Will Christian Horner regret not utilising team orders in Brazil?
“The extra seven points Alonso collected when Ferrari ordered Felipe Massa to move over for him in Germany earlier in the season are now looking even more crucial. “And the £65,000 fine they picked up for ruthlessly breaking the rules will seem loose change if Alonso clinches the title in his first year with the Maranello team. “Red Bull could have switched the result yesterday given their crushing dominance and still celebrated their first constructors' championship just five years after coming into the sport. “That would also have given Webber an extra seven points, leaving him just one behind Alonso.”The Guardian’s Paul Weaver says that if Fernando Alonso does take the drivers’ title in Abu Dhabi, Ferrari owes a debt of gratitude to Red Bull for their decision not to employ team orders in Brazil.
“If Alonso does take the title next week it would not be inappropriate were he and Ferrari to send a few gallons of champagne to Red Bull's headquarters in Milton Keynes. “While Red Bull should be heartily applauded for the championship they did win today their apparent acceptance that Ferrari might carry off the more glamorous prize continues to baffle Formula One and its globetrotting supporters. “Their refusal to make life easy for Webber, who has led for much of the season and is still seven points ahead of Vettel, means that whatever happens in the desert next week Alonso, the only driver who was capable of taking the championship in the race today, only has to secure second place to guarantee his third world title.”The Independent’s David Tremayne is also of the opinion that Red Bull may regret not using team orders in Brazil.
“Had Red Bull elected to adopt team orders and let Webber win – something that the governing body allows when championships are at stake – Webber would have left Brazil with 245 points – just one point off the lead. For some that was confirmation of his suggestion that Vettel is the team's favoured driver – which generated an angry call from team owner Dietrich Mateschitz in Austria and was much denied by team principal, Christian Horner. “And it sets up a situation where, if the result is repeated next weekend, as is likely, Vettel and Webber will tie on 256, five behind Alonso.”The Mirror’s Byron Young has put Lewis Hamilton’s fading title chances down to an inferior McLaren machine and he admits the 2008 World Champion now needs a miracle.
“Sebastian Vettel's victory sends the world title fight to a four-way showdown for the first time in the sport's history. “Hamilton goes there as part of that story with a 24-point deficit to Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, but with just 25 on offer in the final round in six days' time it would take more than a miracle. “Driving an outclassed McLaren he slugged it out against superior machinery and stiff odds to finish fourth.”