F1 veteran Giancarlo Minardi believes Fernando Alonso will have to rely on the mistakes of others if he is to beat Sebastian Vettel and win the F1 2012 drivers' title.
Alonso managed to cut Vettel's lead from 13 points to 10 after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last weekend, and while that lead is negligible, with Red Bull Racing having the superior car, the Spaniard is definitely the underdog.
Despite that though, the fight is anything but over, and writing after Sunday's race, the veteran former team owner reiterated his belief that the drivers' outside of the championship battle could play a key role in deciding whether it is Alonso or Vettel who ultimately become champion.
“We saw an exciting race in Abu Dhabi, with four world champions occupying the first four places. Fernando Alonso ran a good race and once again the Spaniard was able to make the best use of his cars' potential. Kimi Raikkonen [also] finally made it onto the highest step of the podium with his Lotus,” the Italian wrote.
“As previously pointed out, Kimi and [Lewis] Hamilton can play the role of 'killjoys' in the championship, even if, once again, Hamilton was stopped by the reliability of his car.
"In contrast, reliability still supports the Scuderia and helped the Italian team to recover from a difficult weekend. Fernando couldn't do more than he did.
“He had a very good start... and didn't make any mistakes and the laps he ran all looked like qualifying laps. He made three points up, which is so important with the season coming to an end.
“Sebastian Vettel also put in a good performance, after a big mistake made by his team (or made by the engine supplier), and he was able to recover, supported by a quick Red Bull, and also by luck.
"Thanks to the two safety car periods, the German driver was able to recover from his pit-lane start and managed to finish third. If he had pitted one lap later [though], everything would have changed.
“The closing stages will be exciting now, with two drivers technically in the world championship battle.
"For sure, Fernando will have to make no mistakes and will rely on other drivers' mistakes. The two Red Bulls were, however, weak under pressure. The English-Austrian team has a better car, but, as far as reliability and team management are concerned, it is second to Ferrari.
"The next two races are hard to predict. The drivers will all play it hard until the end and those out of the championship battle will act as the balance of power,” Minardi concluded.