October 27th, 2012 (F1plus / Gabriel Polychronis).- The Pressure Gauge is a segment that is run on each preview edition of F1 News & Views. It is designed to analyse how much pressure certain drivers are currently bearing.
The Pressure Gauge Levels: Stone-cold, Low, Medium, High, Extreme.
Fernando Alonso – High: Fernando Alonso had a 40 point advantage going into the Belgian Grand Prix, but we have seen that advantage turn into a 6 point disadvantage over the course of just five races. The Ferrari outfit appeared to be the best heading into the mid-season break, and it was just a general consensus that Fernando Alonso was the title favourite. He did not agree with this though. “We have a points advantage and a performance disadvantage, so I don’t think we are favourites” admitted Alonso heading into the Belgian Grand Prix. Most people deemed this statement as deceptive and continued to believe he was still the title favourite.
However, after two retirements in the last five races, Alonso sits six points behind new title favourite, Sebastian Vettel. Although these retirements were certainly not his fault, his Ferrari appears to be well off the pace to that of Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull. This will obviously make things very difficult for Alonso, especially since Vettel has qualified 1st for the Indian Grand Prix wheras Alonso has qualified just 5th. Although Fernando Alonso’s position at Ferrari will not be compromised at all, he is still under great pressure considering that his title chances has been severely dampened in just five races, and at the moment, it doesn’t look like Vettel will back down for a second.
Lewis Hamilton – Stone Cold: Since Hamilton will no longer be racing for McLaren in 2013, he has basically no expectations for this current season. This is why it is easy to place him in the Stone Cold category of The Pressure Gauge. Hamilton may begin to feel intense pressure during the 2013 season, as he will want to prove that he has made the right career move.
Felipe Massa – Medium: Throughout most of the 2012 season, Massa’s position at Ferrari was heavily questioned, which put him under immense pressure to prove he was worthy of a seat at Ferrari in 2013. Apparently, he has proven exactly that and he has recently renewed his contract at Ferrari for 2013. This shiny new contract though, brings on new hopes and expectations. He will not want to let the team down, which is why he is placed in the Medium category of The Pressure Gauge.
Kamui Kobayashi – Extreme: With the season rapidly coming to a close, Kobayashi’s future in Formula One is still uncertain, as he is currently not racing for anyone in 2013. Kobayashi’s lack lustre performance this season is a good reason why Sauber currently feel reluctant to re-sign him for 2013. The departure of Sergio Perez as well as his strong efforts at Suzuka could have satisfied the team in re-signing him for 2013. However, his first lap recklessness at Korea that saw the retirement of Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg may be the last straw for the Japanese driver. He must either find another team or prove to Sauber that he is worthy of a seat in 2013; otherwise he may not have a future in Formula One. Altogether, this puts Kamui Kobayashi in the Extreme category of The Pressure Gauge.