WRITE TO US Mo­tor­sport News Hay­mar­ket Con­sumer Me­dia, Bridge House, 69 Lon­don Road, Twick­en­ham TW1 3SP Mercedes-fer­rari fight would do For­mula 1 the world of good

Motor Sport News - - Sporting Scene -

I have al­ways thought that Se­bas­tian Vet­tel’s score of four F1 ti­tles was a tad gen­er­ous given that, as of the end of 2013, fel­low era bench­marks Fer­nando Alonso and Lewis Hamil­ton were sat on two and one re­spec­tively. A true F1 great though he is, Vet­tel hasn’t been the only defin­ing driver of his gen­er­a­tion.

But Lewis is now catch­ing up and there is a chance that, for the first time since 2010, the two could fight it out for the F1 crown this sea­son. That re­lies on Fer­rari get­ting closer to Mercedes, but that is the hope we all have ahead of the new cam­paign. If not, it will be Hamil­ton v Ros­berg again and I think we all know where that is likely to end up... In fact, if Fer­rari is close, I would ex­pect Hamil­ton’s edge over Ros­berg (not­with­stand­ing Nico’s fine form at the end of 2015) to grow. That of­ten hap­pens when the go­ing gets tough – Michael Schu­macher was in­vari­ably fur­ther ahead of Rubens Bar­richello at Fer­rari when the squad had real op­po­si­tion.

So what of Alonso? If the great Spa­niard ends his F1 ca­reer on just two ti­tles, it will be as much of a trav­esty as Stir­ling Moss not win­ning the crown or Nigel Mansell only se­cur­ing a sin­gle ti­tle. He has per­formed more against-the-odds wins and podi­ums over the last decade, with the pos­si­ble ex­cep­tion of Hamil­ton, than any other driver and de­serves an­other cham­pi­onship.

That doesn’t look like hap­pen­ing in 2016. There may be some logic to the ar­gu­ment that Mclaren needs a works en­gine deal to de­feat Mercedes and Fer­rari but, while the re­la­tion­ship gells with Honda, the tal­ents of Alonso and Jen­son But­ton (the most un­der­rated world cham­pion on the grid?) con­tinue to go to waste. And with young­sters like Max Ver­stap­pen com­ing through the ranks, you won­der how many more op­por­tu­ni­ties ei­ther of them will get.

Talk­ing of op­por­tu­ni­ties, I won­der how many chances F1 can take to make things worse rather than bet­ter. The ut­terly point­less tweaks to qual­i­fy­ing are a clas­sic ex­am­ple of F1 chang­ing one thing while big­ger is­sues get left to fes­ter. Let’s just hope the on-track ac­tion is good enough to de­tract and dis­tract from the off-cir­cuit non­sense in 2016. Kevin Turner, Editor

■ Snet­ter­ton, Nor­folk

MSVR meet­ing Lotus Elise, Lotus Cup, Mono­posto, All­com­ers, Lotus Sprint Starts rac­ing from 1055hrs (qual­i­fy­ing from 0900hrs) Ad­mis­sion adult £15, un­der 13 free Web msv.com Con­tact 0843 453 9000

Ge­off Ben­gough caught this Ford Es­cort Mk2 ex­plor­ing the lim­its of grip on Welsh gravel Ral­ly­cross from Croft, taken by Antony Shar­ratt Peter Owen caught this Mini mak­ing a splash

Jamie Pinch­beck’s pic from Don­ing­ton Park

Elfyn push­ing hard, by Hefin Jones Peter Hamil­ton’s snap from Croft’s ral­ly­cross meet

(Twit­ter: @KRT917)

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