Well, good-bye Europe, it was nice knowing you. Having spent the last eight races on the European continent (well except Canada which kind of subs in for the French GP), F1 heads back to Asia for races in Singapore, Japan, India, etc, etc, etc.
Before we go gallivanting off to the far east, lets take a moment and look back, and see where we are.
Europe has offered a spectacular set of races but it has also established top dog. It separated the contenders from the pretenders (so to speak). When we arrived on Spanish shores, we were in the middle of a remarkable run of seven unique winners in seven races. And we were about to get the biggest surprise of them all, Pastor Maldonado, F1 winner. Mark Webber was also firmly in the title hunt, about to win at Monaco. I still wasn’t sure about Alonso as world champion, back in Spain and Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton were no where.
Nine races later, and a different picture has emerged. Alonso is clearly the title favorite. Consistent performances, highlighted by his win at Valencia, has meant that he is fully deserving of the title in a year where Ferrari are just now getting consistent pace worthy of race wins.
But just because he deserves it, does not mean he will get it. Lewis Hamilton is leading a pack of three cars separated only by one point each and only thirty odd points behind Alonso. They are Hamilton, Raikkonen (hasn’t won yet) and Vettel.
Mark Webber has fallen a bit back, ten points off of Hamilton and Button is nowhere to be found, despite his first round win in Australia.
The competition couldn’t be closer.