The primary battle of the season, the world championship battle, may have been revolving around Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. However, that isn’t necessarily where the spotlight is persistently on. Instead, the trio of veterans, Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, and Kimi Raikkonen are in the middle of a fun battle of their own.
Formula 1 introduced an interesting reward-earning statistic in which the three former Ferrari drivers have been battling each other since the very beginning of the season – Crypto Overtake Award – an award for the most overtaking maneuvers in an F1 calendar year.
For quite a while, Vettel was enjoying a hefty lead from the rest of the pack and looked very much on course to secure the award. However, as the season progressed, Alonso and Raikkonen began to inch closer. And now, Raikkonen is looking more threatening to snatch the award from Alonso and Vettel.
Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso create a master-plan
Citing the ever-rising threat from the last Ferrari world champion, Alonso and Vettel joked about working together in this and earning the award to themselves by finishing on equal numbers.
Alonso started off by demanding the interviewer of any inside information about the prize and reckoned he would then split it by half with the 4-time world champion.
“We need to know [the prize], then we can deal between us 50-50,” he said during the press conference ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Vettel, too, obliged to this plan and opined he and Alonso could fake overtakes during the race in Jeddah. “We could fake this actually,” the German suggested.
And finally, Alonso hilariously proposed the number of overtaking maneuvers the duo could pull off against each other to increase their lead in the standings. “Add another 20 this weekend!” the Spaniard replied.
Kimi Raikkonen responds to the ‘El-Plan’
Asked to offer a view on the Alonso-Vettel banter, Raikkonen questioned whether deliberately letting by a car and passing it again helps boost his number in the standings.
“Maybe I should be last to start with… Does it count if I let somebody pass and pass them back?” the Alfa Romeo driver hilariously asked during the press conference.
Crypto Overtake Award Standings ahead of Saudi Arabian GP
Fernando Alonso (Alpine) – 116
Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) – 115
Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) – 115
Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) – 112
Sergio Perez (Red Bull Racing) – 112
Carlos Sainz (Scuderia Ferrari) – 104
Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) – 103
Lando Norris (McLaren) – 98
Overall, the top 5 in the standings look very closely packed with just 4 overtakes separating first-placed Alonso and fifth-placed Perez. So, who do you think will ultimately claim the Crypto Overtake Award?