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Eddie Jordan Q&A

With two races to go, pundit Eddie Jordan answers your questions about the state of play in 2010's titanic world championship.

Thank you for all your e-mails, a selection of which the former team boss answers below.

BBC Sport Formula 1 pundit Eddie Jordan
By Eddie Jordan

Will the title be decided in Brazil this weekend?
Paula, Glasgow

This season has been so exciting with so many twists and turns that I can't see it being decided until the final race in Abu Dhabi on 14 November. The 2010 campaign will go down as one of the all-time great seasons.

In whose position would you rather be going into the final two races; McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh, Red Bull chief Christian Horner or Ferrari principal Stefano Domenicali?
F1's top one fan, England

Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenical, Fernando Alonso and chief engineer Chris Dyer
Ferrari get behind leader Alonso as they home in on the title

Domenicali, without any doubt. Fernando Alonso won the last race in South Korea for Ferrari and I think that was a massive turning point for the team. Everything is in favour of Ferrari. They only have one driver to focus on in the championship in the shape of Alonso. The Spaniard is a double world champion, a consummate professional and doesn't make many mistakes. Red Bull will be on their knees because they could and should have won the race in Korea while Whitmarsh is picking up the pieces at McLaren. I think top three in the drivers' championship is McLaren's best hope.

Eddie, if McLaren find themselves first and second in the race in Brazil with Jenson Button leading from Lewis Hamilton, should the 2009 champion be asked to move over for his team-mate Hamilton?
Zack Smith, UK

Well, it does depend on who is third, fourth and fifth. If Robert Kubica is third for Renault, Force India's Adrian Sutil is fourth and suddenly Red Bull and Ferrari are having a shocker of a race then of course not. But, if the usual protagonists are fighting it out at the front, at this stage in the season, I'd have to say there has to be some sort of coded message to allow Hamilton to pull away and for Button to defend as hard as he can in the interest of the team. Even Button must realise that McLaren have to go with Hamilton now.

Hi Eddie, do you think Red Bull will be making a mistake in Brazil if they do not favour Mark Webber over Sebastian Vettel?
Bal Bahi, UK

There are definitely factions in Red Bull. The Austrian-German faction - which became very obvious in Turkey - favours German Vettel, irrespective of what is said. A lot of the team also realise what Webber has done to bring Red Bull up to this level and they are aware that this is one of the Australian's last chances to be world champion.

Fernando Alonso may not have the quickest car but it would be very difficult to back anyone else now.

Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz told team personnel that there must be no favouritism. He is not a motor racing guy but he knows that equality and fairness between his drivers is the best idea, irrespective of whether it hurts his team.

I don't think Vettel will be asked to move over for Webber in Brazil and if Webber has to get by then he will have to do so.

Eddie, who do you think will win the World Championship and who do you think deserves it most?
Owain Howells, Wales

Usually the guy who wins the championship deserves it most as he is the guy who has put everything together. I do now feel that Alonso is in a very, very strong situation. Yes, there are problems with engine mileage on his Ferrari but that's the same for everybody. Alonso may not have the quickest car but it would be very difficult to back anyone else now. Still, who knows? A failure in Brazil and Vettel, Webber and even Hamilton could be right back in the pot.

I do feel that it is too late for Button as he is now 42 points behind leader Alonso. The McLaren driver can be justifiably proud of his season as he has been a brilliant and professional world champion.

A lot of younger fans may think Hamilton and Vettel deserve the title as they are the stars of the future but older guys like me would feel for Webber if this title got away from him.

Hi Eddie, do you think Red Bull's season risks falling apart?
Peter Honess, United States

Fernando Alonso of Ferrari drives during the Korean Formula One Grand Prix

Korean Grand Prix highlights

We forget very easily that in Japan Vettel and Webber finished one-two, qualified on the front row in Korea and then got unlucky during the race. Webber put his hands up and said he genuinely made an error when he crashed out - and that's a mistake that a potential world champion shouldn't make. And yes, Alonso would never have won the race if Vettel's engine had stayed together.

But to say Red Bull are falling apart at the seams is completely inaccurate. They have the best car in F1, they have a very well-groomed team and time will tell if they will win the constructors' championship. Vettel is a bit anxious - this is the second year in a row he's been fighting for a championship - but it is only a matter of time before he gets it.

If Alonso wins the title by less than seven points (following the German Grand Prix gift from his Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa) do you think that the world championship will have been devalued? I, for one, will see it as undeserved.
James Willcocks, UK

A couple of weeks ago I also had the view that the championship would be tainted. But the disciplinary hearing that ruled on Ferrari's use of banned team orders is comprised of sensible people and they upheld the $100,000 (£65,100) fine imposed by the race stewards and decided no points should be withdrawn.

Any of the other teams that say they have never used team orders are not telling the truth. Favouritism can take many different forms - from allowing a coded message for one driver to pass another to knowing which gearbox or engine runs better - and in one way or another they have all used team orders.

It is where you draw the line and for me that line was passed by what happened in Germany. It was wrong. But the judges felt it was not appropriate to remove points.

There is a difference between playing by the rules and by sportsmen's moral codes and these don't always match up. So while I thought some time ago this championship would be tainted if Alonso clinched the title by less than seven points, I have to believe now it wouldn't be as the judges were in full knowledge of the facts and they made that decision.

Eddie, what do you think the major risk to the title contenders will be in Brazil - a potential crash between team-mates or the challengers themselves?
Renato Gonzalez, Brazil

You can never rule out a crash but the quality of the five main protagonists has been exemplary, apart from when Vettel took out Red Bull team-mate Webber in Turkey and barged Button in Spa. The only two people that I could see hitting each other in Brazil would be Vettel and Webber.

Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel collide at the Turkish GP

Vettel and Webber's catatstrophic collision (UK users only)

I expect to see the fight for the front of the race played out between Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton this weekend. They are the three drivers with the impetus at the minute.

I think the championship is over for some of them and they just need to get their reputation back on track. Button will have to up his game, for example. He won earlier in the year and made some great choices on tyres but has fallen back and Hamilton has taken up the mantle in terms of out-and-out raw speed. Button will want to equal that out-thinking ahead of the 2011 season.

Do you think Fernando Alonso is a better driver now than he was when he won titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006?
Francis Kofon, Nigeria

When Alonso left Renault to join McLaren in 2007 he was just not comfortable at the team because he was very evenly-matched with team-mate Hamilton. Alonso likes it when he is in control and the absolute favourite. That was what happened with Renault and, of course, it's happening now at Ferrari.

When Alonso is top dog he is able to motivate and create a different environment that draws the team towards him. Michael Schumacher was also able to do that and he is a seven-time world champion. If Alonso wins a third title this season, who is to say he won't be a seven-time world champion too? Alonso is a man who seems to be getting better with age and he is more mature, dogged and determined to win.

With Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull in a three-way title battle, will this hurt the development of their cars for 2011 car and possibly enable a strong showing from Renault or Mercedes next season?
Rob Haswell, England

Well, that certainly was the case with Brawn Grand Prix last season. Winning the championship in 2009 - despite losing their way mid-season - has affected Mercedes, who bought Brawn, in their 2010 championship campaign. Mercedes have now stopped the development of the 2010 car for the benefit of next year's. Will that help them? There's no doubt it will.

What concerns me with Renault is the number of key people who are leaving the team, such as former technical director Bob Bell. I cannot see Renault designing anything capable of beating the likes of Ferrari, McLaren or Red Bull, who can keep producing new parts and have a very clear focus on the championship. Mercedes are the only team likely to compete against the big boys going forward.

Just to note that what has yet to be decided for 2011 is the development and performance of the tyres. Pirelli come in as the new supplier next season and its tyre inherently has more understeer.

Eddie, earlier this season you talked about how you thought Michael Schumacher might be on his way back into retirement. Has that chatter died down and do you expect him to see out his contract with Mercedes? Also how do you rate his fourth place in Korea?
Jas, Toronto

Well, there is no doubt that the people at Mercedes have gone overboard in trying to convince me that Schumacher will complete the full duration of his three-year contract. Despite their best efforts, I still have a feeling that no decision will be made until the German tests on the Pirelli tyres.

Michael Schumacher
On your bike? EJ says Schumacher needs to consider his F1 future

Schumacher's Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg is destroying him in both qualifying and the races, by and large. Schumacher cannot be world champion again if Rosberg is in front of him all the time. Even if the car is brilliant, Schumacher has to look in the mirror and say "can I beat Rosberg?" And the answer at the moment is "no".

Do I think Schumacher can take on Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton, Button and Kubica over a long season and be champion? I don't think so. Do I think at 42 next year he is in a strong enough position to put his body on the line and to be a competitive contender? Well, I have to ask why would he want to do that? None of us are immortal and sooner or later Schumacher has to decide when he is going to hang up his boots for good.

He may not see it that way but I am one of Schumacher's biggest all-time fans. But he needs to look in the mirror and make a decision. He needs to ask himself can I win the title? Because if he can't then he should stop because the risk factor is too high and I don't want to see his legacy in anyway damaged.

He has been a great world champion. He has suffered in many respects as he has been perceived as difficult and cold but he has become so much better in recent years. He has made a big contribution to the excitement of the championship this season.

Mercedes do seem to be more excited about Schumacher finishing fourth in Korea. But you have to understand that was fourth place with other protagonists out of the game. The Red Bulls of Webber and Vettel had retired, Button was having a shocker and Rosberg would clearly have beaten Schumacher to the line if he had not been taken out by Webber. So to be crowing about fourth place in those conditions, well, I think it's a bit early to say that Mercedes have turned a corner, but let's hope they have.

Other than the five drivers challenging for the championship, who has had the most successful season?
Adam, England

There are two drivers that come to mind. Kubica has been brilliant in flashes. He is quick and as tough as hell but I would like to see him in the right environment to check out how good he really is.

The other one I like is Kamui Kobayashi. He has a fabulous manner, he's gung-ho, brave and he takes the most unbelievable lines into corner. I really watch for him in the race as I think anything is possible. Kobayashi has been a revelation for Sauber.

It's the last two races of the year, and you, Jake and David Coulthard are all tied on points, who do you think would win in a TV presenting championship?
David White, UK

It is not even in question and I don't even want to answer it. Not DC! Of course, I'd win. You have to believe in yourself.

Hi Eddie, any chance we could see your craziest shirt at the last race of the season?
Phil Harvey, UK

Eddie Jordan and BBC reporter Lee McKenzie
The green poncho for Japan was a strong fashion statement

Why not? I think I have something a little bit mad for Brazil, a little spotty affair. I'd like to say I take hours over it but my dress sense is not that good. It's all about going into a shop and I say 'I'll take that and that, please'. My daughter Zoe, however, is an award-winning fashion designer and she does help me with some of the colours.


Eddie Jordan is the former owner of the Jordan Grand Prix team and a BBC F1 pundit. He was talking to Sarah Holt.



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see also
McLaren promise to support Button
29 Oct 10 |  Formula 1
Vettel not giving up title dream
27 Oct 10 |  Formula 1
Alonso cautious over title hopes
24 Oct 10 |  Formula 1


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