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F1 title down to last race



31 MAR - 03 APR 2016

Sitting in pole position for this year's Formula One title heading to the finale in Abu Dhabi, Fernando Alonso knows plenty about contending with a team-mate for the crown as Red Bull duo Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel are.

The Ferrari man is in the box seat knowing that if he wins or finishes second he will claim the championship for the third time following his triumphs with Renault in 2005 and '06, regardless of what rivals Webber, Vettel or unlikely contender Lewis Hamilton do.

Three years ago Alonso and then McLaren team-mate Hamilton went into the final round in Brazil competing with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen for the title, with Alonso and Hamilton's season-long in-fighting proving costly as Raikkonen trumped them both by a point to salute.

This year Alonso has 246 points and holds an eight-point lead from Webber (238) while Vettel (231) is 15 adrift and Hamilton (222) 24 back, but all three of the chasing pack can conceivably still win because of the 25 points available to the winner.

While Alonso will be hoping for better than 12 months ago at the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix when he finished a distant 14th, for Webber to be victorious at a circuit where he was second last year his best hope is to win the race and have Alonso finish no better than third.

If he doesn't win Webber will still want to be ahead of Vettel because if the Australian finishes runner-up behind his team-mate, as was the case last year, then they would finish level on points and if Alonso was behind them then Vettel would win thanks to five victories to four in 2010.

Webber could finish as low as fifth and still take the crown if Vettel was no better than third and Alonso 10th or worse while Vettel cannot finish any lower than second, which would also require Webber to be fifth or worse and Alonso at least ninth.

The most unlikely of the scenarios revolves around 2008 champion Hamilton, who failed to finish in his first visit to Yas Marina. Hamilton can only be champion again this year if he wins, Vettel is at least third, Webber no better than sixth and Alonso outside the point-scoring top 10.

Ferrari have started the mind games by playing the underdog tag, suggesting Webber and Vettel are at an advantage because they have twice as many options for the title but neither is likely to agree with that claim, nor would Alonso who knows all too well what can go wrong.

"I think we have a great chance to go there and get a good result," said Webber.

"There is a chance of the team getting another championship, which is an exciting proposition."

"There are lots of possible outcomes that could still happen, Fernando (Alonso) is in the best position of all of us, but we still have a chance, so let's see what happens."

"Obviously I have good memories from Abu Dhabi and I will be hoping to get another good result there this year, but let's see," Vettel said.

"There's still everything to play for in the drivers' championship."

This weekend will also mark the end of Japanese manufacturer Bridgestone's 14-year association with the sport, with several years in that spell coming as the sole supplier, before Italian rival Pirelli takes over for 2011.

Webber will be champion if:

  • He wins and Alonso is 3rd or worse
  • He comes second, Vettel 3rd or worse and Alonso 6th or worse
  • He finishes 3rd, Vettel 2nd or worse, Alonso 7th or worse
  • He comes fourth, Vettel 2nd or worse, Alonso 9th or worse
  • Finish 5th, Vettel's 3rd or worse, Alonso is 10th or worse

Alonso will be champion if:

  • He wins
  • He finishes 2nd
  • He comes 3rd and Webber doesn't win
  • He finishes 4th and Webber is 2nd or less
  • He comes 5th, neither Vettel or Webber win
  • He finishes 6th, Vettel is 2nd and Webber 3rd
  • He ends up 7th or 8th, Vettel is second or worse, Webber 4th or worse
  • He come 9th, Vettel is 3rd or worse, Webber 5th or worse
  • If he doesn't finish, Hamilton must come 2nd or worse, Vettel 3rd or worse, Webber 5th or worse

Vettel will be champion if

  • He wins and Alonso is 5th or worse
  • He is 2nd, Webber is 5th or worse and Alonso is 9th or worse

Hamilton will be champion if:

  • He wins, Vettel is 3rd or worse, Webber is 6th or worse and Alonso doesn't finish in the top 10

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