In what might be interpreted as an implicit admission that he will be unable to beat Felipe Massa on the Brazilian's home turf at Interlagos – and very well aware that he daren't resort to another case of 'team orders' to get ahead – current world championship leader Fernando Alonso has revealed that the ideal scenario for him would be for his team-mate to win both of the final two races of F1 2010.
Should Alonso triumph in the Brazilian Grand Prix, it would likely all-but assure him of this year's drivers' crown, and could just put the trophy beyond reach of any of his rivals full-stop. However, with local hero Massa invariably peerless in São Paulo – with three pole positions on the trot and commanding victories in both 2006 and 2008, and another one sacrificed in 2007 in support of then team-mate Kimi Raikkonen's successful title bid, ironically at Alonso's expense – the usually faster Ferrari driver may find himself left trailing this weekend.
With a seven-point difference between winning and finishing second, if the Scuderia
does find itself in a one-two position with Massa and Alonso, then would arise the prickly subject of what to do next. Hockenheim, lest we forget, was only just over three months ago – and ill-feeling palpably persists.
Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner has revealed that he would find it 'frustrating' were the Spaniard to lift the laurels this season, given that 'we've obviously worked under the auspices that team orders have been illegal' [see separate story – click here
], whilst former FIA President Max Mosley has opined that 'if Alonso wins with a margin less than the seven points [he gained in Germany], it would devalue the championship' [see separate story – click here
Sauber veteran Nick Heidfeld, meanwhile, has told German news agency SID
: “From a team's perspective, [team orders] are perhaps understandable, but it would be a shame if the championship is decided by the fact that Red Bull has followed the rules while others see it maybe differently. If that happens, I would really hope that Red Bull's behaviour is seen in a positive way.”
In the light of such comments from inside the paddock, Alonso has perhaps decided on the eve of the Brazilian Grand Prix that it might just be less hassle all-round should Massa win – or else he is steeling himself for the fact that his team-mate is likely to outpace him and that conversely to Hockenheim, this time there will be little that he can do about it.
“Felipe is normally very strong here,” the 26-time grand prix-winner is quoted as having said by British newspaper The Guardian
. “I think the best thing for us, for me in the championship, for the numbers, is to have Felipe winning the race because he takes 25 points from everybody else.
“This year, from first to second, there is the biggest difference in points – seven – but from second to third, third to fourth, there are very small differences which may allow me to keep the advantage I have. The worry for me is the 25 points, if one of the other drivers takes those points. Hopefully, Felipe can win both races (Brazil and Abu Dhabi). That will be the best thing for me.
“It depends how the races develop. [Mark Webber] still has a chance, no doubt, [Sebastian] Vettel as well. Jenson [Button] is different, because he needs four others not to score points, but for Lewis, it's very simple – if he wins this race, and with a retirement from me or from Webber, he is leading the championship. Anything can happen. They will be very exciting races. It's like starting from zero, and whoever from the three or four contenders does a better job in these last two races will become champion.”