America will crown F1 2012 champion
Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso this evening will both be heading towards the most exciting race this year at the all-new circuit of the Americas in Texas, before the F1 season comes to an end next Sunday at the Interlagos Circuit in Brazil.
Vettel has a 10-point advantage on his closest rival, so placing second this evening and, with Alonso scoring no points, the title will go to the German, who will be the youngest ever third-time world champion.
The US Grand Prix will be offering the latest Hermann Tilke circuit creation. Tilke was being too stereotyped in his designs. However, the new circuit in India brought out a new definition to track layout, with constant undulations bringing new thrills.
The circuit in the US also has these attributes, making it yet another anti-clockwise challenge for the drivers, the fifth such circuit, having 20 left-handers and eight right turns, with an elevation change of 41 metres.
The first corner which resembles the old Österreichring, a steep hill from the start line heading towards a totally blind first corner, will be interesting. The remainder of the lap is a mix of undulating sweeps, high-G corners and long straights. Downforce levels are expected to be similar to Silverstone’s with a top speed of 315km/h.
On paper, it seems to be heading towards yet another Red Bull 2012 double. However, drivers like Lewis Hamilton are looking for a farewell win with his present team plus a proper send-off for Michael Schumacher in Brazil.
We will not witness the sensational drive that the German (Schumacher) gave in 2006 in the Ferrari at the conclusion of his first retirement. Kimi Raikkonen, after having taken his first deserved win in Abu Dhabi a fortnight ago, is looking forward to reaping in at least another win before the end of the season, proving that his return was no fluke and the Lotus F1 team is back at the forefront.
This will obviously condition the title chasers unless Vettel does not manage to take an early lead and head straight towards victory.
Alonso never imagined in his wildest dreams that Vettel would be occupying the last podium step at Abu Dhabi after the German left from the pit lane showing his incredible racing ability coupled with a ballistic improvement of the RB8, pencilled by the ingenious Adrian Newey who does not fall short of showing his potential when it comes to configuration.
Definitely, Ferrari never imagined they would be in this position so late in the championship. The various race winners, the mishaps at Mclaren, Lotus taking long to achieve their first win and the massive disappointment of the Mercedes team, Sauber’s erratic championship and Williams’ lack of driver consistency, all helped Ferrari.