As proven by Fernando Alonso, consistency is key in motor racing.
The Ferrari driver, who currently leads this year’s drivers’ championship, has failed to finish only one race in the past 33. And he’s scored points in all 32 he’s finished.
Volatile grip levels thanks to unpredictable weather and the nature of Pirelli’s tyres has made it difficult at times to judge individual teams’ outright pace, but it’s clear that Ferrari hasn’t had the ideal package in 2012.
It’s widely acknowledged that Alonso is extracting more from his car than it’s worth, and besides being downright lucky at times, the Spaniard seems to have a knack for pouncing on the misfortune of his competitors.
Reigning champion Sebastian Vettel, who would be the safe bet going into any given round including this weekend at Silverstone, failed to score points earlier this year in Malaysia and was forced to retire with a broken alternator last time out in Valencia.
That leaves him in fourth place 26 points behind Alonso.
Even if he wins this weekend, he’ll still trail the Ferrari driver by at least one point.
Vettel’s team mate Mark Webber lies second in the points with 91 to Alonso’s 111, and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton who would probably be Alonso’s closest challenger had he not been taken out with two laps to go in Valencia by Williams’ Pastor Maldonado, is third with 88.
These are the only other two drivers capable of leading points post Silverstone, but it would take an unusually bad result from Alonso to do so.
Bookies have Vettel down as favourite for the win this weekend, followed by Hamilton, Alonso and Lotus’ Romain Grosjean who retired in Spain with a similar alternator problem as Vettel’s, in that order. Grosjean, along with team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, has shown good pace in 2012 and it’s possible that either of the two could be the eighth different winner this year.
TIME FOR THE CARS TO STRETCH THEIR LEGS
The historic English venue this weekend represents the first permanent track after three previous rounds at relatively slow street circuits this year. This means it’s time for the cars to stretch their legs, and extra hours put into wind tunnel research in recent months could pay off.
Silverstone was partially resurfaced last year but it’s still known to be an abrasive circuit, meaning that 2012’s usual tyre lottery could again come into play. If it stays dry, teams will need to manage tyre wear, especially on the left side because of the famous 300km/h turn nine, also known as “Copse”.
But we all know what Great Britain’s weather can be like, and Pirelli’s never had a dry race here. If it’s wet on raceday, anything could happen. - Star Motoring
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