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Alonso and Vettel - Cloze

Activity set by: Martin Horrocks

First, do this activity: Vocabulary. Listen to the recording if necessary: MP3 (slow), MP3 (fast). Fill in all the gaps with the missing words, then press "Check" to check your answers. Use the "Hint" button to get a free letter if an answer is giving you trouble. You can also click on the "[?]" button to get a clue. Click the this button again for another letter. You can also click on "[?]" for a different hint. Note that you will lose points if you ask for hints or clues! Finally, do the Quiz.

Primero, haz la actividad de vocabulario. Escucha la grabación si es necesario. Rellena los espacios en blanco con las palabras que faltan. Haz click en "Check" para comprobar tus aciertos. Si te resulta difícil la respuesta utiliza el botón "Hint" y te revelará una letra de la casilla en la que te encuentres, puedes clickear varias veces en "Hint" y te dará cada vez una letra más de la palabra. Para obtener ayuda también puedes clickear en el botón "[?]" y te dará una pista. Perderás puntos con las pistas.


Listen:
Slow:     Fast:
                       
   advised      archetypal      cigar      commitment      determination      fail      flattered      gifted      grid      imply      karts      kid      lone      regret      reliable      roll      skills      successive      tenacious      title      will   
Alonso and Vettel. Why Vettel is the youngest F1 triple champion ever.
I went to my first F1 race in 1962 and have watched every race I could since. As a , growing up, I got used to my heroes being killed. In just 3 seasons (1970-2) and fewer than 30 races, 6 grand prix drivers who I particularly admired were killed. The fact that the cars and the tracks are safer now means that most people forget that this is a sport which drivers are prepared to die for. That´s more than most sports demand.
It´s often said that F1 is a team sport. It´s true, you have to be in a team to compete and a very good team to win, but ultimately, there´s only one guy in the car and teams can´t win without a top driver. Essentially, F1 is a gladiatorial sport, where there´s only one winner. Second is first loser, they often say and also that the first man you have to beat is your team-mate. That doesn´t “team sport” to me.
So, having just watched the Brazilian GP, in which Sebastian Vettel won his 3rd consecutive World Championship , do I see Fernando Alonso as “first loser”? Is Vettel a lucky winner? What wins the title, the car, the team or the driver?
First of all, all F1 drivers have you wouldn´t believe but the really great ones show their class from the very beginning. Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton all looked like special talents from the first. Others look good, but not special, able to win races, or even championships when others . Raikkonen and Button spring to mind, here.
Alonso was fantastic as a very young driver with Renault in 2005 and 2006, showing massive and mental strength to be the only man to beat Schumacher to a title when Schumacher had a competitive Ferrari. It looked like nothing would stop Alonso dominating the sport for many years to come. That hasn´t happened. Since 2006, Fernando has always been in the wrong team, at the wrong time.
Alonso has everything needed to be a great F1 driver. He´s clever, brave, and skilled, a great racer and motivator who deserves more than his results show. Unfortunately, outside the car, he´s too often either made the wrong decision or been badly . I didn´t realize when he signed to drive for McLaren in 2007 how much damage it would do to his career (no-one did) but I do remember thinking “This isn´t going to work”. Alonso is the lone wolf, a tough hunter/fighter who leads with natural authority. He wasn´t the first driver to find that Ron Dennis´s McLaren team has a very corporate culture, where everyone plays their part and no one takes precedence. It seemed a strange marriage, the wolf and the control freak.
I had no idea how, or how quickly, that marriage was going to end, however. But when it did end, everybody lost; Alonso, McLaren and even Hamilton (in the long term). Alonso was offered a drive by Red Bull when he left McLaren in 2007. How he must not taking it (believing that the team was too new to give him a winning car)! Alonso is a natural Ferrari driver, but if he´d joined Red Bull for 2008, he, not Vettel, would have been the youngest F1 triple champion in history. Vettel would still be waiting for his first title, in fact.
So, is Vettel a lucky boy whose car is so much better than the rest that he can win at ? It´s a convenient and popular view in Spain and the UK, but not true. For a car to win a championship without the best driver, it has to have an unfair advantage (Button´s Brawn in 2009 is the best recent example). That´s never going to happen in 3 seasons. Is Vettel super lucky? Not that either. Luck evens itself out over 60 races. The inconvenient truth is that Vettel is also a brilliant racing driver. He is super quick, super and extremely intelligent, having delivered everything that has ever been asked of him. At just 25, Vettel is 6 years younger than Alonso . . . just wait to see what he can learn in those 6 years.
As for Hamilton, I´m English. You´d expect me to say that he´s special. And it´s true. I saw Hamilton racing when he was 10 and he´s always been special, able to do things with the car which other drivers can´t. His first 2 years in F1 were incredible. But he was not able to build on that. He doesn´t have the leadership qualities which Alonso, Schumacher and Vettel share, the ability to work hard, to lead by example, to make the team your own Hamilton is a brilliantly driver who doesn´t seem to have the last few per cent to go as far as his talent could take him.
Who should have won the driver´s title this year? The guy with the most points, which is Vettel. Do I think that Alonso was the best this year? “Good, but no ” would be my view. Better than good, in fact. Alonso was brilliant in the first part of the season, but his performance faded. In the last two races particularly, when it counted most, the results his real performance. Vettel twice had to race from the back of the pack, but Alonso could not make his advantage stick. It´s true that Alonso had a car disadvantage (for which heads will at Ferrari), but he also had a 40 point lead going into the summer break. It´s true that, since summer, first corner incidents with Grosjean and Raikkonen robbed him of points, but, in terms of points, these misfortunes are cancelled out by the two certain victories which Vettel lost through mechanical failure.
Who do I think is the best driver on the in F1 today? Fernando Alonso. I even think Sebastian Vettel would probably agree with that. What does Alonso need to turn Ferrari into a winning team? Changes. I don´t expect Domenicali to lead the Ferrari management team into next year.