We're halfway through the summer break with the F1 season scheduled to resume in about 10 days. As of now, Fernando Alonso leads the drivers championship by a comfortable margin of 40 points. The two Red Bulls are in 2nd and 3rd place but this time its Webber who has outpaced his German team-mate in standings. McLaren's Lewis Hamilton is currently in 4th place ahead of Kimi Raikkonen who returned to Formula 1 this season with Lotus. So the question is - who'll win the drivers championship? We review the chances of five drivers listed above who have realistic chance of winning the prestigious title.
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According to us, Fernando Alonso has the best chance of winning the drivers title. The Spaniard has driven like a double world
champion this year, making most of the opportunities thrown to him(Malaysia, for instance where he used wet conditions to win his first race of the season) to lead the championship by a comfortable margin of 40 points. At the start of the season Ferrari didn't have a good car which can fight with the top runners, but Fernando Alonso turned it around with some impressive drives including a win and a further podium in first five races. In the second part, Ferrari's pace improved, accordingly Alonso's results showed an improvement and the 31 year old scored two wins and the same number of pole positions in the next 6 races. Another interesting point to be considered is that he has scored points in each and every race so far. With 9 races to go, Alonso just needs to score points consistently coupled with a win or two to keep the massive points gap and to win his third title.
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After playing the role of 'No 2' driver at Red Bull in 2011, Mark Webber has upped his game and in fact is ahead of his German teammate in this year's drivers standings. Like Alonso, he has been consistent, scoring points in all but one race. He started off the season with 4 fourth place finishes followed a 11th place finish at Spain. He has won two races this year - the iconic Monaco Grand Prix and the other at his "second home", Britain. But he needs to be equally consistent in the second half of the season if he wants to be a world champion. Remember 2010 where Webber led the championship for most part of the year but lost lead to Vettel and Alonso at the end after failing to score enough points and wins in second half of the season(161 points in first halfincluding 4 wins as compared to 81 points and 0 wins in the second half)?
Though Vettel isn't dominating the season like in 2011, he is still in contention of winning another title this season. The German won the Bahrain Grand Prix this year and has been on the podium on two more occasions. He has been consistent throughout with only two non-point finishes. With 9 races to go, the 25 year old is currently 3rd in drivers standings, 42 points behind leader Fernando Alonso and 2 points behind teammate Mark Webber. But Vettel has got what it takes to win another title and he needs to score podiums and wins consistently to overcome that massive point deficit in the standings.
Without the pit stop troubles and all issues, McLaren's Lewis Hamilton would have been leading the drivers championship. On one side, Hamilton has scored four pole positions(including Spain where Hamilton qualified on pole but was excluded from qualifying as he didn't had enough fuel to return to pits), two wins and a total of five podiums, on the other side he has been out of top 5 five times including two non-point finishes. He's got the talent, the right car and the right attitude to overcome a massive 47 points gap to Alonso and to win the prestigious title.
Kimi Raikkonen's return to Formula 1 is impressive, despite not winning a single race, he is in 5th place in drivers standings, just one point shy of 2008 world champion, Lewis Hamilton. He has been extremely consistent with five podium finishes and just one non-point finish. One place where Finn needs to improve on is qualifying. He has failed to qualify in top 3 and didn't make into Q3 three times this season. The 32 year old needs to win a few races and make most of hot conditions where Lotus excels if he is to win another title.
Who do you think will win this years drivers world championship? Let us know through the comments section below.