But another fascinating battle is brewing at Ferrari.
Unable to find a race seat for his F1 return, Jaime Alguersuari has signed up for a season of kart racing.
Still amid the Red Bull era, the so-called ‘works’ teams are looking ahead with great eagerness to 2014.
Red Bull has mastered the current era of aerodynamics-dominated regulations, where the normally-aspirated V8 engines have been ‘frozen’ for many years. That is all about to change. From next year, the cars will be powered by all-new turbo V6s integrated with sophisticated energy recovery or ‘ERS’ systems.
Ferrari is still pushing hard to give Fernando Alonso a title-winning Ferrari for the final back-to-back head-to-head with Sebastian Vettel.
With Red Bull and Vettel’s qualifying problems allowing Alonso to claw back 3 points in Abu Dhabi, the Spaniard is still 10 points adrift with just Austin and Brazil to go. And with the red F2012 still not a match for the Adrian Newey-penned RB8, Alonso said after finishing second in Abu Dhabi: “We need to keep working and in Maranello they work day and night to bring new parts.”
“If we can strengthen, 2014 will be much easier for us. Nobody has a guaranteed future in formula one.”
HRT needs to buckle down this winter to improve its formula one car, according to the struggling Spanish team’s leading driver Pedro de la Rosa. “We need a good winter to improve the car aerodynamically, which is our weak point,” he told El Confidencial.
Jaime Alguersuari hopes his “little notebook” can help him mount a return to the formula one grid for 2013.
Spain’s El Confidencial publication said the former Toro Rosso driver is eyeing the vacancy that has just opened up at Force India. There are plenty of other suitors for the job, but Alguersuari thinks his role as F1 tyre supplier Pirelli’s main test driver gives him an edge.
Christian Horner insists he is “very comfortable” with Red Bull’s stance regarding costs in formula one.
It is believed the energy drink-owned team, the reigning back-to-back world champions and the favourite to win again with Sebastian Vettel in 2012, is the sport’s biggest spender. “Red Bull spends about 250 million per season,” Williams’ Toto Wolff is quoted by El Confidencial.
Spain’s El Confidencial observed that the 26-year-old will, in Korea, be a “trout among piranhas”.
Romain Grosjean is expecting his rivals to ramp up the pressure as he vows to get through the first corner in Korea without incident. The Frenchman’s career is on the line following a string of first-lap crashes in 2012 and his Monza race ban, and most recently yet another incident at Suzuka.
Fernando Alonso has repeated his insistence that Ferrari must up its game as the 2012 chase enters the final stretch.
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton both have clearly faster cars. Alonso, who spun into retirement at the first corner at Suzuka, has described his continuing lead as a “miracle”. “In 2010, they (Red Bull) were over a second faster than us and still we led the championship until Abu Dhabi,” he said.
Carlos Sainz, a Spanish rallying legend, thinks Fernando Alonso could one day be regarded as the greatest driver in formula one history.
The two-time world rally champion defended his countryman, amid suggestions the Ferrari driver is not the friendliest driver on the grid. “Fernando is much more normal than people think, simply he has a lot of pressure on him at most times,” Sainz, 50, told El Confidencial.
Jean-Eric Vergne is sure “things will get better” for him in formula one.
The 22-year-old has struggled in 2012 since entering the sport as a rookie. And given the way Toro Rosso’s owner Red Bull swept out its previous drivers Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi, Frenchman Vergne is now the subject of speculation he may be the next youngster without a job.
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