Wet conditions, luck are Fernando Alonso's only hope
Fernando Alonso will be banking on divine intervention from the rain gods to temporarily halt Sebastian Vettel's storming charge to a fourth straight title, as the Ferrari driver hopes a passing typhoon gives him a chance to stop the German from taking another dominant win in Sunday's Korean Grand Prix.
The typhoon, named Fitow, is currently not expected to hit the Korean peninsula until after the weekend, according to data from weather forecasting company AccuWeather.
But with weather forecasts still predicting rain on Sunday, a wet race around the Korea International Circuit — built on reclaimed marshland near the port city of Mokpo — could offer rivals more of a level playing field on which to compete against Vettel than a straightforward dry race.
“You never know in wet races who will be the lucky one in that situation,” Alonso told journalists yesterday. “For sure if Red Bull are very fast — as they should be — and we have a normal weekend maybe they will be in pole position and they will win the race,” Alonso, who won the inaugural race here in 2010, added.
“If there are some mixed conditions, maybe we are lucky or maybe we are unlucky and we say bye-bye to the championship. So it’s hard to predict but we will see.”
Meanwhile, Vettel arrives in Korea on course to claim his fourth straight title having won seven races this year, three of them on the trot, and claimed his most dominant win yet at Singapore, crossing the line over half a minute ahead of Alonso.
The triple World Champion heads the Spaniard by 60 points in the standings with six races to go and while Alonso still has a mathematical chance of winning the championship, he increasingly sounds like a man who has accepted the fact that the title is slipping away.
“We have to be realistic knowing that we don’t have the pace maybe to beat them in normal conditions. So we need to have some luck, not only here but all six races probably.”
“I think it will be a tough weekend again… but our focus is still to maximise the points in the weekend and if we can reduce the gap in the championship that would be welcome because we have very little chance to win the championship.”