Tuesday 24 September 2013

Further thoughts on the Singapore Grand Prix

Meet the new boss...
Life without Seb. For those who value close competition such a thought has been an attractive one in recent times. Just take away Sebastian Vettel and we'd have tight, competitive, unpredictable F1 racing again, we're told. And after a Singapore race wherein he did a passable impression of piloting the one LMP1 machine in a race of LMP2 cars, such a lament was pretty widespread.

But think about it. It's pedantic I know, but without him things might not be much different, or at least not as different as you might think. To a large extent you'd just be replacing one name out front with another.

Remove Vettel from the head of the pack,
would things really be that much different?
Photo: Octane Photography
In hypothetical results with Seb scratched, Fernando Alonso would have won the last three races, would have six wins this season and would be cruising towards world title number five. Which doesn't on the face of it sound a great deal different from what we have now with Vettel: he's won the last three races, has seven wins for the year and is cruising towards title number four. Just as with Vettel, two of the last three wins for Alonso would have been pretty comfortable too.

And while this state of affairs would no doubt please Alonso fans there would most probably still be plenty who'd call that boring too.

OK - Alonso doesn't and has very rarely had the sort of pace advantage over the rest that Vettel's regularly called upon in recent times, so the individual races would for the most part be closer than now. While with Alonso's five titles they'd at least be interspersed with triumphs for others rather than won in a single, devastating, succession. So there's an element of lies, damned lies and statistics at play in the headline finding.

But it's all a reminder that on the other side, the grass isn't necessarily that much greener.

Jenson Button fans would be happy however, as their man would all of a sudden be a double world champion...


  1. Fernando only has two world championships, which are the other three? I think we'd all tolerate Seb more if he weren't such a spectacularly arrogant prat.

    1. I was including 2010 and 2012 as he was second to Vettel in both of those championships (it was results without Vettel, remember). So this year's in addition to the two he's actually won would total five championships.

      I've outlined my views on the Vettel/unpopularity issue elsewhere (here: http://www.talkingaboutf1.com/2013/09/further-thoughts-on-italian-grand-prix_11.html) but I've never really understood the claim that he's arrogant. Seb's never struck me as particularly more arrogant than any top line F1 driver tends to be.

    2. It's the finger I tell you, he looks like someone about to digging around for your prostate, and looks like he'd enjoy it too =P