Formula One’s top drivers were up early Sunday making anxious checks on the weather ahead of the season-ending title showdown between Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Fernando Alonso of Ferrari was the man with most to gain, or lose, in wet or dry conditions and, like most neutrals and hordes of local tifosi, was hoping for rain to reduce the performance advantage of Vettel’s Red Bull.
With just one race of 71 laps around the spectacular old Interlagos track built between two lakes to decide the season, Alonso has to close a deficit of 13 points on the German to take his third title.
By contrast, championship leader and defending champion Vettel needs only to finish in the top four to be sure of doing the same and becoming the youngest triple champion in history.
For Alonso, reliability is supreme. Even if Vettel falls victim to an accident or a mechanical failure, he still has to score a podium finish to make up his shortfall in points.
But whatever the outcome, he believes he and his Ferrari team has already done enough in 2012 to fly home from Sao Paulo filled with pride.
“If I had done a standard championship then I would have something like 110 points now and I would have said goodbye to the championship around Hungary or Singapore,” he said.
“I would then have done the last races with no pressure, like last year, when I was not fighting for anything. Luckily, having had an abnormal championship has taken us to have the feeling that here it’s all or nothing.
“Probably for the fans it will be a big joy or a big disappointment and it’s understandable. But for us it has to be a prize if we achieve it and if we don’t then we should be proud of having done our job in the best possible way.”
As Alonso reflected philosophically on the season past and the race ahead, without giving any signs of tension or stress, Vettel was on Saturday night in Sao Paulo busy quashing all suggestions that he is finding the pressure difficult.
Source: Google News, © AFP