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Phoney war between drivers during calm before storm in Abu Dhabi
Phoney war between drivers during calm before storm in Abu Dhabi
Posted By: James Allen  |  11 Nov 2010   |  4:49 pm GMT  |  415 comments

Before we got here this week Yas Marina Circuit was hit by a powerful sandstorm, which bent the trees backwards and dumped tonnes of sand on the track. This being Abu Dhabi they have a machine for sucking up the sand, so the racing will not be affected.

I’ve been at plenty of championship showdowns over the years. There is nothing like being here to look the contenders in the eye and see how they are coping with the pressure.

There have been some stormy ones, I recall Jerez 1997 for example and ten years later the acrimony at McLaren in the final race. But today we had a phoney war between the contenders in the press conference. Perhaps it is because this is not a duel for the title, but a battle between four contenders (albeit one with a slim chance) it seems to diffuse the tension. None of the drivers was giving anything away. Webber was subdued, not about to hand any more hand grenade quotes to journalists. Vettel was relaxed and bouncy, he has nothing to lose and he’s enjoying “teasing” the media about whether he will let Webber through if the points dictate it.

Alonso: Fourth title showdown in six years (Darren Heath)

This is the fourth time in six seasons that Alonso has been in the showdown, driving three different chassis, which tells its own story. He’s got the head for this, but he’s behaving in a very reserved way so far.

Everyone is talking about the possible permutations on Sunday, with most insiders expecting Sebastian Vettel to be out front waiting to see what kind of line up is behind him. In press briefings with drivers and with team principals, every scenario under the sun has been discussed, but until they go out ot qualify on Saturday no-one really knows.

My hunch is that Vettel will get pole and control the race and that the battle between Webber and Alonso for second place on the grid and into the first corner will decide the championship. Webber has struggled to match Vettel for pace since Monza, albeit some times he’s been only a tenth off in qualifying. He needs to raise his game and go out and take it this weekend, otherwise Alonso will have him.

The last two years’ champions, Hamilton and Button, have needed a fifth place to clinch. Ironically that is the result Vettel wants for Alonso this year, as it would allow him to keep his race lead and take the title.

Many feel that the championship has one more twist in store for it; a reliability issue, perhaps another engine failure for one of the contenders. Let’s hope not.

Red Bull confirmed today that Vettel’s failure in Korea, which dealt a body blow to his chances, was caused by a con-rod problem. The engine had done 1600km. Webber’s engine in Brazil had a radiator issue which caused it to run hot and the team won’t risk that engine this weekend. Alonso is on race three with the engine which won Monza and finished third in Brazil.

Meanwhile a group of us sat on the rooftop of the Red Bull hospitality this evening as darkness fell, talking tactics with Red Bull boss Christian Horner, who said that if the points dictate it he cannot imagine Vettel not letting Webber through, however he underlined that it would be “a gesture by the driver, not an instruction from the team.”

It would be a supreme irony if this season, which has been all about teammate rivalries and expectations, should end with Vettel handing the title to Webber. But we will have to see.

I also took in a visit to Michael Schumacher, who was pouring over the balance sheet of his season. A misfiring comeback, in many ways, the season has not turned out the way he or any of us expected.

He said he was not happy with some things this season, but was happy that he’d been able to get more out of the car recently not because of development, because they stopped that some time ago, but simply by learning more about it. He compared the way he feels today, “Really very good” with the end of 2006 when he retired, “Completely empty and overloaded.” He will be back next year, he said, because “I’m having fun.”

Further down the pit lane, the team currently known as Lotus threw in a curved ball by announcing that next year they will race in black and gold, the hugely evocative colours of Lotus at the time of the John Player Special sponsorship. For anyone 35 or over this is the car of their childhood.

Tony Fernandes is thinking on his feet as it looks increasingly likely that he will not be able to call his team Lotus next year due to licencing issues with Group Lotus, who are lining up to sponsor the Renault F1 team. Whether unwittingly or not, Fernandes’ move will irritate Renault F1 owner Gerard Lopez as I’m reliably informed by a French colleague that Lopez’ favourite toy as a child was his JPS Lotus and that it gave him a life long love of the brand..

Ferrari announced that Jules Bianchi will be the test driver, but stopped short of saying “reserve” driver, the spare man role at races currently carried out by Giancarlo Fisichella.

To celebrate the launch of James Allen on F1 2010 : Five Rivals One Champion, (due to be published November 29th) I’m going to give a signed copy of the book away in a predictions competition. Guess the margin in qualifying between Alonso and Webber (specifying who’s faster) to win a signed copy of the book. Leave your predictions in the comments section below. If there is more than one correct answer, the first one left on our system will be the winner. Entries close when Qualifying 1 starts at 5pm Abu Dhabi time

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Webber is faster by 0,236 seconds.


Alonso will be faster 0.129

Andy from Newport

I believe Alonso is on a fresh engine. He is using the one he switched out in practice in Bahrain. Under FIA rules he had to wait until the final race before he could use it.

I would imagine a fresh engine has got to be worth a couple of tenths of a second?


That is not correct. I checked on that that with Ferrari and they said there is no way they will risk it here. It had suspected pneumatic problems and the FIA rules do not allow them to run it on the dyno.

Andy from Newport

That is not what I wanted to hear as a Alonso fan.

I appreciate the "real skinny" on the engine situation.


Mark by .1

Alonso / Webber / Vettel All have done enough to be worthy champions - I'm happy if either of these 3 win. The season been so good and if 2 were to end on the same points - ( then count-back to 4th place just doesn't seem fair ) Wouldn't it be good to have a year with 2 World Drivers Champions because ACTUALLY they both deserve it..


I think Webber will be faster than Alonso by 0.2 secs


Webber in front with a gap of 0.081 seconds


Webber is faster by 0.319 seconds


I think Alonso will be faster than Webber by 1/10th of a second.

By the way James, which are the 3 showdowns Alonso has participated, before this year? I can only count 2006 and 2007....


One way or another, Alonso has experience in this situation, and that may count.

Can't believe we're at the end of the season. It seems like yesterday that we were waiting anxiously for Bahrain. This season has flown - no doubt because it's been a great one. Hope we can finish on a high.

We should savour this 4 way showdown...who knows if we'll ever see it again!


Vettel to retire on lap 26 while leading. Webber takes over the lead with alonso in 2nd. Alonsos engine will five up on lap 32. Webber now leading with Lewis second. Lap 37 webber has a puncture and goes off. Lewis crosses the line first and wins the championship!!!!!


He contested and won in 2005 with a race to go


OK, but i thought a "showdown" means a championship decided in the last race.

In addition, Brazil 2005 was 2nd last race, Japan followed that Kimi won and China that Alonso won. Right?


Alonso in front of Webber by 0.136 seconds.


Alonso ahead by ~0.05 seconds.

And I'm routing for Webber in the race.


Alonso faster than Webber by less than a tenth in quali... .07s is my guess.


Alpnso faster by 0.125 sec.


Alonso > Webber margin: 0.168 seconds

Many thanks!


Vettel by 0.4 secs.


Alonso to be 0.014 secs faster than Webber.


Superb post, James, as usual!!

You know I rarely have anything to say (unless Max Mosley has anything irritating to say), but I admit that the contest has really forced me to participate. So here I go: Alonso faster than Webber by 0,234 secs.

I will add: On Saturday, Alonso P1, Webber P2 and Vettel P3. Same results on Sunday. Everybody is giving Vettel's win on Sunday for granted but I just have a feeling that it will not be the case. Let's wait and see it!

PS. I must admit I had never been so anxious before a final race, but this one has just got under my skin.

PS2. James, I would appreciate it very much if on Sunday morning (for example, before the race anyway) you could write a post explaining who, in you opinion, the favourite driver is to win the WDC and who you would like wins it. I know you try to play neutral, but I'm sure you must have your preferences. Thanks anyway!


Indeed James, the baffling irony this weekend probably will be that Webber wins the title thanks to Vettel handing it over to him on a plate. The man he probably dislikes the most. And Webber has to live with that, so will his fans who are anti-Vettel to the extreme.

I think Vettel will actually feel good about it, in a humorous way, that it was thanks to him and Webber has to acknowledge that. And Webber has to remember this next season too of course...

Win-win situation for Vettel, no matter what happens this weekend.

I do not see Alonso coming close to the RBR cars. And I do not see Webber being faster than Vettel.

Or will it be a race with totally ridiculous surprises and Hamilton grabbing it? I am ready, let's go!


Fernando faster than Mark by .209 secs

(I do hope so... :-D)


So I heard that if Mark Webber wins the title, he'll marry his girlfriend... just like he suggested Button would do last year.

Any truth to that, James? Do you think Button or Hamilton will bring it up? 😉


If that's true, the service should be conducted in a two-seater F1 car, with the vicar relaying the vows to the bride and groom via the pit-to-car radio.


"This is the fourth time in six seasons that Alonso has been in the showdown, driving three different chassis".

James, have any other drivers contested championship finales for three different teams (Schumacher only Benetton and Ferrari, Senna only McLaren, Prost only McLaren and Ferrari?). Is he unique in the modern era?

Personally, I hope Alonso wins on Sunday (the race and the title).


He probably is unique, although you could argue that Senna was in contention in 1986 for Lotus. In 1986 with five races to go he was in 2nd in the champ standings, whilst Prost who won the championship was down in fourth. Two mechanical failures in the next two races in Austria and Hungary meant Senna was too far behind at the very end of the season. In 1987 he finished third, but if his car hadn't been disqualified in the last race (when he finished 2nd) he would have been second in the championship, albeit 10 points behind Piquet.


Yes, I mean specifically still in contention in the last round of the Championship. Speaking of Senna and Prost, I'm reading Malcolm Folley's "Senna versus Prost" now. Great stuff.


Not really that recent, but I think Prost was in championship contention with 4 teams (Renault, McLaren, Ferrari and Williams).


Webber faster by .225 of a second


Although I have only posted once I follow this unique site(I think this is the word that best defines what this blog is) on an hourly basis. Congratulations James, there is no other place to go for clear and unbiased information on f1.

I just wanted to post that in my opinion Alonso is definetively going to be the next WDC. He has got all the neccesary tools in his hands:

If the F10 is competitive then he can go for a victory or a 2nd place.

In case it is not, let the bulls fight for the victory and maybe we have another Turkey. In case this does not happen and Vettel is leading, all Alonso has to do is drop to fifth place, let Vettel win the race ala Massa 2008 and then do a Hamilton 2008 and overtake car in fourth position, cross the line and become the new WDC!!!



I agree, that will be a tricky situation ... Vettel leading in the last lap, Webber second but Alonso is right behind the the gearbox of the 4th place car ....


Seems crazy but this is an interesting thought...

Vettels wins, Webber 2nd, then Alonso slows down from 3rd to fourth... Then he´s the champion ahead of the german for two points... Wow!

Could be possible Ferrari will take that in consideration if such scenario happens?

Will that be illegal? Immoral? Brilliant?

I´m laughing with the idea..


P.S. Alonso quicker than Webber by 0.084.


Ok, let's get the ball rolling.

Webber faster by 0.010 seconds.


It’s been a championship to savour.

Do any of the teams have 2011 spec cars, KERs + adjustable wings, ready to run Pirelli tests?


No, they will be ready for Feb 1


0.232 seconds


That would Webber over Alonso!! Teach me not to read the instructions properly!



Alonso ahead of Webber 0.239


Webber faster by 0.147

Kills me to say it, but "we'll" destroy him in the race! 🙂


Alonso ahead of Webber

GAP 0,269

PS : I'm not sure about the 9/1000 though


Webber faster by 0.456 seconds.


Did someone among the media ask Horner why so much hypocrisy. There's no way Vettel will let Webber through willingly. Not as a competitive racing driver, not after what Webber said last year and not after what he said this year.

We know it's a team order and I have no problem with that, it's the way it should be because the title isn't Webber's or Vettel's it for hundreds of employees developing and preparing this car.


I agree: I am one of those that believes F1 to be a team sport and as such am not bothered by "team orders". I prefer them to be in open as Ferrari does rather than hidden in engine codes, fuel saving modes and pit stop delays etc. None of these drivers would have a chance without the teams working overtime behind the scenes. One bad part or loose screw and the race is done. I suspect many mechanics/engineers work much harder than the drivers for substantially less reward.

Jonathan De Andrade

Alonso faster by 0.260s


Everybody's looking for a free copy of your book James, I've never seen so many posts in so little time.


The final race can't come soon enough!

Qualifying prediction: Webber ahead by .201s


Webber faster by 0.321 seconds


Alonso will be slower than Webber by 0.111 secs


Hey, I'm "only" 33 and that black/gold Lotus is the car of my childhood!


Yep I'm with you.

I started watching in 1986 at the age of 10, and I was immediately a Senna fan based on the colour of the car and the helmet.

I was rather disappointed when the Lotus turned yellow for '87!


I'm 70 (i.e. in the "anyone 35 or over" category) and that isn't the car of my childhood!!


I'm only 37, but remember the Black and Gold, and even the way the Jps emblem looked. How's that for iconic?


Webber will be faster than Alonso by 3/10th.

And hope he wins the championship!


Webber will out qualify Alonso by 0.189


The one who comes with the worst estimation of the gap should pay the book twice the price ! What do you think of the idea James ?


Webber in front of Alonso by 0.317


I would guess Webber by .4 Sec


Alonso quicker by 0.160s


Alonso by 0.104

or else...

Peter Stroia-Williams

Webber will be 0.352 seconds faster.


Webber by 0.240 seconds


Weber by .02sec


Webber in front of Alonso by .189 seconds in quallie.

Cannot wait for my book.


Webber ahead of Vettel

Gap 0,097


0´135 secs


Webber faster by 0.329 seconds.


Webber faster than Alonso by 0.167 seconds.


Sorry i forgot to say who´s faster. Webber faster by 0´135 secs


Webber faster by 10 sec


Oh my God... ¿Alonso running on 3 wheels?


Not on three wheels but just like what just happened to Massa's car !!

It stopped .(FP2)

May be he spins somewhere and loses few seconds...

Mclarens looking good here.


Okay that won't happen just heard on the radio massa saying NO FUEL !!

That was weird why would you go on radio about it.

Anyways matter of a day w'll see i know Alonso is mentally very strong but Red Bull seems very fast.


Weber 0.127 seconds faster than alonso


Alonso crashes out web faster by some laps


WEB ahead of ALO by 0,372 secs.


Webber faster by 0.236 seconds.


I predict Webber faster than Alonso in quali by 0.13 seconds.

Have really enjoyed your tweets and articules this year James, great work and many thanks =)


Alonso faster by 0.144s.

Race start should be gripping! And hopefully everybody's engine will holp up for a GRANDE race finale!


"Many feel that the championship has one more twist in store for it; a reliability issue, perhaps another engine failure for one of the contenders. Let’s hope not."

Speak for yourself James! Some of us have vested interests lol!


Webber faster by 0,197 seconds.


on present form you'd have to webber will be faster 0.459 but i think alonso will be champ at end of race ...vettle to beat weeber as well i think ..


Webber faster by 0.112 seconds.


I'd say Webber ahead of Alonso, by 0.687s.


Webber / Alonso +0.432 seconds


Webber faster by 0.023 seconds


Alonso faster by 0.008 sec


Webber faster by 0.305


Webber in front, as no time set by Alonso due to technical failure (I hope not for the chamionship's sake, but just trying to think outside of the box).


Alonso Faster by 0.221 sec


Re Lotus racing in black and gold - I had a Dinky of that car in the 70's and can't wait to see it on the grid. Are John Player Specials still made? If yes, how do they get around the subliminal tobacco advertising message - like the barcode Ferrari removed?

Nicholas Thornton

webber faster by 0.264 seconds


Webber by 0.378 although I think it could be more. Ferrari were poor last year.


Alonso to be in front by 0.138

I'll be happy whatever the outcome - hoping for a great race!


0.429 second advantage to Webber vs Alonso for quali


Webber by 0.154

it's a shame but I would bet money on all 3 of them not making the end, possibly even a tangle of some kind!


Webber by 0.076 

Vettel WDC 


alonso by 0.121 secs.


Really can't wait for qualifying, I've taken the trip out to Abu dhabi and i'm still crossing my fingers for a mclaren victory 🙂

I reckon the red bull will keep up it's amazing quail pace and I say webber quicker than Alonso by 0.35 seconds.


webber to be faster than alonso by 0.263 seconds and mark to win the championship


I'm going for the unlikely repeat of the 1997 Jerez qualifying. 0'000 s difference. Webber in front as he set it first.


I was thinking the same! You beat me to it.


Webber ahead of Alonso by 0.123 seconds.


Webber ahead with gap of 0.3 sec


Webber faster by 0.164 seconds


Webber faster than Alonso by exactly 1 second.


webber faster, 0.128


Webber by 0.342 seconds!


Webber faster by 0.385s.


Webber by 0.354


Alonso will beat Webber by 0.377 seconds after Webber makes a mistake on his final run.


Webber ahead by 0.241 seconds


Webber to be 0.218s faster than Alonso.


Alonso just edges it by 0.06 seconds..


Webber faster than Alonso by 0.301s.


My moniker rejoices. Today is a great day and I cannot wait to see the black and gold lotus back on track!

Webber beats Alonso by 0.083 seconds. Alonso beats him to the first corner, though.


I wonder how it will look - after all it won't be JPS, and it was the gold thread of the JPS packet that really set that livery apart in my opinion.

I actually heard they will pick a fan-designed livery?

One can only hope they capture the feeling of the old livery. They did a great job with the green and yellow, so let's cross our fingers.


It's a good question, but I cannot see them leaving out the gold thread. Otherwise it'll just look like an inverted Renault and become a monumental blunder. I am hoping they use all shiny black (none of that HRT mate) and then the number and the edges in gold, plus the name of the team in gold also. If they're forced to be called 1Malaysia or AirAsia or something like that, there won't be an issue with logo requirements by sponsors. I don't know how they'll address the subliminal tobacco advertising accusations, though. And I even wonder whether they'll get into another legal fracass with JPS for it.

Yup, also heard about the contest for a fan-designed livery. Should be interesting...

Fingers firmly and repeatedly crossed indeed!


Webber over Alonso by 0.042


Webber to be ahead of Alonso by 0.211 seconds


Webber faster by 0.402


0.162 Alonso faster


Webber will be faster by 0,089 s.


"Lotus threw in a curved ball"

Knowing you come from the land of cricket, it's interesting to see you use an essentially American baseball reference. 😀


Webber faster by .387


Alonso ahead by 0.138 seconds

Vettel winning the race but Alonso coming second and winning the championship


Webber faster by 0.222 seconds


PS. Webber ahead of Alonso by 0.458 sec.

PPS. I've been an F1 history buff since I was a kid... so even though I'm 26, Ronnie Petersen's JPS Lotus 72 was part of my childhood! My father had a large scale model of it, and I'd imagine Ronnie on/over the limit with those huge rear slicks leaving giant black marks around every corner. Others were Gilles' Ferrari and Mansell's FW14 (the last year of the awesome wide tires... and it helped that I had a 1/43 scale model of it to gingerly play with!).


I predict a close one with Webber edging it by 0.05 seconds.


I guess Webber leading Alonso by 0.348s


Webber to beat Alonso by 0.326 seconds


Alonso ahead of Webber by 0.33s.

Judging that Alonso was ahead of Webber by quite a margin in Singapore (about 1/2s I think), and that Abu Dhabi is similar and won't suit Webber.


Webber faster than Alonso by 0.196.


Hi James,

Having watched the behaviour of the back markers after the restart last week it occured to me that Vettel moving over may not be the only team play occuring this weekend, do you think it's possible that Torra Rosso may help/impede the Redbulls'/Alonso respectivly if they find themselves lapped?

I recall Peter Sauber (with his Ferrari engines)telling how he was pressured by Jean Todd to employ similar tactics in the past.

On a differant subject, what do you make of McLarens decision not to have it's race drivers present at the Pirelli test next week (even though Button wanted to attend), seems crazy to me.


Weber ahead by 0.377 seconds.


Webber by 0.177


Webber faster by 0.197s


Webber will be faster by : 0.082


Alonso by 0.300 seconds.


Alondo Faster by 0.169


Alonso faster by 0,154 s.


Hi James, Alonso faster 0,2 s.


Webber 0.327 seconds in front of Alonso


I think it is funny that most seem to count Vettel out of the championship all together and suggest that the only role he has to play in Abu Dhabi will be to either spoil Webber's Championship or hand it to him.

If Vettel wins and Alonso DNFs, Seb wins the title. Even if Webber finishes 2nd they will be level in points. The decider would be that Seb will have 5 wins and Webbo 4. Vettel is going to Yas Marina to win his own Championship and the way he has driven the past three GPs I wouldn't put it past him to pull it off.


webber faster by 0.127 secs

i reckon he'll get pole too!!


meant to say 0.0127


That's not possible, it must be 0.012 or 0.013


Webber beats Alonso by 0.311 seconds


Webber to be ahead by 0.126


Both will fail to get into Q3, take each other out in the fight through the field and Vettel's engine will let go in the race...leaving Hamilton and Button with a 1-2 formation finish.

On Tuesday night Lewis was 100/1 to take the title so i'm fully expecting to pickup £1010 in winnings on Monday morning!!!

Win or bust is an ideal scenario for him...all the others will be second guessing each other.

Bring it on....


Hi James, great article as usual. Have you heard about David Hunt's comments on the Lotus name fiasco he made today? The long and short of it is he's certain in his mind Group Lotus have no right to stop Fernandes using Team Lotus, and Fernandes reassured Hunt a few days ago he is still pushing to use Team Lotus next year.

Full article on Crash.net: http://tinyurl.com/2upcepy

Anyway, back to your article: I'm going to predict Alonso ahead of Webber by 0.250 seconds.


'For anyone 35 or over this is the car of their childhood.'

I'm over 35 and the Lotus cars of my childhood were definitely green and yellow, not black and gold. To see those cars and colours again in profusion this year at Hampton Downs and the Goodwood Revival was a wonderful experience. Tony Fernandes is to be congratulated for bringing the green and yellow back to the F1 grid, but it looks as though he has either lost the Lotus battle or used it as a negotiating tool for some other purpose.

Yes, the black with gold pinstripes was a great livery, but it was very controversial at the time because of the accompanying name change of the cars from Lotus to the American-sounding John Player Special and the launch of the cigarette brand bearing that same name. It made the former Lotus 72 look marvellous, but that was as much a reaction to the appalling Gold Leaf Team Lotus red/gold/white mess as anything. It also popularised the pinstriping craze, which was definitely a mixed blessing.

If the new black/gold livery does the same, invest in masking tape manufacturers now - and look out for whiplash aerials as the next big thing!


Webber faster by 0.791.


Webber faster than Alonso by 0.139s.


Webber out in Q2.


Webber ahead of Alonso by 0.239s


Alonso faster than Webber by 0.213 secs


Everyone thinks Seb's pole is a foregone conclusion, I predict Mark takes pole and Alonso takes 3rd, with Vettel splitting the two.

I think Webber will be ahead by 0.310. Alonso will be ahead in the first corner though.


Alonso faster by 0.126 seconds - and on to take the title...


Alonso in front by 0.058 seconds


webber beats alonso by 0.184 🙂


Alonso faster than Webber by 0.167 sec. By the way he will be faster than vettel too


Webber faster than Alonso by 0.02s. Fingers crossed for a Webber win!


With Fernando 2nd, of course.


Webber ahead by 0.434 secs.


Alonso over Webber by .3

Maranello to celebrate under the lights!


Alonso will be faster than Webber by 0.369 seconds!


Webber beats Alonso by 0.35 seconds and will be on pole!


Webber faster than Alonso by 0.501s.


I'll say that alonso will outqualify webber by 0.2 seconds


Your blog is a daily ritual with my morning coffee!

Webber by 0.207s


Alonso faster by 0.124 seconds


Alonso faster by 0.146 of a second

CJ the 2cnd, probably...

Webber faster by 0.391sec. Great site!!


Alonso faster by 0.088 secs


Webber faster by 0.347


Alonso by 0.021


Webber in front of Alonso by 0.315 sec


0.038 Alonso


Webber by 0.34 sec. Hope he get's the title 2.

Just a thought. If vettel does let webber through to take the title Webber may have Massa to thank as well as Vettel because if it wasn't for the Germany swop Vettel would of got the driver champ with the predicted 1,2,3 everyone expects


Alonso faster by 0.087 seconds.


Alonso on pole.........

He will be crowned the WDC on Sunday,for the third time........

Must get back to the tea leaves,the answer surely lies within??


Fernando will be faster than Mark by .193 secs

he will also have pole position.


Alonso will be 0.193 seconds faster


Alonso faster than Webber by 0.072


Webber to be faster by 0.350 seconds.


Webber on front by .297 secs


Webber faster by 0.138 secs.


I fly from London to Abu Dhabi in the morning and can not wait for this show down. Webber will out qualify Alonso by 0.080.

Cheers, Phil


Webber over Alonso by 0.465 and to win the world title

Go Webber


Webber faster by 0.177


WEB faster than ALO by 0.198


Alonso faster by 0.013 seconds.


Webber will be faster by 0.186 secs


Webber by 0.12 seconds


I'm going for a dominating Red Bull.... Webber fastest by 0.694 secs


Alonso faster by 0.03 seconds.


Alonso fastest by 0.043


Webber ahead by 0.295 seconds


Webber by 0.072 secs


Alonso ahead by 0.067 seconds


Webber by 0.082


Webber ahead of Alonso by 0.341 secs


Alonso to beat Webber by a margin of 0.082 seconds. (Webber will outdrag him off the line though to make it a Red Bull 1-2 into turn 1.)


Webber surprisingly faster by 0.013s


Webber on Pole by 0.019 from Vettel, with Alonso in Third 0.187 behind Webber

Mark Webber FTW!


Webber faster by 0.739s


Webber faster by 0.185s.


Webber by 1.010 seconds.


Alonso will be faster by 0,183 seconds.


Webber over Alonso by 0.210


Webber faster by 0.163 seconds


Webber quicker by 0.115s

Thanks for an awesome site James. This is definitely my first 'go-to' place for opinions on news and results. It is absolutely brilliant.


alonso faster by 0.01 seconds


Alonso by 0.095


Webber to be faster than Alonso by 0.184 seconds


Webber to beat Alonso by 0.099sec


Webber faster than Alonso by 0.192


Webber beats Alonso by 0.243 seconds!


vettel by 0.05 seconds


Webber faster by 0.385sec


Bugger! Steve N already has 0.385

If James will forgive my misteak I'll suggest Webber by 0.365 sec instead


Webber faster by 0.187sec

And imagine if Vettel lets Webber through on the last lap only for Alonso to have a problem a couple of corners later resulting in him evntually finishing 5th or lower..........


Webber 0.327 seconds in front of Alonso.
However I don't think Lewis is going to give up without a fight.


Webber by .75


Webber in front by 0.146 sec


Alonso faster by 0.097


Webber faster by 0.231


Webber 0.165 faster than Alonso in qualy.


Webber faster in quali by 0.352 seconds


Webber ahead of Alnso by 0.15 s


Webber ahead by 0.055


Webber by .286



Surely the black and gold paint scheme flies in the face of the naming issue rumours - doesn't it?


Webber to outqualify Alonso by 0.408s


My prediction James:

0.186 with mark ahead



Webber ahead by 0.188 sec


Webber faster than Alonso by 0.318 seconds


Webber quicker by 0.213


I predict Webber is faster than Alonso by 0.028 seconds.


Weber by .423


Webber will be quicker than Alonso by .418


Webber +0.358 to Alonso


Alonso, faster by .110


Come on Mark!

I'll go for 0.298 seconds Mark will qualify ahead of Fernando.


Fernando ahead by .158


Webber in front by .101


Webber faster by 0.310


Alonso, by .110

William Churchill

Weber by 0.14 seconds over Alonso.

fingers crossed!


mark webber 0.085 over alonso for 3rd & 4th on the grid

massa #2

kubica #1


Webber fastr by 0.173


Webber to be in front of Alonso by 0.245


Webber faster, by .097


Webber faster by 0.355


Webber will be infront of Alonso by 0.187 seconds


Webber will beat Alonso by 0.159


Alonso quicker by 0.005


Webber faster by .236 second.


oops, just scrolled thru and see .236 already picked. Make mine .237 then if that's ok. Thks.


Webber by .183

If Webber wins the title, later that night Alonso will beat Webber's blood alcohol content by the same margin. (That is if they are even allowed to drink in Abu Dhabi).


"Lopez’ favourite toy as a child was his JPS Lotus and that it gave him a life long love of the brand."

I still have a JPS Lotus toy car. Not the same one I had as a 6-year-old, but identical none the less.


think you may be wrong james on the "team Lotus" naming issues Tony said on twitter we will be Lotus next year 😉

unless you have a insider at Lotus cars. ??


Webber's car will have a problem when he is in first place around lap 22, handing the towel to his sulky team mate


Alonso by .13


Webber faster than Alonso by 0.253 seconds.


Alonso by 0.101 second over Webber.


Alonso ahead by 0.307


Webber ahead by 0.216 second.

I think Lewis is the main factor to Alonso title bid on Sunday.


Webber to be on pole and outqualify Alonson by 0.243 sec.

Thanks for the excellent coverage this year James.


I think Webber will be faster by 0.304


Webber will be quicker than FA by 0.19 seconds


Webber ahead of Alonso by 0.103 of a second.


Webber over Alonso by 0.129


Webber faster than Alonso by 0.712 seconds.


Alonso faster than Webber by 0.099 sec.


Alonso by 0.082


Alonso is faster by 0.071 seconds.


Am a bit crossed this year supporting Webber and Alonso.

But on hindsight if either wins I'll be happy.

Final race will be a cracker FOR SURE!


Alonso faster than Webber by 0.217 secs.


Webber in front of Alonso by 0.162


Webber by 0.256 sec


Webber slower by 1.4 seconds


Alonso faster by 0.111 seconds.


Webber by 0.333.

Love this site, love this season. Thanks!


Webber, 0.183 faster


What a nice gesture to give away a signed copy. Thank you.

Alonso will be in front of Mark by 0.056


I predict that Webber will qualify 0.186 seconds faster than alonso


Vettel on Pole with a brilliant drive, Webber 2nd, Alonso 3rd by .178. Alonso and Webber tangle into first corner, Webber damages front wing has to pit, Alonso spins and rejoins at back of field. Webber out of contention, Alonso fights his way back through field up to P5 with Schumacher in p4 with last few laps. Schumacher defends position and Alonso stays P5 with Vettel winning 2010 championship!

Cant get a better finish than that!


Webber faster than Alonso by 0.093 seconds.


Hi James,

Miss your commentary mate.

My prediction Webber faster than Alonso by 0.213sec


Webber ahead of Alonso by 0.357 secs.

I am now 40 and as a measure of the JPS livery's power - this was the first cigarette I ever smoked (damn the b@astards!). Have since grown up and given up (but not before smoking Marlboroughs when Aryton was in the cigarette packet McLarens!)

Oh, and GO WEBBER!!!!!


webber faster than alonso by 0.239


Webber faster than alonso by .217s


Alonso will be faster than Webber by 0.324 sec.

Alonso for the Win and 2010 WDC.


Fernando faster by 0.137

I think Fernando will qualify Second and race Second,finally take the 3rd WDC title.


Alonso will lead Webber by .324 Sec


Alonso will beat Webber by 0.145 seconds in quali.


James, everyone is talking about Vettel having to move over for Webber (which is relatively straightforward - of course he will do the right thing). But one scenario which is entirely possible but not talked about is if Webber is running first, followed by Alonso and then Vettel. Would he really have the desire to chase and pass Alonso? What are your thoughts?


Similar scenario to Suzuka 99. Schumi was in P2 and had the pace to challenge Hakkinen for the lead. However a Schumacher win would have handed Irvine the title, so his pace was very 'controlled' 🙂


Hi James,

My tip is for Mark by 0.036, however I fear that he whilst Mark might win the battle, he'll otherwise lose the war.

The atmosphere James in Australia among the Formula 1 faithful is fantastic; with midnight broadcasts on Big Screens Sunday evening (for example at Fed Square in Melbourne). It has been soooo long since AJ won, and longer still to when Jack won his three before that.

In addition to hoping for Mark to win; I just hope that Mark get's the public recognition for his efforts here (not like Jack who seems to be often a forgotten hero alongside other Aus sporting greats of that generation), and that if he loses the Aus media don't jeer him for choking or not driving to our (extremely high) expectations.

Thanks for your coverage. Its been great.


Since asdsaall the probable numbers seem taken.

Webber by an immeasurable amount of time after alonso doesn't participate in quali due to car problems


Probably a slightly cagey and conservative Alonso for this weekend, aiming to get just enough rather than to win the race. Playing the percentages I think it is called.

Webber to outqualify Alonso by 0.459 seconds.


Webber fastest 0.229 s.


Mark faster by 0.132 seconds


Alonso before Webber by 0.143 seconds.


webber will be faster then alonso by 0.500 sec.


As we're predicting, race prediction...

Qualifications see Vettel - Alonso - Webber on the grid. Kobayashi crashes out on his first fast lap of Q1 in an attempt to avoid hitting an oddly behaving Senna, and starts last.

In the race, Vettel takes the lead from pole. Rosberg somehow realizes a superb start and is in second, followed by Webber and Alonso.

Kobayashi starts storming up the field.

Shortly before the pitstops, Webber and Alonso hit each other in the hairpin before the long straight, damaging the front wing of the Ferrari and a rear tire on the Red Bull. Both drop back and pit for new tires (and a front wing for Alonso) right away. As Webber lost more time driving half a lap on a flat, he emerges way behind Alonso who reenters around 8th.

At the head of the field, Rosberg gets past Hamilton in the pitstops to take second, noone is even near Vettel. Alonso fights his way back from 8 and clinches 4th in the last lap by overtaking Kubica on the long straight. Webber gets stuck in 11th behind Kobayashi.

Race Result:

1) Vettel

2) Rosberg

3) Hamilton

4) Alonso

5) Kubica

Alonso wins the WDC. I win a hangover Monday morning.


Well, Lets go for Webber, by 0.127 ....


ALO + 0.09


Webber by 0.128


Webber by.86 seconds.


Webber faster by 0.265


Alonso in front by 0.056s 🙂


Webber faster than Alonso by 0.213 seconds


Alonso faster by 0,096 seconds


I'll go for a the anomaly of a deadheat in qualifying for Webber and Alonso, followed by race gremlins, Vettel for the win and WDC.


Alonso faster than webber by 0.182 secs 😉


Webber ahead by 0.211. Can't wait!


Webber faster than Alonso by 0.273s.


It's raining in Abu Dhabi incredible ! Webber is going to have a heart attack.


Alonso on pole by .047

Attakorn Saiyasombat

I predict Alonso will be faster by .115 seconds.


Webber ahead of Alsono. Margin 0.301


Webber by 0.39 seconds. May as well be confident


I'm going to predict Webber faster than Alonso in quali by 0.27s. Alonso to take the title "for sure".


James, what chance of you writing an Alonso book in the years to come? You've done Schumacher. Now do the best!


webber faster by 0.065


Webber faster than Alonso by 0.132


Webber by 0.047s


Hello James and race fans,

First of all James, I ordered your new book through your website and I'm very much looking forward to receiving the copy next month. I enjoyed the copy of last year, as your blog I was thrilled and very happy with the signed copy, so I will be with this years edition, Christmas will be coming eralier this year !!

Concerning the prediction of the season's final qualifying session I've got the feeling that Red Bull will be aiming at the next 1-2 grid positions. Just to make shure they keep their championship hopes alive. Looking back on all the qualifying session this yaer and seeing Red Bull cars often dominating qualifying this year with complete front row positions I'm sure they will do everything in their power to do it again. They've become Constructors Champions for a deserved reason, they knew that qualifying is very crucial these days (Jenson Button admitted that it is and that he failed to qualify well this season).

Concerning Fernando Alonso he will make sure that he qualifies near the front but he will not push it over the edge to reach the front row. He knows that his strength lies within the race itself, he knows that tyres will play an important role as also the engine. He will save it as much as he can in qualifying to use it at its maximum during the race.

My prediction will be 0.539 seconds difference between Webber & Alonso. A difference that has often shown during qualifying between Red Bull and the competition.

Alonso just needs to stay very close to webber during the race and try to push him as much has he can and force him to use the full track width and as a result the curbstones and a higher usage of the tires. I'm quite sure that Alonso will get Webber during the race. Vettel may win as he's not interested in him. Webber on his behlaf will be the man under pressure and if he's feeling it to much he might wanna see Alonso take the dirt side of the track and might see some dirt himself pushing over the bounderies. The only thing I'm hoping for is that Alonso won't get trapped and get hit by Webber in an attempt to get by the Australian.

Give or take it will be another exciting season's finale and may the best win the title as they all showed they are top notch drivers and every one of them deserves to be crowned champion.

Although I admired a quote of Alonso in Hungary making a statement that he will be be crowned champion this year, and at that stage of the season noone belived in it as Ferrari wasn't at its best yet. But looking at it now, he's there with a very strong chance of keeping his promise. He knows how to win a title as he's done it twice before ! Something Webber and Vettel still have to achieve and experience.

Anyway I will be watching the race with alot of anxiety and interest and I'll be very curiuos to what Red Bull will be doing, teamorders or not, Vettel being a fairplayer and teamplayer or a one man on the move with a target kind of driver and man. Seeing Christian Horner often shking his leg and the pitwall during the closing stages of the race, I wonder what it will be this weekend, will he cramp it or become completely crazy shaking over his whole body ? Let's see and whitness something incredible but we'll all end the season with a peacefull feeling and happy to have seen a stunning race and a very exciting season. 2010 had it all !

Anyway James have a great weekend there in Abu Dhabi, have nice flight back home and enjoy the finale. Thank you for your time reading this and for presenting us another fantastic book and insight into this fascinating sport.

Very Kind Regards,

David Maesschalck from Belgium


Webber by 0.332


Weber will be 0.24 seconds faster than Alonso....

I hope!


Everyone thinks Alonso is a cool customer. Remember the beginning of the year when the pressure was on Alonso to prove his massive pay packet compared to Massa? He was spluttering off the line, bogging down off the start line and making mistakes like crashing at Monaco.

He will be under immense pressure again this weekend, as he is hot favourite, and it will be an Alonso mistake that hands the title to Vettel!


Fernando alonso has always been a very, very cool driver. I remember Vettel making some mistake in Singapore and Webber in Corea, that are much closer than China or Australia. Fernando is the last driver that I espect to make a mistake this weekend.


Webber faster by 0.368s


Webber by 0.347


Alonso faster than Webber by 0.290


Ha! There's now way Alonso will be faster than Webber or Vettel.

It'll be Vettel ahead of Webber 0.1 and Webber ahead of Alonso 0.4


Alonso to qualify by .138s faster

Vinod Rajasekaran

Webber will lead Alonso by 0.019s


Alonso faster than Wbber by 0.127s


Webber will be 0.314s quicker


Webber ahead by 0.179


Alonso faster than webber by 0,212


Alonso ahead by 0.025


Hmm, Alonso faster by 0.123


Webber by 0.050s


Fernando Alonso faster than Webber by 0.123 seconds.


Alonso fastest by 0.168s


Let's try this! I predict Webber will be faster with a 0.045 margin overdose Alonso.
Cheers James!


Webber faster by 0.083 seconds from Alonso


alonso faster than webber, by 0.106 seconds 🙂