Two to go: The championship situation

Two to go: The championship situation

25 October 2010 – After a quite remarkable turn of events on Sunday, Fernando Alonso could now win his third Formula 1 drivers’ title in Brazil. As for the other four contenders, Abu Dhabi is the only place in which they can only spoil the Spaniard’s party. GPUpdate.net takes a look at the 2010 championship permutations with just two races to go.

Red Bull could have won their first Constructors’ Championship at the weekend; instead, thanks to fluctuations typical of this amazing season, both cars retired from first and second places. Although taking team honours is still a more than realistic aim, though, the Drivers’ Championship situation has now become distinctly tricky.

Yeongam was also highly significant in that Jenson Button’s disastrous race means that, as he has admitted himself, he is highly likely to lose his crown. That said, anything can happen at Interlagos, as the details below confirm:

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Fernando Alonso (championship leader, 231 points)
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Alonso is the only man who could win the title with one race to spare.

To do that, he must finish on the podium in Brazil, with the following situations taking place:

- Winning the race with Webber 5th or lower
- Finishing 2nd with Webber 8th or lower
- Finishing 3rd with Webber 10th or lower 

This confirms that Webber is the only man who can stop Alonso in Brazil. If the Spaniard does finish on the rostrum, no result from any other contender would prevent the Ferrari driver from winning the title.

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Mark Webber (2nd overall, 220 points)
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Webber will remain in the fight providing Alonso finishes off the podium in Brazil, although the Australian will be out of the championship if one of the following situations become a reality:

- Alonso wins and Webber finishes 5th or lower
- Alonso finishes 2nd and Webber finishes 8th or lower
- Alonso finishes 3rd and Webber finishes 10th or lower

So, if Alonso is 4th then we know Webber is safe, no matter where he is. However, if Alonso is in the top three, Webber knows where he needs to be.

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Lewis Hamilton (3rd overall, 210 points)
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Like Webber, Hamilton could remain in the running without even scoring in Brazil, although the 2008 Champion will be unable to clinch a second crown in 2010 under the following circumstances:

- Alonso wins the race
- Alonso finishes 2nd and Hamilton finishes 4th or lower
- Alonso finishes 3rd and Hamilton finishes 5th or lower
- Webber wins the race and Hamilton finishes 5th or lower
- Webber finishes 2nd and Hamilton finishes 9th or lower

For Hamilton, he knows he is powerless if Alonso wins. Under any other circumstances, Lewis can prevent Alonso and Webber from becoming untouchable.

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Sebastian Vettel (4th overall, 206 points)
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Vettel currently lies 25 points in arrears of Alonso, meaning he must finish at least 10th and therefore score one point at Interlagos to stay in the game. However, it will all be over if this happens in Brazil:

- Alonso wins the race
- Alonso finishes 2nd-10th and Vettel does not finish ahead
- Webber wins the race and Vettel finishes 4th or lower
- Webber finishes 2nd and Vettel finishes 7th or lower
- Webber finishes 3rd and Vettel finishes 8th or lower
- Webber finishes 4th and Vettel finishes 10th or lower
- Hamilton wins the race and Vettel finishes 8th or lower

Basically, Vettel must finish ahead of Alonso (providing Fernando scores) but if the Ferrari driver wins then Sebastian can’t do anything to stop him. Even if the Spaniard fails to score, Sebastian knows that a top ten result is vital to stay in touch. Webber and Hamilton are also threats, especially if Mark wins.

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Jenson Button (5th overall, 189 points)
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The reigning Champion has the hardest job of any of the five title contenders, as he must finish at least at least 2nd no matter what happens in Brazil. However, if the following things do happen, Button becomes mathematically helpless:

- Alonso finishes 6th or higher
- Alonso finishes 7th-10th and Button does not win
- Webber wins 
- Webber finishes 2nd-4th and Button does not win

Not only does Jenson need to finish at least second, but he needs other things to happen to Fernando Alonso. Even if the Spaniard fails to score and Jenson wins, the Frome driver still needs Mark Webber to finish fifth or lower. The best the McLaren man can do now is to aim for the win and pray for carnage behind…or, more realistically, help Hamilton.

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