Vettel champion in Singapore if…
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  29 Aug 2011   |  5:49 pm GMT  |  121 comments

Sebastian Vettel’s win on Sunday had many significant aspects to it, but perhaps the most significant is that it dealt a body blow to his rivals’ chances of closing the gap in the championship.

Vettel has now extended his lead in the championship in the last two Grands Prix to the point where he can clinch his second world title as early as the Singapore Grand Prix, five races before the end of the season, if he wins in both Monza and Singapore. At just 24 years, he would be the youngest ever double champion.

The reason is that with 259 points in the bag already – more than he scored in all of the 2010 season – he needs only to outscore team mate Mark Webber in the next two races by 33 points, Fernando Alonso by 24 points, Jenson Button by 15 points and Lewis Hamilton by 13 points.

Vettel is 92 points clear of Webber, 102 points ahead of Alonso, 110 ahead of Button and 112 ahead of Hamilton. With five races to go Webber would have to be less than 125 points off his team mate to have even a mathematical chance of winning. So far Vettel has won seven times with this 2011 car and Webber has yet to get his first win.

In all probability the championship “fight”, such as it is, will go on a little longer than that, more likely Korea or possibly India. Given that Red Bull has the amazing record of bringing both cars home in the top five at every race, reliability has clearly been outstanding this year. You could argue that they are due a retirement or two.

Speaking after the race on Sunday Vettel underlined the only scenario in which anyone else gets a possible look in, “If you are out in two races and someone else has a good couple of races, it could change,” he said. “So we…try to get the optimum every time.”

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Do you think any of the top teams would consider changing the driver line up once the season is done?

they could “rest” the likes of Vettel and Hamilton to allow a young gun a shot. Hamilton’s motivation will drop as soon as the championship is over for him. Why not give it a go? Yes constructors is important, but if positions are secure why not give it a go?


I don’t think Hamilton’s motivation will drop, anymore than it has already. He wants to win any GP he’s a part of. That won’t change. At the moment, Vettel’s beating him again on total race wins (17 to 16), so why wouldn’t he want to do something about that?


Sponsor contracts wouldn’t permit it


Not a fan of Vettels, but credit were credit is due, he has been a stand out this year.

The real race is for 2nd.


For me one thing has become evident about Vettel: He is a very consistent driver , he can cope with pressure , we have seen him in some races including this one(Belgian Grand Prix) where he was really under pressure and he somehow managed to deal with the situation as camly as possible.

I think his performance this year outshines last year’s performance by far. As for Mark the time has come for him to really rise to the challenge and catch Vettel. It is undeniable that Vettel is getting more out the car than he is, team favourite or not , Vettel is driving very well at the moment it has to be said. He deserves this title.


If you take Vettel out of the equation for one moment, the battle for 2nd place is very close. There are only 21 points between 2nd and 5th place. “The battle for 2nd” may not have quite the same ring to it, but its still something fascinating to watch for the rest of the season. If one of the remaining drivers can put themselves in a clear 2nd place, it would send a powerful message for next season.


80% that it will happen in Singapore, finally we have to accept the maths. Nando’s record has been smashed.


What record is that? Schumi won the DWC with 6 races remaining, in a 17-race sched.


I meant as back to back youngest double WDC.


has anyone picked up the reference to the film Tron Legacy when Seb says “thats what im talking about” ?

Look at the lightcycles scene – it’s a comment about teamwork.


I was watching the movie last night and had the same revelation!


One way to prevent a driver from running away with the championship:

If they get the equivalent of a three race win lead, they have to sit out the next two races or until another driver gets within 50 points.

Alternatively, just make them ineligible to score points in the drivers championship until another driver gets within 50 points, but allow their results to count toward the constructors championship.


Maybe we have to go back to the “best x results of y races” that we had in the late 80’s.

Surely Button’s two DNF’s bear no reflection on his driving prowess; they were both mechanical failures out of his control.

I say take off the rev-limiters, and let the teams mess with their engines s’more, to get whatever bhp out of them that they think they can get.


NASCAR in the states is almost to this point now. It hasn’t helped any.


@ Jo Torrent Lol. Try not to make a habit out of it.


Vettel destroy complete destroy Mark Webber.


The most interesting question is? Whether Alonso/Hamilton/Button/Rosberg/Schumacher etc. were able to beat Vettel if they sat alongside Him in a Red Bull? In other words, is it really Vettel or the car that earns the WDC(s)?


Vettel would destroy Massa, beat Schumacher, edge Button, and be a strong second to both Hamilton and Alonso.


I think if you put Alonso, Massa, Hamilton, Button and Schumacher in the Red Bull alongside Vettel we would see a diffrent championship. Vettel may be a good driver and all but if you look at the names mentioned they all started out in small teams just like Vettel did a grew and became better. Vettel needs more of a challenge, i believe that for him to be the best he has to deliver something special that will make everybody go wow.

And no James i have not been hard to please this year i just believe that the racing has been boring this season. I thought when i watched Schumacher and Alonso dominate in there respective championship years racing was boring. I just think that F1 is about competition and seeing a battle between the best drivers in the world not watching one driver drive around the track with a 30 second lead it just makes for boring racing.

These are just my views and i hope nobody judges me for this.


Vettel has never won in 2011 with a 30 second lead. The closest he has come was in Australia with a 22 second lead.

The rest have all been under 10 seconds.

One wonders if you have watched a race since Australia.


I have watched every race this year haven’t missed a single minute. And i said that he drives around with a 30 second lead not a 20 second win.


I don’t mean to steal your thunder James, but this is something I calculated (in a running spreadsheet system I have going on) and posted in another forum:

Back after the amazing Spa Grand Prix with another points summary.


Vettel 259

Webber 167

Alonso 157

Button 149

Hamilton 146

There’s 175 to play for; and again, still open. Here are the gaps:

Webber -92

Alonso -102

Button -110

Hamilton -113

It’s not possible for Vettel to wrap it up by Monza. Singapore, however… is possible.

In Singapore, there will be 125 points to play for. So. By the Singaporean checkered flag, he has to, over the next TWO races now, outscore:

Webber by 34 points (17 points average)

Alonso by 24 points (12 points average)

Button by 16 points (8 points average)

Hamilton by 13 points (6.5 points average) – a win is 7 points; so winning the next two would knock Hamilton out of the race, even if Hamilton scores 2nd in both races.

For him to do so by the Suzuka checkered, he has to outscore (over the next 3 races):

Webber by 9 points (3 points average).

Webber is the only one “above the curve” in this regard. The others, however, have to catch up a set amount of points. Vettel can let the following happen, and still win:

Alonso has to outscore him by 1 point (.33 average)

Button has to outscore him by 9 points (3 average)

Hamilton has to outscore him by 12 points (4 average)

By Korea, with only 75 points left on the table, EVERYONE is below the curve. Note that for all the stats below, if the guys outscore him by that number of points, Vettel will be champ by 1 point

Webber has to outscore him by 16 points (4 average)

Alonso has to outscore him by 26 points (6.5 average)

Button has to outscore him by 34 points (8.5 average)

Hamilton has to outscore him by 37 points (9.25 average)

By India:

Webber has to outscore him by 41 points (8.2 average)

Alonso has to outscore him by 51 points (10.2 average)

Button has to outscore him by 59 points (11.8 average)

Hamilton has to outscore him by 62 points (12.4 average)

By Abu Dhabi:

Webber has to outscore him by 66 points (11 average)

Alonso has to outscore him by 76 points (12.67 average)

Button has to outscore him by 84 points (14 average)

Hamilton has to outscore him by 87 points (14.5 average)

By Brazil:

Webber has to outscore him by 91 points (13 average)

Alonso has to outscore him by 101 points (14.43 average)

Button has to outscore him by 109 points (15.57 average)

Hamilton has to outscore him by 112 points (16 average)

So. Singapore looks unlikely, but if he can gain 9 points (over the next 3 races) over Webber, and not lose any gap towards his other contenders, he WILL be champion, by Suzuka. With FOUR RACES remaining.

If you linearly extrapolate all of their points now, the two McLarens will be knocked out by Singapore; and Vettel will win the WDC in Suzuka.



Are you asserting that you drew a scatter plot and used correlation and regression to deduce that? Give me some guidelines as to how you did that so that I can brush up on my statistics as well.

Anyway, its clearly not over yet.


Nope. I just used a linear extrapolation. I COULD have used regression; but I was too lazy to 😛


Congrats to Vettel. He deserves to win, he’s been clearly the most consistent driver this year, he’s had the best car and he’s had his fair share of luck, but then some say you make your own luck.

Webber has been outclassed this year by Vettle in the same machinery. Not quite sure why, but his inability to get off the start line always puts him in trouble.

Alonso is probably the best driver out there still – just had a pig of a car and very poor strategy calls from his team this year.

Button – probably in the right position for him – neither done better or worse than expected for me.

Hamilton – biggest let down of the season. Some his fault – others the fault of his team but nonetheless he could have and probably should have been very close to winning the WDC this year. Unfortunately for him his petulance has ruined his chances. I do still think he is the fastest driver out there at the moment, but his inability to aviod banging wheels with other drivers which tend to land him in hot water with the stewards and/or out of the race has put paid to his chances this year.

Ultimately he needs to bide his time more and take a calmer/Buttonesque approach to his racing – oppertunities will present themselves and there is no need to force your way through at the earliest oppertunity.


I seem to remember this time last year Martin Whitmarsh calling Seb Vettel ‘The Crash Kid’. However, it seems more fitting for Lewis one year on!


This time last year, Whitmarsh was right. Vettel has shown himself to a quick study. Hope Hamilton can do the same. He needs to stop trying to be the next Ayrton Senna and focus on being the first Lewis Hamilton. That should be plenty.


Bang on… I second that


This really brings it home in a way.

I like Lewis quite a bit, but I can’t really say he has developed as a driver from last year to this. In many ways, he seems to have plateaued since 2008.

Vettel on the other hand does seem to have made thorough advances on multiple fronts as a driver.


For fans of Sebastian Vettel 😉

This driver is a great champion !


The races this season have been the best in decades, but unfortunately Mclaren and Ferrari have been too inconsistent and mistake prone for the championship. it reminds me of Moto GP when Rossi was dominating but the races were exciting enough to keep tuning in for. In a way they have denied Vettel any kind of credible challenge for the title.

Vettel has certainly stepped it up this year. He is easily the most rounded driver out there right now. Alonso has some work to do if he wants to recapture that tag. Lewis needs to look to his form in 2009 when despite a poor car he was probably one of the best drivers in the field.

One thing the BBC haven’t considered is that it is all very well having the final race of the season under the new deal, but potentially the championed could be crowned on pay to view TV and most viewers will find out via the internet or the news.


Seb has been the best driver this season in the best car. For these reasons he deserves to be WDC. End of discussion.

Let’s hope Ferrari and Macca raise their game next year.


People use “mature” to describe Vettel but one could equally use “disciplined”. He seems, for example, to be able to program himself to drive at the limit of acceptable tire wear so that, he loses time to a rival until gradually the gap turns around he’s making time as the tires change. He doesn’t seem to ever panic or drift off the game plan. This can be a bit dull on the surface but it’s often fascinating because as the strategy unfolds, you see the true subtlety and guile revealed. It’s also greatly in contrast to Lewis who is massively entertaining, but really needs more discipline especially on these tires.

Speaking of which, British people use the word “massively” much too often, especially in F1. Lewis said he was “massively slow” on the straights at Spa. What the heck does that mean? I have to wrap this post up now because I’m massively sleepy and have to go to bed.



As I do not like Vettel very much, I am a disappointed McLaren fan, I do have to admit that his discipline this year has been outstanding.

James, can you recall if Vettel has had any contact with another car/driver this year? I am desperately trying to remember and cannot recall any such incident.


For sure.


Very well said! His talent is in walking the line at the limit whenever he wants. Many drivers can make a a few good laps, but very few can make many good laps in changing conditions.That is what sets apart talent from just effort and training.


“This can be a bit dull on the surface but it’s often fascinating because as the strategy unfolds, you see the true subtlety and guile revealed.”
Could’nt have said it better Robyn. Man, I love the boy. I love the way he matured late last season and got the job done. Despite all the criticism, just put his head down and did what he needed to do. And now that experience he carried forward this year and he’s just improving all the time, as a human being and a complete racing driver. I use to be the “greastest” Kimi fan and Seb’s somehow filled that gap that was there when he left…


No matter what month Seb clinches the 2 title in, he will be a favorite to win Suzuka, Abu Dabi & Interlagos as he dominated on the tracks last years.


He dominated Korea last year as well.

Until his lump melted of course.


The chance of Vettel losing this is lottery odds. Unless he is hospitalised for the rest of the season- and that’s a hollow win for the victor anyway.

So what happens from here?

Webber will race to the death now he has the 2012 seat. Every point he can take from Vettel is turning the tide for 2012.

Alonso has no one to push against. Vettel is off the horizon, Massa isn’t allowed to be ahead, Hamilton is beating himself without any pushing. Is he just looking ahead to the 2012 car? The F150 is a truck after all.

Hamilton will be looking over his shoulder. No.1 isn’t clear cut at McLaren any more. He’ll be Driving Miss Daisy to bank points and finish every race, to be ahead of JB. He can’t drive with his volume control at 11 with the championship gone. A shame.

JB could be interesting out of Hamilton’s shadow- with nothing to loose he seems to like the dark horse strategies.

Vettel will win by 90 points+ Webber and JB close second/third. Alonso and Hamilton fighting limply over the scraps.


Is my maths wrong? Vettel wins Monza and Singapore with Webber second. Vettel will (only) be 106 points clear of Webber. Webber wins the remaining 5 races to score 125 with Vettel scoring 0 (ok unlikely) and Webber is champion. So Vettel can win the title in Singapore, but winning Monza and Singapore alone does not guarantee it mathematically.


In the article James does mention that Seb would have to outscore Webber over the next two races for him to clinch the WC in Singapore (amongst other requirements).


Vettel has out classed his competitors, and will continue to win all the way to the final race.


My focus is already on 2012 as with many teams this year has been nothing but a boring season, there was no real excitement to it no bang nothing wanted me to go wow look at the show the drivers have put on. At the start of the Belgium GP i was like wow Rosberg in the lead was awesome and Alonso ans Massa battling hard for 3 was fun then the SC comes out around half way and that was when the race ended. Vettel is the 2011 champion as he was able to win in the early part of the season. I believe that testing should be brought back as the competition would be able to maybe close the gap on high end teams and for one thing F1 is the only sport in the world that do-sent allow testing.


You are very hard to please, then. We’ve had many fantastic races this season, in my opinion.


Yes I enjoyed a lot of races, Michael went from p18 to 2nd in 20 laps window or something like that in Canada which was an awesome race and there were a few like that. Championship wise, if your fav driver can’t win, its not fun, let’s face it.

But James, he does have a point regarding testing. Because when you ban testing, it becomes a simulator development race which handicapped certain teams and rookie drivers. Why not bring it back. Any news regarding this?


Agreed! I haven’t missed a race since 1995 and i have to say that I don’t recall a season where there have been as many exciting races as we have seen this year.


I agree with you James. I think the races this year have been just as thrilling and close as last year.

Hats off to Vettel though. He has out classed all of his main competitors from the very start


You /could/ argue that they’re due a retirement or two, but that’s the Gambler’s Fallacy.

No doubt it will happen, of course, but there’s no reason to believe that it’s more likely to occur now just because it hasn’t happened yet.


Anything can happen, but chances are that the championship is finished and the fight will be, as Senna would say, for “the first of the losers”… the second place.

Another note:

Please keep in mind you are transmitting for other countries, not only GB. We understand your support for the Brits; however, don’t try to hide the obvious. Every now and then Hamilton makes a stupid mistake. It was clear he’s made another one by hitting Kamui Kobayashi.

This is not only my opinion. Please, read Niki Lauda on “The Guardian” He knows better than me.



Credit where credit is due. I’m not a vettel fan but he deserves the championship. He’s been super consistent, his only real ‘off race’ being Germany. It could have been more interesting if Hamilton didn’t keep dropping the ball, or if webber could get a decent start. Bring on 2012 and a decent title challenge!

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