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GP Week : Issue 173
18 GPWEEK.com // 18 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: OPINION LESS MR POINTY-FINGER MORE MR GOLDFINGER, PLEASE You’re not going to get a classic every time. Die Another Day, for example, was parodic tosh. But 007 fans will be relieved that James Bond’s 23rd outing is one of the most absorbing yet. I’m telling you this not because you’ve stumbled into the film review section, but because Skyfall was the highlight of my weekend. The Indian Grand Prix, on the other hand, had all the excitement and unpredictability of a pond filled with dead carp when what you really want from your aquatic furnishings are sharks with laser beams attached to their heads. One doesn’t wish to take anything away from Sebastian Vettel’s metronomic domination of the last four rounds, but the fact is he makes winning look too easy. Lights-to-flag victories have always been an unpromising screenplay, as the most popular champions enjoy feeding the audience a sense of drama. Fernando Alonso, for instance, drives like he’s avenging his dead brother. Or something like that. I’m pretty certain Fernando’s an only child, but he makes racing look personal. Vettel can get a bit worked up at times, usually with his long-suffering race engineer Rocky, but with such a big gap to the driver behind, who cares? With four wins on the trot for Red Bull, some will cry “Why does the driver with the best car always win?”, which rather detracts from the team’s hard work and deserving results, as well as Vettel’s inarguable talent. It may look easy, but it never is. As Bernie Ecclestone said ahead of Sunday’s race: “I think whoever wins the title deserves it”. It’s just that I think Alonso deserves it a bit more because he’s seen to be working harder. At times this season both McLaren and Red Bull looked unbeatable. Ferrari never has. Yet Fernando is always there, this time splitting the Red Bulls and trouncing the McLarens in a masterstroke of damage limitation. He was helped by Mark Webber ’s KERS failure, but that’ll bring an even greater smile to Alonso’s face. Red Bull have suffered worse reliability than Ferrari. You might think Vettel is the favourite for the title right now, but which one’s more likely to suffer a DNF? Just look to the season’s finishing tally for your answer. Abu Dhabi will suit the Red Bull, just as the rest of the Asian leg has but when we head to America and Brazil things could change. Austin will be a complete unknown for the teams, and Sao Paulo is the perfect venue for an explosive, unpredictable finale. It will go down to the wire and, as Bernie says, may the best man win. Everyone has their favorite Bond. Alonso, his calm surface betraying the violence and ruthlessness lurking beneath, is pure Sean Connery. Vettel’s easy charm and sharp humour perhaps puts him in the Roger Moore camp. No-nonsense action man Mark Webber could double for Timothy Dalton. Jenson Button would probably steal girls off Pierce Brosnan if he wanted, while I’m far too polite to nominate F1’s George Lazenby. Daniel Craig’s Bond is mercurial, scarred and conflicted. With that in mind, a Lewis Hamilton renaissance should be just the tonic for this long-running season. OPINION ADAM HAY-NICHOLLS F1 Editor