How things stand going in to the penultimate race:
1. Alonso, 231pts
2. Webber, 220pts
3. Hamilton, 210pts
4. Vettel, 206pts
5. Button, 189pts
If Alonso wins in Brazil, he will be champion unless Webber is higher than fourth.
If Alonso is second, he will be champion unless Webber is higher than eighth, Hamilton higher than fourth or Vettel wins.
If Alonso is third, he will be champion unless Webber finishes in the top 10, Hamilton in the top four and Vettel in the top three.
If Alonso does not finish on the podium, it will go to Abu Dhabi.
Button can only stay in contention if he finishes first or second, but he is out if Alonso finishes in the top six or if Webber is in the top two.
Vettel must beat Alonso on track to stay in contention.
So how real is this? We've already seen Alonso stop in his first practice with an engine failure, which is not a bad thing for Ferrari, as he will receive a brand new one. Reliability is not always there, though, just because it is brand new.
If I had to make the choice (from Mclaren's point of view), I think the chances of problems may be slightly more with a new engine than one that's had two or three sessions, right?
The fight is still very much on for the Red Bulls, as long as, they can put their gremlins away and Webber doesn't bottle it again. I would rather see Webber win this than Vettel, but I think the pure fact that Sebby is composed, knowing he's got at least another 10 seasons to try is taking considerable pressure off of him.
And what about Mclaren? Lewis has a good shot at this, as he certainly has the reliability in the car. Again, he's had a touch of the Webber's of late, and so has to remain level headed not to throw this away. Any DNF's from any of the top five just wont do, and hopefully he'll know that.
Jenson frankly needs a bit of a miracle to keep his dream alive, but an under pressure Alonso/Webber can certainly play into his hands—a tangle between the two of them would be ideal.
None of the above are by any means out of the question, given the goings on of the 2010 season up to now. Who would have thought two teammates would end each other's race (RBR), leave the bungs in the exhaust pipes (Mclaren) or side swipe half a dozen cars off the grid (Ferrari)?
If P1 at Interlagos is anything to go by, and all season it generally hasn't been, it looks like the Red Bulls are back with their blistering pace, Mclaren is holding on to a close second and Ferrari is somewhere around the sixth row.
Like I said, this never translates to qualifying, so lets not get carried away.
Anything could happen this weekend, and the pure fact that there is so much riding on it so late in the season says to me that Abu Dhabi will hold the final decider.
My title prediction: Webber, Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel or Button.