For anyone harbouring any doubts that the battle for the 2013 World Drivers’ Championship is over, this post is here to crush those doubts, just as Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull have crushed their competition. Vettel currently has a 53-point lead over Fernando Alonso, in second place and nobody, not Alonso nor Hamilton nor Räikkönen, is going to catch the German. There are still a number of interesting battles to watch (for second place; for fifth place, between McLaren and Force India; and even for tenth place, between Marussia and Caterham), but Vettel is the champion, awaiting his coronation.
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With seven races remaining, Alonso would need to outscore Vettel by an average of nearly eight points per race to pass him. Therefore, even if Alonso won all seven of the remaining races, Vettel would still be World Champion by finishing second seven times.
More realistically, based on what we have seen so far this season, we should expect that Vettel will win at least three of the final seven races. Even if Alonso finished second in those three races, Vettel’s lead would be increased to 74 points, now with four races remaining in our hypothetical scenario.
That leaves Alonso needing to make up 18.5 points per race just to tie Vettel (and in this scenario, he would still lose by having fewer victories). To beat Vettel, Alonso would need to win those four races and have Vettel average no higher than a seventh-place finish across the four grands prix.
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Even if we give Vettel one DNF in those four races (certainly a possibility), three sixth-place-or-better finishes would give him the title. Oh, and by the way, excluding Vettel’s DNF in the British Grand Prix (which he was leading), his average finishing position this season is exactly 2.00. He has not finished lower than fourth. Yeah, so . . .
Stranger things have happened in F1 (maybe?), but barring an injury that keeps Vettel out of multiple races, I don’t think it is premature to hand him the trophy.