Fernando Alonso is within touching distance of winning his third F1 world championship in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, as the Spaniard takes an eight-point lead into what will undoubtedly be a fascinating weekend.
Alonso’s cause has been helped by the Red Bull Racing team’s commitment to treating its two drivers equally. Team boss Christian Horner has re-iterated on numerous occasions that his team will not be imposing any orders to Mark Webber or Sebastian Vettel, but will rely on the duo to manage the situation and ‘do the right thing’.
Let’s not forget of course that there are in fact four drivers still in contention of winning this year’s crown, for Lewis Hamilton still has a slender chance of winning the championship.
Hamilton goes into the race 24 points adrift of Alonso, and with 25 points on offer for a win, the Briton relies on Alonso, Webber and Vettel all hitting trouble this weekend
All it will take is for Alonso’s old engine powering his Ferrari to pack up mid-race and for both the Red Bulls to collide – because they have been left with no other choices, and thus have no reason to back off – for Hamilton to sneak through the backdoor and secure his second championship win.
Not the most ridiculous notion ever, is it? And one I would encourage you to have a little flutter on. Especially since the likes of Ladbrokes are offering rather generous odds of 100/1 at the moment. But be quick, as that’s likely to dwindle the nearer we get to Sunday.
Another possibility for Hamilton to repeat his 2008 triumph would need him to win the race, Alonso to score zero points, Webber to languish in sixth or lower and Vettel to finish no higher than third position. With McLaren likely to struggle for pace around the Yas Marina circuit compared to Red Bull and Ferrari, the chances of this happening are slimmer than slim. But stranger things have happened in Formula One.
So, get out your wallets and back Hamilton this weekend in an attempt to make some mega bucks. You can thank me later, when you’re sunning yourself onboard your yacht that’s just bowled up in the port of Monaco…