Five title contenders with five races to run

Mon, 20 September 2010, 10:31

Sep.20 (GMM) With five races still to run in 2010, there are still five drivers in the running to be world champion.

“I wouldn’t want to call it,” said team boss Martin Whitmarsh, whose McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button are both contenders.

Also among the gang of five within a margin of a single race victory of Mark Webber’s lead are his Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel and the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso.

“I think that out of the five, it will eventually just be a duel between Vettel and Webber,” pundit Niki Lauda told Bild newspaper.

“They have the edge because their package is the best overall,” added the Austrian and former triple world champion.

Indeed, Ferrari came close to writing off Alonso’s chances before the Italian team travelled from its Maranello base to Monza and won.

The Spaniard agrees that he is still in the running — but only just.

“It will be almost compulsory now to be on the podium in each race,” Alonso is quoted in the Spanish press.

“I don’t know how many points I have but I know I’m 21 behind the leader,” he added.

His F10 car was the fastest on the long lines of Monza, but team boss Stefano Domenicali is not expecting a repeat this weekend.

“Singapore is a track where Red Bull will return to its usual levels, McLaren will be strong and it will be a harder fight than what we saw at Monza,” he is quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport.

But the Italian acknowledged: “The truth is I think no one really understands what happens this year, in the sense that things happen differently at each race compared to what is said beforehand.”

Brazilian commentator Lito Cavalcanti surmises: “The Red Bull is good everywhere, but the cars of the rivals are very strong only sometimes.”

Vettel thinks the RB6 will be strong under the Singapore lights, telling Bild am Sonntag newspaper: “Advantage Red Bull, disadvantage McLaren.”

But Whitmarsh does not quite see it that way.

“What I hear people say we’ll be strong here or weak there, I don’t know how they work that out,” said the Briton.

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