The Formula One season re-started after summer break in stunning form this weekend at the Belgian Grand Prix. A first corner crash knocked out two of the points leaders and managed to set the stage for the race, and possibly the rest of the season. After the commotion subsided, Jenson Button lead from pole to take his 2nd win of the season.
Points leader Fernando Alonso was one of the casualties of the first corner incident that included Lewis Hamilton, Roman Grosjean, and Kamui Kobayashi. With Alonso not scoring points for the first time this season, the opportunity to close the gap in points opened. Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen were the biggest recipients finishing second and third respectively.
Vettel is now in second place and within one race win of taking the championship lead away from Fernando Alonso. Webber is just 8 points behind Vettel with Kimi following by one point.
The close gap in points will make for an exciting finish to the 2012 season. 33 points is nothing considering there are still eight races to go. Any of the top four drivers have a really good chance to win the championship.
My two favorites are Kimi Räikkönen and Sebastian Vettel.
First, Kimi and Lotus have continued to get more consistent. The car and driver combo has only gotten stronger as the season has progressed. Spa is also not a track best suited for the Lotus set up and yet they finished third. Therefore, the next two races at Monza and Singapore have good potential for Lotus. Expect the Lotus team to put Kimi in position to win their first race season.
Sebastian Vettel on the other hand is just starting to come into his own this season. Although he has had a tough go in qualifying at times, his race pace this season has been very good. He is also starting to show some of the consistency he displayed last season. I would be very surprised if Vettel did not win two or three of the final eight races. The Red Bull team will do everything possible to make this happen. Three more race wins combined with consistent points would undoubtedly make Vettel the favorite.
With that said, this has been the most competitive F1 season in the modern era. As the season has unfolded, there still isn’t a driver or team that stands out. Fernando Alonso has shown that he is very effective in this unpredictable season. His smooth and cunning approach has proven to be very efficient. Considering the fact that Monza is Ferrari’s home race, it will be difficult for the other competitors to dislodge Alonso from the points lead. It should be fun to watch!
Denver Sports Chat by Robbie D
Other race notes:
Romian Grosjean has been banned for one race for causing the crash that took out Alonso, Hamilton, and Kobiashi.
Out of the 6 drivers with a hundred points or more, only one does not have a championship. If there was such a thing as a sentimental favorite in Formula One, it would be Mark Webber.
The inaugural US Grand Prix in Austin is a little over two months away.
November 18th 2012 – Circuit of The Americas
Get Tickets Here: Formula One United States Grand Prix – 3 Day Pass Tickets