Alonso toughest possible rival for Vettel - Hill

Nov.21 (GMM) Fernando Alonso still has a significant chance of winning the 2012 world championship this weekend.

That is the view of 1996 title winner Damon Hill, who named the Spaniard as probably the toughest challenger Sebastian Vettel could possibly face for the Interlagos showdown.

"If he had any other opponent, I would say that Sebastian would definitely win with his 13 points advantage," the Briton told the German newspaper Die Welt.

Anything is possible in Brazil.

Damon Hill

"But you can't write off someone like Fernando Alonso. He is such a clever and tough driver and he always seems to pull off something extraordinary.

"Anything is possible in Brazil."

Nonetheless, the mainly Ferrari-loving readers of Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport concede that Alonso has only a 20 per cent chance to win in Brazil.

"He has an advantage, no question," Hill agreed.

"If I had to put a percentage on it, I would say the odds at 65 per cent in favour of Vettel."

And if German Vettel does add a third consecutive title to his tally on Sunday - a feat not achieved so early in Michael Schumacher's career - Hill thinks the 25-year-old could be on the road to eventually eclipsing Schumacher's record achievements.

"Someday, he certainly could," Hill said. "It's still a long way away of course. But he could certainly venture into that territory.

"If Vettel wins in Brazil, then you can certainly imagine him winning two more championships -- at least."

Karl Wendlinger, a former Sauber driver, told Austrian Servus TV this week that on a dry track and in the absence of reliability problems, Vettel should easily finish ahead of Alonso in Brazil.

Second place Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing
Second place Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Rainier Ehrhardt

So that is where the sport's gaze is centred at the moment: on Red Bull and Renault's last-minute efforts to solve the recurring alternator problem, and on a forecast of almost certain rain for both qualifying and the race in Sao Paulo.

"We want to win the race," said Vettel. "Failing that, we want to be second or third."

The podium, or even a fourth place, would guarantee Vettel the title. Still, Italy is not giving up.

"Believe in yourself, Ferrari," La Gazzetta dello Sport hailed. "Believe in Fernando, the track, and the weather."

shares
comments
Brazil caps off an intense, emotional and rewarding season for Lotus

Previous article

Brazil caps off an intense, emotional and rewarding season for Lotus

Next article

Haug doubts Schu wants F1 role in 2013

Haug doubts Schu wants F1 role in 2013
Load comments
The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat Prime

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap-one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt Prime

The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming.

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash Prime

How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash

A poor start for Valtteri Bottas and the lap one clash between Formula 1's 2021 title protagonists gave Charles Leclerc a surprise lead in the British Grand Prix that he almost held to the end. Here's how the Ferrari driver came close to a famous victory, ultimately denied by a recovering Lewis Hamilton three laps from home

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone Prime

The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone

Red Bull and Max Verstappen scored an early blow against Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes at Silverstone, with sprint qualifying race victory. But that doesn’t mean Sunday’s grand prix is a foregone conclusion. Although Verstappen starts as the favourite, here’s why Mercedes still holds hope of winning

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2021
Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success Prime

Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success

Formula 1 returns to Silverstone this weekend, but despite its familiarity to all the teams it is no picnic. Here are five of the key points for engineers to consider prior to the British Grand Prix.

Formula 1
Jul 16, 2021
The 'special relationship' Ferrari will hope to exploit at Silverstone Prime

The 'special relationship' Ferrari will hope to exploit at Silverstone

Ferrari might have snubbed the very first world championship race on British soil but the Scuderia and the UK went on to enjoy some deep connections. As BEN EDWARDS explains, theirs is a shared history that is waiting for its next chapter to be written...

Formula 1
Jul 15, 2021
The political manoeuvring behind F1's return to British GP normality Prime

The political manoeuvring behind F1's return to British GP normality

OPINION: Formula 1 heads back to Silverstone this weekend for the 2021 British Grand Prix, where a full-capacity crowd will return after a painful absence in the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. Here’s how the pieces that permitted a part of returning ‘normal’ life were arranged.

Formula 1
Jul 14, 2021