Abu Dhabi has been good to Vettel but, I am certain he wasn’t feeling the love after qualifying – he was penalized and had to start at the back of the pack. Vettel actually started from pit-lane and I am willing to bet that he is still on his knees, showering the creator with praises for the bucket-load of luck he stumbled upon during the race. More on that in a bit.
Webber squandered his good start-position on the grid and was swallowed up by the pack as soon as the red lights lost their colour. His race went downhill from that stage and the ‘bumper car’ setting he selected on the steering, proved terminal, when his machine was finally slaughtered in a pile-up – game over for Webber.
Vettel, as stated earlier, was living the Burger King slogan – Have it your way! Hamilton who fought and won significant performance from his McLaren, claimed pole and led from the front. But Hamilton’s season has a script that rarely changes. While leading, his machine adopted a mechnical disease and when N is shown, on the display, on the steering, while in a firefight, it cannot be a good thing. Hamilton retired and opened an exciting door for Vettel.
Vettel benefitted from 2 Safety Car interventions. They allowed him to change his race strategy (he dived in for fresh rubber), improve his position significantly and possibly, more importantly, close the gap to the frontrunners!
With a handful of laps remaining, Vettel who has had his mental toughness tested before, showed championship resolve, he settled in at P4 and was battling with Button while laying plans to strike Alonso and Kimi who were ahead.
When Vettel eventually chopped his way pass Button, who was forced to yield, Alonso raised his game and went after Kimi. Kimi who earlier told his engineers to ‘leave me alone’ was not intimidated by the scarlet horse. The former World Champion was never rattled – he drove to his first victory since his return to F1. Alonso had to be happy with 2nd and the determined Vettel, stabilized the ship, he survived the scare and claimed 3rd .
A meager 10 points separate the 2 heavyweight champions – Vettel and Alonso. There are only 2 Rounds remaining. The battle will be fast, it will be furious. This is a no holds barred contest. Alonso has narrowed the gap. Does he have what it takes to gore the Bull? Can Alonso win the 2012 World Championship?
Cecil Munroe Gleaner On-Line Writer