lewis. His two retirements were not caused by his hand, compared to two silly crashes by Hamilton.

He seems to have a sixth sense in changeable weather conditions. His drive in Canada was outstanding, overtaking the entire field in a matter of 30 laps. In Hungary, a straight fight between the McLarens, Lewis fell apart while Button cruised to victory.

In Suzuka, he was able to scrape a win deep in Red Bull territory – a remarkable feat considering the pace of the RB7.

Many doubted that Jenson could withstand Lewis when moving to McLaren. However, he has proven us all wrong by becoming the first driver to beat Lewis on points while in the same team, by 43 points – and it should have been a lot more.

Not only this, but he has firmly put himself in the elite group of top racing drivers.

2nd – Sebastian Vettel

Vettel was at the front 99% of the time, and seemingly unstoppable

Vettel was at the front 99% of the time, and seemingly unstoppable

Previous ranking: 1st

Review from previous ranking: “Nearly utterly faultless all season, Sebastian is more complete a racing driver.”

Sebastian Vettel is vastly changed from 2010. Barely a single foot put wrong all season, the German deservedly took back-to-back world championships – but still pushed himself the entire way.

He could have backed off on the first lap in Monza, but he didn’t. Taking to the grass at Curva Grande, he sliced past Fernando Alonso to take the lead in style.

He could have backed off in Spa, but again he didn’t. Vettel is the first driver in recent history to make a pass around the outside of the fearsome Blanchimont corner. I honestly can’t remember the last time a driver did this.

The dropping of points were almost always out of his control. His retirement in Abu Dhabi was mechanical, while gearbox issues in Brazil cost him the win. There is very little to fault Vettel with this season.

So the question is – why is he second instead of first?

Obviously, we saw the making of a top-class driver this year, but I feel there’s more to it than just raw pace. The Red Bull tactic of sticking the car on pole and tearing away in the first few laps, to remain out of sight for later, isn’t the most desirable tactics we’d like to see – especially if it’s done 90% of all the races.

He has the scope for overtaking moves, but this simply doesn’t define a season. Webber’s pass on Alonso in Spa proves that a ballsy move doesn’t earn you Driver of the Year on merit.

As well as this, whenever the slightest variable moves in the car, Vettel’s driving falters. Germany was the prime example of this, where a suspension change resulted in Sebastian’s pace falling off a cliff. He was lucky to finish 4th considering the pace he had.

There’s no denying that he is a world class driver, and one of the best drivers in F1’s history. But the absolute perfect team/car set-up cannot last forever, and when it slips away, Vettel’s talent will be severely tested. However, we still have one more driver, who has shown that he can still rip up tarmac while well outside of his comfort zone…

1st – Fernando Alonso

In similar machinery, Alonso thrashed anyone who stood in his way

In similar machinery, Alonso thrashed anyone who stood in his way

Previous review: 2nd

Ranking from previous review: “If there’s anyone on the grid who can [challenge Vettel] it will be Fernando Alonso.”

After the last two years I can easily say that Fernando Alonso doesn’t need the best car to inspire terror in his fellow drivers. While his championship challenge failed to materialise, he pushed maximum performance out of a lifeless car, and put that Ferrari where no other driver could.

As Felipe Massa proved, an average driver will produce average results from an average car. But Fernando is not an average driver. When the opportunity arose to take a single win in 2011, Alonso was there, snatching the victory while his teammate was half a minute behind.

Even when the car was nowhere near its best, Fernando was always ready to fight for whatever scraps Red Bull and McLaren had left behind. He made an astonishing start in Spain to grab the lead from 4th on the grid, and only the prime tyres proved to be his downfall.

When Vettel was out of the running in Germany, Alonso was primed to take another victory, but was thwarted by an excellent pass by Hamilton after his pit-stop. Without that move, it could well have been another win.

With such a dog of a car, the only driver we can effectively compare him to is Massa, and that’s a pretty easy comparison. Alonso has destroyed Felipe in every possible sector this year. While Fernando has taken 10 podiums this year, Felipe has none whatsoever. What’s more impressive is the fact that Alonso was out of the top 5 only twice this year (considering that Red Bulls and McLarens would dominate the top 4 according to car pace), while 5th was all that Massa could achieve at all.

This shows the gap between an ordinary driver and an extraordinary one. If I were to criticise him for anything this season, it would be  an ill-judged defense of his position in Canada, resulting in his only retirement of the year.

Despite this, Alonso is capable of pushing his car well beyond what it would achieve with any other driver at the wheel. His long-term contract with Ferrari shows that he has faith in the Scuderia, and the prospect of a competitive car next year will undoubtedly set us up for a brilliant showdown against Red Bull and McLaren.

For achieving what no other driver could in a dismal car, Fernando Alonso is my driver of the year.

My top 5 drives of the season

After looking at the finest races and overtakes of 2011, it’s time to move on to the best race performances by any driver. This is judged by looking at raw pace, clever use of strategy and sheer brilliant driving.

5th – Sebastian Vettel – Monaco Grand Prix

After a scintillating drive in qualifying, a clean getaway would normally have sealed the race for Sebastian.

But, a mistake at his first pit stop put Vettel at a disadvantage – and on the wrong tyres. He emerged on the soft compound instead of the super-softs.

To make matters worse, the Red Bull was later reeled in by both Alonso and Button. His Pirelli tyres were nearly shredded to pieces, but Sebastian hung on lap after lap, keeping the Ferrari and McLaren at bay.

A red flag with 6 laps to go calmed the battle, and ensured the Red Bull would cruise to the chequered flag on new tyres, but it was by no means easy for Vettel.

4th – Mark Webber – Chinese Grand Prix

A torrid performance in qualifying left the Aussie in 18th place on the grid. Clearly a fightback was the order of the day.

Slicing through the field, Mark made it up to 4th place, then overtook Jenson Button on the final lap to take a brilliant podium position. Unfortunately much of his racing action was missed by the cameras.

It was a sweet ending to a poor weekend, marred by electrical and KERS problems.

3rd – Fernando Alonso – Spanish Grand Prix

By the Spanish GP, it was well known that the 2011 Ferrari challenger was hopeless against the Red Bulls – it’s a good thing nobody told Fernando Alonso.

A trademark demon start put Fernando in the lead of his home Grand Prix, to the delight of the fans. He held the position until the first pit stop, where his race began to unravel.

After being pipped by Vettel in the first set of stops, Alonso eventually had to put on the prime tyres, which killed his charge completely. He slipped to 5th, and was a lap down by the chequered flag.

So why is this drive on the list? Because nobody else on the grid would have been able to do what Fernando did in the opening stages. He thrashed the car to the absolute limit, and was beating a significantly faster car. A ferocious drive from the Spaniard.

2nd – Jenson Button – Japanese Grand Prix

In a year of Sebastian Vettel domination, it was quite a considerable achievement to beat the double world champion on a trademark Red Bull track.

By missing pole position by less than 0.01 seconds, it was clear he had the pace. After Button undercut Vettel at the first set of stops, there was no stopping him.

Fernando Alonso chased the McLaren to the flag, so much so that Jenson nearly burned out the minimum fuel sample required after the race. He pulled over after the final lap, finishing just a second ahead of Alonso.

Still, it was a fantastic drive to out-perform the Red Bulls at one of their strongest circuits…

1st – Jenson Button – Canadian Grand Prix

But not as good a drive as in Canada. Disaster after disaster couldn’t stop the Briton’s charge through the field – twice.

A puncture after clashing with his teammate, a drive-through penalty for speeding, followed up by another accident – this time with Fernando Alonso – and another puncture.

Most drivers’ races would end here. But for Jenson, he took it on himself to make another final dash from last to first, and took the lead on the final lap for icing on the cake.

On a difficult damp track, to lap over 2 seconds a lap faster than anyone else is simply incredible, and that’s why Button has earned the drive of the year.

My top 5 overtakes of the year

With the Pirelli tyres and KERS providing a welcome new element to on-track racing, 2011 saw some fantastic battles between the drivers.   Although DRS grew slightly stale in its repetitive passes, we were in no shortage of wheel-to-wheel action. Here are my favourite overtaking moves from this season:

5th – Michael Schumacher on Kamui Kobayashi and Felipe Massa – Canada

This year saw an improvement from Schumacher, after struggling for much of his return so far. After Felipe Massa got held up by Kamui Kobayashi in Canada, we saw a glimpse of the old Schumacher as he sliced through to take 2nd place.

4th – Sebastian Vettel on Fernando Alonso – Italy

Seeing one driver dominate at the front is no fun, it’s much more entertaining for everyone when Vettel has had to fight for the win. This pass on Fernando Alonso after a safety car restart showed Sebastian at his very best, racing at the limit even when the title had been neatly wrapped up.

3rd – Fernando Alonso on Jenson Button – Brazil

The surprised expressions from Brundle and Coulthard says it all – very few could imagine overtaking around the outside of Turn 6 in Brazil, but Fernando Alonso made it look easy.

2nd – Mark Webber on Fernando Alonso – Spa

An incredibly committed move by Mark Webber, shoving Alonso aside as the two cars entered Eau Rouge. This was a pass achieved through sheer bravery – and hoping that Fernando would give Mark space, which thankfully he did.

1st – Lewis Hamilton on Fernando Alonso – Germany

Victory for Lewis Hamilton at the Nurburgring was sweet, but the moment of the day had to be this fantastic opportunistic pass on Fernando Alonso. As the Spaniard exited the pits on cold tyres, Lewis swept around the outside to take the lead – and later the win.

Vettel rivals concede 2011 title

All of Sebastian Vettel’s title rivals have all but given up hopes on challenging for the 2011 championship crown.

This comes after a crushing victory for the German, slicing past Fernando Alonso in the early stages and dominating the race from there.

Teammate Mark Webber, who has barely led a lap this year, never mind win a race, was the first to concede the title:

"I think we're all battling for second now. Seb needs to have a very, very 
incredibly disappointing finish to the season for anyone to take the 
championship off him at this point.

He's in a great position. He's done a great job. And clearly the car was good 
today, so it was a missed opportunity for me."

Fernando Alonso was next up, stating that the title was well out of reach:

"Sure, it would have been fantastic to do the double after 2010, but we must 
stay cool and concentrate and try to reach targets that are within our reach: 
today we did just that. It’s true the title has gone now, but there is still 
great motivation: we want to win races and try to defend the position I have 
just reached in the drivers’ championship."

Lewis Hamilton was more blunt with his statement, saying:  “I doubt it’s still possible to beat Sebastian for the title, but we’ll keep pushing.”

Vettel has a 112-point lead over Fernando Alonso, and a 117-point lead over Button and Webber, with Hamilton a further 9 points adrift. There are 150 points up for grabs in the final 6 races of the season.

In order to win the championship at the next round in Singapore, Vettel must win the race, with Fernando Alonso 4th or lower.