Who can put the kibosh on Sebastian Vettel?

                           Who can put the kibosh on Sebastian Vettel?
RedBull cars are known for their dominant pace during the entire course of an F1 weekend. So when 2012 season began, it was a shocker to notice such off paced cars from RedBull. The regulations of 2012 which banned the off throttle blown diffusers, had affected them dearly. Both Seb and mark relied on strategy and good tyre management for podiums and the team’s 2 race wins at Monaco and Bahrain.  With the first leg of the season, before the summer break, being a rollercoaster ride for the team, with respect to reliability issues , lack of pace and sometimes a mismanaged strategy.  All the 2 million spectators around the world muttered these words: “RedBull are simply,  just not quick enough”.  This was the story of the reigning constructor’s champions – RedBull racing before.. Round 14 : at Singapore happened.
The RB8 was quick all weekend, through FP1, FP2, FP3 & qualifying. But a mistake in Q3 cost Sebastian Vettel pole. And Hamilton took everyone by surprise by putting the car on pole and furthermore, Maldonado in 2nd. And a rather disappointed Sebastian Vettel in his Redbull started his night race from the 2nd row of the grid, alongside an attacking Jenson Button behind him. It was mid-race when the McLaren of Hamilton failed to work for him. And since then, Vettel took the lead and never looked back. The RedBull worked very well and strong in Singapore that surprised everyone. Although the win was a lucky one for RedBull. Soon the media popped up with this question - Was this the beginning of RedBull dominance or was Vettel just lucky to have faced no issues from the faster Button? The latter races gave them the answer. Japan, a flawless win from Seb with all the more advantage of Alonso out of the race. And along with the 25 points, it was a grand slam for RBR, with pole, fastest lap and race win. This momentum moved onto Korea.. with the 2nd front row lock-out and it was all down to this crucial race in India which was important for Alonso and Sebastian. Once again, no surprise, it was a Redbull lockout in the front row. The start was a typical ‘Seb on pole’ start. He cleanly moved to the line, and opened up the gap. Further down, Alonso attacked 2 McLaren’s in 1 lap. A brave move! With super less tyre degradation, the option stint was carried to very late in the race. This was the race in which Sebastian extended his championship lead to Fernando- who came in at 3rd to limit the damage, ie, from Seb running away with the championship.

It had to be said that the RB8 was then and there suddenly the best package on the grid.  And it also clearly said that in this season, the same dialogue for the nth time, anything can happen anywhere ,can affect or have an effect on any team anyhow. The Double DRS was a boon for the RedBull team. They knew. if it were Sebastian to take advantage of DDRS in Qualifying and put the RB8 on pole, it’s a win on Sunday.. though it was very well known that the tough Spaniard, was in no position to surrender and let Seb have all the glory. The battle for the championship is heating up race after race, and it has been, to be honest, in the whole of 2012 season.

RedBull is one such team, like Ferrari in the 2000’s, who once start winning, will carry on the momentum to the further races. Abu Dhabi, the next race in line, was called ‘best race of the best season’. The FP’s started off on the same hand, usual suspects, RBR , McLaren and Ferrari. Now, Ferrari  quick, but merely quick enough to score the 18’s and 15’s. This weekend was filled with unexpected events. We’ll start with shockers on Saturday, Firstly, the usual pole-sitter, Sebastian Vettel, wasn’t on pole. In fact, it was Lewis Hamilton – A man who has been struggling with his MP4-27 lately.  Secondly, Fernando Alonso, the ex-championship leader starting in the 4th row of the grid. And thirdly, this took us all by surprise early in the morning, the Sebastian Vettel,  who initially set pace on Saturday worthy enough for P3 , was disqualified from his qualifying performance and demoted all the way to the back of the grid! The reason stated that his Abbey was under-fuelled and hence was an infringement of the FIA regulations. This episode was actually replayed for the 2nd time this year. Once in Spain, where Hamilton was demoted to P24 and this time to be caught by the bait was Vettel. Suddenly,  everything seemed to play to the hands of Fernando Alonso and there was a sudden delight in the Ferrari garage. Now all they had to do was somehow recover positions in race and take back c’ship lead, which undoubtedly was Fernando’s plan, and a very well executed one.

 With Vettel starting from pitlane, the race was Alonso’s to lose. Here come the second set of interesting episodes, from Sunday. 1) When the 5 redlights went, Hamilton made a brilliant start and ran away with his car. He wasn’t the only one though, Kimi raikkonen, the 2007 wc made a mind-blowing start and Alonso too. Mark Webber was again, late on the clutch and within a lap and a half lost his position to Fernando Alonso. 2) All the way back, Vettel had already started making up positions, step-by-step. He didn’t make it through the field just once In this race, after the first safety car, he pit again because of this damaged front wing and he went all the way back to P21!! All the work from start, now trashed. 3) IT’S THE MCLAREN AGAIN!! Hamilton drove a flawless race from start, he posted a few fastest laps and worked well with the tyres. But what happens when the car doesn’t co-ordinate with all of this? It’s a small word with big emotions. RETIREMENT. And that’s what happened. The McLaren rolled itself to the runoff area after, swallowing up its gearbox.. for the 2nd time in the last 5 races. Real reliability issues McLaren has got! This also means, the lead is handed over to the Iceman, who seized control over the race till the chequered flag. 4)  Sebastian vettel, who started P24 made up 20 positions already, and now was all in the back of Jenson Button in the 2nd safety car period, and finally drove past him to P3 in lap 56.
 Vettel, who is often criticized for winning because of a good car and starting on pole, proved all critics wrong . With a fantastic drive starting from pitlane to P3, he showed why he deserves to be chasing his 3rd title. 

An unexpected twist in the tale for Ferrari, who hoped the German would finish out of the top ten or out of the top 5.
The season now having 8 different winners, and 7 in the beginning guaranteed us a very rip-roaring championship. And it has, eventually turned out to be as it vowed to. Vettel now stands , as mentioned by media and press from all over the world, ‘in the brink of glory’ and Alonso with the 3rd title well in reach, will get subjected to further greatness. 2 more races stand in both their ways, Austin and Brazil. Vettel has ticked every box in the last 5 races, and so has Alonso. But the question still remains, but a bit changed this time around, CAN ALONSO, PUT THE KIBOSH ON SEBASTIAN VETTEL?


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