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At the Singapore Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso finished on the podium while their rivals Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber failed to score points and Kimi Raikkonen could only finish 6th. Raikkonen is now 45 points behind Alonso, Hamilton 52 and Webber 62. With only 6 races to go, we wonder whether 2012 has turned into a two horse race.
During the first half of the season, McLaren had the fastest car but Hamilton couldn't capitalize on it due to various reasons particularly pit stops. The second half of the season has been rather crazy for Hamilton. At Belgium, he was eliminated on the very first lap due to a collision with Grosejan, his teammate Jenson Button went on to win the race. At the following weekend, he returned to top with an emphatic victory at Italy. He was again set to win at Singapore, before a gearbox issue forced him into retirement. So despite 3 victories and further 3 podiums, he is 52 points behind leader Alonso thanks to 4 DNFs.
Overcoming a margin of 52 points sounds difficult but not impossible considering the fact that McLaren won 3 of the last 4 races and if he hadn't retired in Singapore it would have been 4/4. He'll be heavily dependent on Alonso retiring/failing to points in a few races.
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Unlike Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen's comeback has been extremely successful. He has been on podium 6 times this season and has scored points in all but one race. But what is missing is victories. The points margin between 1st and 2nd place is 7 points and over 20 races that makes a big difference.
To overcome the points gap of 45, he'll have to score two wins and hope that Alonso fails to score points in those races. But as we just mentioned, Raikkonen hasn't scored a single win this year while Alonso has scored points in all but one race.
Despite showing good form in first 7-8 races, Webber's performance has detoriated and the Australian has scored just 12 points in last 5 races. In contrast his rivals Vettel and Alonso has scored 55 and 40 points respectively in the same period. And that has made all the difference as Webber is now 62 points behind championship leader Fernando Alonso.
62 points is a massive margin, and considering Red Bull might ask Webber to help Vettel, the 32 year old is practically out of the title fight.
Jenson Button had a roller coaster ride this year, after winning the first race in Australia he had a poor run of races and is now over 75 points behind Fernando Alonso in the drivers standings. His chances of championship were pretty much over at the time of August break but he came back with a bang with an emphatic victory at Belgium. At that stage he suggested that he's still in the title fight but in the very next race he retired from 2nd place due to a mechanical failure. 18 points, which he would have scored had he finished the race made all the difference in this stage of the standings. Nevertheless, he has an important task of helping McLaren win the constructors standings.
Do you think 2012 is now a two horse race between Vettel and Alonso? Or Hamilton, Raikkonen and others have a chance in winning the drivers' title? Let us know through the comments section below.