Hot Rod or Hot Dog is our regular post-grand prix column in which we review driver performances from the race. One driver is then declared as Badger’s “Top Dog” – and this week it’s…

We said it was difficult to choose a Top Dog for the Indian Grand Prix and we meant it. However, that decision pales in comparison to the choice for Abu Dhabi; in a race that peaked early, there wasn’t anyone who really stood out.

The man we’ve plumped for started fifth, but appeared to find a new level in the race. His pace, consistency and sheer level of determination make him a formidable foe but, in this instance, he just didn’t quite have the pace to climb the one further step he needed to first. Step forward Mr. Fernando Alonso.

The very fact that he managed to comprehensively out race his team mate indicates a) that he’s getting more out of the car than it has to give and b) Massa’s in a downward spiral. Just think, the Brazilian could have been world champion in 2008. No chance of that now.

Ferrari really need to give Alonso a car with which he can compete next season, otherwise he’s going to find himself a part of a generation hamstrung by the excellence of Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull.

If Badger were Sebastian Vettel (yes, we know, but go with us) then the two people we’d want chasing us down least in order would be 1) Alonso and 2) Button. Over the course of a season (at least on this year’s form), they’re the most likely to put together a coherent title challenge. Give him the right car and he’ll be there or thereabouts. Guaranteed.

Honourable mentions also go to Kamui Kobayashi and Rubens Barrichello; dishonourable mention to the Abu Dhabi circuit. No, no and no again.