The former team owner gives his views on Fernando Alonso’s, Mark Webber’s, Sebastian Vettel’s and Lewis Hamilton’s chances of winning the F1 title at the Abu Dhabi grand prix
Fernando Alonso Ferrari
Tactics Alonso cannot allow the two Red Bull drivers to pull away in first and second place because then the destiny of the drivers’ title is out of his hands. He’ll go crazy to try to finish ahead of them in qualifying.
Team and car The Ferrari isn’t as reliable as the Red Bull but Alonso is helped by Felipe Massa being out of the title race, meaning the Brazilian can play a supporting role. Don’t be surprised if you see an almighty qualifying attempt by Massa to try to upset the Red Bulls.
Prediction Alonso made mistakes earlier in the season but has been in scintillating form since his victory in Monza and the impetus is now firmly with him. His reliability and form under pressure in the latter stages of the season have been staggering. If I was a betting man I’d put my money on him to take the title for the third time.
Mark Webber Red Bull
Tactics The only one who has an up?to?date engine is Webber so he can go at the race hard. Having said that, he had a problem with overheating in Brazil and it could happen again in Abu Dhabi. However it’s evening time and maybe the searing heat will have gone out of the day.
Team and car Is the car a liability for Webber? Well we saw the problems he had with petrol at the grand prix in Korea but by and large the problems he has experienced have been self-induced – his complaints about favouritism towards Vettel have been unnecessary, too – and the reliability of his car has been very strong.
Prediction Never underestimate Webber. Every time we think he’s down and out he pulls it together. The man who’s thinking with his heart will go with Webber because of his age and the fact that he may never be in this position again. Webber’s surprised everybody but I think he’ll end up in second place in the title race.
Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
Tactics It really depends on how the race is going. If Vettel’s got the title in his sights he’ll go out to win but if he’s out of the running he may move aside for Webber. Don’t expect him to make that decision until the last or penultimate lap, though.
Team and car The Red Bull is by far the best car on the grid. Vettel may just have the edge in terms of getting more speed out of the car than Webber and I wouldn’t be surprised if the German out-qualified his team-mate. Prediction A hugely talented driver but he’s the outside choice among the top three contenders. Vettel’s got a good chance of winning the race but I still think he’ll finish third overall.
Lewis Hamilton McLaren
Tactics There’s no real pressure on Hamilton because he’s so far off the pace in terms of points. He is also helped by the fact that he knows he needs to go and win the race – he doesn’t need to enter into calculations about what happens if he finishes third or fourth. He will race flat out in Abu Dhabi.
Team and car The McLaren doesn’t seem to be as good in race conditions as in qualifying, despite the team’s success in recent seasons. The reliability of the car is OK but the drivers have been having trouble handling it in the past few weeks and they don’t seem to be getting the best out of the tyres.
Prediction Lewis really should be right back in the frame for winning this title again but he has taken risks in races – and that has cost him. He’ll finish fourth overall.
Eddie Jordan is an expert pundit for this weekend’s F1 coverage on the BBC