So this is it. Not really a just a race but a championship decider. It all comes down to this. But with Renault so far ahead it is very much theirs to loose. But Ferrari can’t just wait for Renault to fall off the road they need to be in first and second place when they do.
The maths goes something like this. To win the drivers championship Michael needs to win the race and have Alonso score no points. For Alonso to win he just needs one point. For the constructors it’s slightly more complicated. If Ferrari want to win they need to come 1st and 2nd and Renault only need to come 3rd and 5th.
With the situation so obviously in Alonso’s favour the team will want to try and be conservative. Perhaps the most important thing for them is to finish.
To do this Renault have gone for a conservite package. All of the four drivers are on new engines this weekend. Ferrari have their two weekend engines tuned up to higher revs which they can do because they know they won’t have to last a second weekend. Alonso is going for a similar plan but with his revs left as they are in this more conservative approach. But they know that to ensure that they can keep ahead of the other teams they need to keep developing even now. And so Fisi is no another new spec engine. This engine has been designed specifically for just one race (rather than being a tuned up two race engine). So it is likely to be less reliable but faster.
The race is unusual in that it requires the drivers to go anti-clockwise and that the home drivers do surprisingly badly. Which may be a concern for Ferrari about Massa.
So what does this all mean? Well it means then end of a wonderful season, but in a season this exciting. Don’t expect anything but a fascinating race to the line.