Vettel, however, is in a much better position to secure the title, which would be his third in a row, after qualifying in fourth position today. Alonso, on the other hand, will have to fight his way to the top from eighth on the grid.
The fastest during today’s rain-marred session was McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, who has shown an impressive return to form despite Vettel and Alonso undoubtedly trying their best. Hamilton’s fastest time was a blistering 1:12.458.
His team-mate Jenson Button wasn’t too far behind, having managed a fastest time of 1:12.513. Taking the third spot on the grid was Red Bull Racing’s other driver, Mark Webber, who managed a fastest time of 1:12.581.
Rounding out the top ten positions were Ferrari’s Felipe Massa at fifth, Williams’ Pastor Maldonado at sixth, Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg at seventh, Alonso at eight, Lotus’ Kimi Räikkönen at ninth and Mercedes-AMG’s Nico Rosberg at 10th.
The weather is supposed to deteriorate tomorrow, with a high chance of rain during the race, which could certainly change things up for drivers, especially for those not used to wet conditions.
Unfortunately for Alonso, nothing short of a miracle will see him crowned champion. Even if he wins the race, Vettel will need to come in at fifth or lower for the Ferrari driver to be champion. If he comes second, Vettel will need to come in at eighth or lower. And it gets worse after that.
Going into tomorrow’s race, Vettel has a total of 273 points versus Alonso’s 260. Räikkönen is a distant third with 206 points.
Red Bull Racing was awarded the title for the 2012 Constructors’ Championship at last week’s United States Grand Prix after amassing an unbeatable 440 points. The race for second is still alive, with Ferrari’s 367 points putting it just ahead of McLaren, which has 353 points.
We hope you enjoy the race, which is not only the last for the 2012 season, but perhaps also the last time Hamilton races for McLaren and most likely the last time we ever see the legendary Michael Schumacher in an F1 race.