Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso each deserve to win the 2012 title.
A debate has simmered in the F1 paddock lately about who is the more deserving triple world champion: Ferrari's 'samurai'-style Spaniard Alonso, or the back-to-back title winner Vettel, at the wheel of the faster Red Bull.
"They are both giants and I congratulate them both," F1 legend Niki Lauda is quoted by Spain's EFE news agency.
"For me, in terms of overtaking ability and strategy, they are evenly matched. Alonso has the advantage of more experience.
"I think Vettel will win the championship but Alonso will not make it easy and will fight to the last breath," added the great Austrian.
But there are rumblings in the paddock that, although acknowledging Vettel's advantage, most people in F1 would prefer if Alonso triumphs.
"I don't think so," Force India's Nico Hulkenberg told Sport1. "Sebastian is very popular.
"I think it's just the psychological games that are always there in a championship fight. Red Bull is a good team with a good driver and a good crew."