The end is pretty much near for the 2011 World Championship. Sebastian Vettel has been dominant all season, and this Sunday, under the lights of Marina Bay, the young German can secure his second successive Driver’s Championship.
It’s not all plain sailing though – there are many combinations of results that have to happen. The first one is simple; Vettel must get his Red Bull to finish on the podium. There’s no other way for him to seal it. Luckily, this then narrows down the other positions the main challengers need to be in.
For Vettel to be champion if he wins on Sunday, Fernando Alonso must finish 4th or lower, with Jenson Button and Mark Webber having to finish 3rd or lower.
If Vettel finishes 2nd, Alonso needs to be 8th or lower, Button and Webber 5th or lower, and Lewis Hamilton doesn’t win himself.
And, finally, if Vettel finishes 3rd, Alonso needs to be 9th or lower, Button and Webber 7th or lower, and Hamilton 4th or lower.
Pretty simple, right?
The other thing about Sunday’s race is that no matter where Vettel finishes in the top ten, the other title challengers – and we use that term loosely this stage in the season – may be mathematically out of the running.
For example, if Sebastian finished in 4th place, then Button and Webber need to finish, at least, in 7th. As for Hamilton, he has to get on the podium by beating his German rival, a feat that in recent races has proved too hard, and not just for Lewis.
In fact, it’s pretty much D-Day for Lewis Hamilton this weekend if he’s going to win the 2011 title. We know it’s a long shot, but we can all dream, can’t we?
For Lewis, it’s simple – if Vettel finishes lower than 3rd, he must finish a single place in front of him. So, 4th if he’s 5th, 5th if he’s 6th, etc. But, as we’ve seen this year, getting in front of Vettel, and staying in front, is easier said than done.
With the other two men left, Jenson Button and Mark Webber, their season’s hopes if they finish within a few places of Vettel come the chequered flag. So, if it’s 5th, they have to be at least 8th, and if it’s 6th, they have to be at least 10th. If Vettel finishes any lower, then both have a strong shot at chipping away at that mountain of points.
Deep down, we all know it’s over, but maybe one of the three can turn it around. We all know we want to see it, but also maybe the numbers are just too much in Sebastian Vettel’s favour.