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Motorsport: Alonso prays for rain

If Fernando Alonso has been praying to the weather gods in Brazil, as his prime hope of snatching the world championship from Sebastian Vettel, an 80pc of rain for the race may prove his salvation.

With Vettel nursing a 13-point lead, the title fight boils down to this: he will be champion if he finishes in the top four, even if Alonso wins; if he finishes fifth, sixth or seventh if Alonso doesn't win; if he finishes eighth or ninth if Alonso finishes third or lower; or if he finishes 10th or worse and Alonso isn't on the podium.

Alonso will be champion if he wins and Vettel is fifth or lower; if he is second and Vettel is eighth or lower; or if he is third and Vettel is 10th or lower.

Yesterday's two practice sessions suggested that there is not a lot to choose between either driver's machinery, as they were both within half a second of pacesetter Lewis Hamilton.

"Weather-wise, it's Sao Paulo," Vettel said. "It's the same as if you go to Spa (home of the Belgian Grand Prix), things can happen quickly and the weather can change a lot here.

"Probably there's some rain on the way, but then again you don't know how much and when." (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent