Monday, 30 August 2010

Vettel, still a cock, shocker

Well that was all jolly exciting wasn’t it? Throw in a little bit of unpredictable rain and it doesn’t matter how many hours you spend in a wind tunnel or how many gazillions of Euros you throw away on man hours and computer hardware. Stick a car on a wet track and the lord only knows where it’ll go. Petrov found out the hard way the just because the track looks dry, the painted curbs may very well not be. Barrichello found out that just because you’ve done 300 races you still have to break earlier in the wet and that a Ferrari does not make for a good emergency break. Whilst Webber found out that being on Pole is no guarantee of a clean start and an easy race.
Hamilton made it all look easy in the end, but for a missed apex in turn one of qualifying, he’d have cleaned up with Pole, fastest lap and the win. As it was Webber grabbed pole before the Rain on Saturday and then failed yet again to turn it into a win.
Off the line on Sunday he forgot to engage 1st gear and got swallowed up by the pack as it swept down the hill into Eau Rouge for the first time. Hamilton accepted the open goal and drove off into the distance, only to be caught out with the rest of the field into the bus stop chicane at the end of the lap, the promised rain had duly arrived on time to make the bus stop and start/finish a skating rink
Luckily he didn’t come a cropper and continued on. Barrichello in his 300 GP failed miserably to react in time, when he hit the brakes the Williams locked up and ploughed into Alonso who had started in 10th after gambling on a wet set up. Alonso got spun and ended up at the back of the field and dived into the pits for wet weather tires. As it turned out this was the wrong move and he had to return for slicks not long after to begin a very long afternoon.
This left Button behind a disappearing Hamilton with Vettel, Kubica, Webber and Massa behind. Button had clipped Kubica and broken his front wing at the start, so was holding up the faster Vettel through the twisty middle section until lap 16. When Vettel, in a moment of utter stupidity, attempted to sell Button a dummy into the bus stop tripped over himself and speared into the side of the unfortunate Brit taking Button out and dropping the German to the back of the field.
This left Kubica and Webber to try and catch Hamilton who was 10 seconds up the road. They chased hard but never really got close enough to challenge. Meanwhile Petrov who had started at the back of the grid was making his way back into the top ten and Mickey who had been dropped 10 places on the grid for trying to kill Barrichello before the break, was attempting to drive his team mate off the circuit this time out.
It was pretty quite then until the rain started falling with 10 laps to go. Hamilton ran out of road at Malmedy, but kept it going and made it back just ahead of Kubica and Webber in 3rd. Hamilton and the McLaren boys managed to stop and fit the inters with no problems at all. Kubica however, forgot that slick tires on wet road man break earlier, clattered into his pit crew and lost 2nd place to Webber who, like Hamilton had no dramas.
And that as they say was it. Alonso capped a miserable afternoon but slowly spinning at the top of the hill and collected the barrier, breaking the suspension whilst denting pride and the chance to win the championship. Meanwhile Vettel, not content to take Button out for which he’s got a driver through penalty for being a cock, but he drove into Liuzzi and then tried to drive the car on full wets in a light shower. He was lucky to make 15th in the end and championship chances are looking very shaky these days.
So Hamilton wins and tricky race with a fine drive and now leads the championship.
Webber picks up 2nd with a bit of luck and a fair wind. It’s starting to look like a 2 horse race between these two now, though the tracks to come are weighted in favour of the Redbull rather than the McLaren.
Kubica misses 2nd but a wet pit road and it still pretty happy with 3rd. It’s a good result and shows the Renault is now one of the big boys. No chance of a championship, but he can still take points away from the top 5 and may have a part to play in the races to come.
Massa gets 4th after Alonso cocks it all up. He didn’t look like taking the fight to the McLaren, Redbull or Renault, but kept it on the island and that’s what counts.
Sutil in 5th avoided the carnage and kept more fancied runner behind him all day. The Force India has a lot of grunt in a straight line and should go well at the next race in Monza as well.
Rosberg in 6th despite losing bits of his front wing when Mickey chopped him at the top of the hill, he drove a solid race from the back end of the grid following a gear box change on Saturday and continues to beat his 7 times world champion team mate with ease.
The former great 7 times world champion comes home in 7th after trying to drive his team mate off the track. When will he just go home?
Kobayashi continues to pick up points for Sauber in 8th. Japanese drivers normally go to pieces in the rain and cause all sorts of mayhem. But Kobay’ kept it all sweat and didn’t make a mess of anything.
Petrov does a good job of showing how good the car is in the right hands in 9th. Fell off the circuit on the first lap of qualifying, but made amends and drove through the carnage to salvage some pride at least. But it’s still points lost in a top 5 car.
10th for Liuzzi after Alguersuari is given a 20 seconds penalty for something or other, I have no idea what a frankly don’t care anymore. I’ve been writing this for hours and I want to go to bed.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Pack the wet weather gear, it's Spa again.

Hello and welcome back to part two of the championship. There’s everything to play for with three constructors up for a fight and five drivers in with a shout of the silverware. Anyone of them could take it, it’s all going to come down to whoever has been schmoozing lady Luck the hardest.

It’s been depressingly quite for the last four weeks with hardly a peep out of the teams. Lauda popped up to tell the FIA to throw the book at his old partners in crime at Ferrari, for the team orders storm in a teacup. Never one to miss a chance to annoy everyone and fan any flames in sight, Max pooped up and told anyone that would listen that he always knew Ferrari were a bunch of cheats and should be fire from a catapult in to the North sea and left to drown. The FIA has remained resolutely quite on the matter and are rather hoping it all dies down I suspect.
Meanwhile down under the Ozzy’s gave Hamilton an almost embarrassingly low fine for something that never needed to get further that a finger wagging and “Don’t do it again lad” telling off. The courts fined the over exuberant F1 world champion £500 for “hooning” whatever that is. High spirits we call it this side of the world and give a hearty laugh.

Liuzzi has been telling anyone that will listen to him that he’s going to stick the Force India on the podium at Spa. Whilst the team look mystified, shake their head and say ... realistically a top 10 would be nice. The wolves are obviously starting to circle the grumpy Italian and he’s looking to talk himself into a seat for next year. Good luck there lad.

Redbull have been feeding the hungry press pack with stories of how they “Don’t think the long straights of Spa hold any fear for us”. The feeling is that Ferraris grunt and McLarens F’aduck will give them a better top speed on this long circuit. This is just miss direction, as we all know the Redbulls work brilliantly on the high speed corners where grip is all you need. Spa is about the corners, and keeping the momentum onto the straights. If the Redbull is four car lengths ahead coming onto the straight they’ll be two car lengths ahead at the end of the straight.
Well that’s if it doesn’t rain of course, and it always rains in Spa. Once that happens, it’s anyone’s game.
Hoping to go well will be Massa and Kubica. Both could do with a bit of a lift. Massa got nobbed in Germany and could do with a bit of love form the team, he’s 40 odd points behind Alonso in the championship so it would take a miracle to win it from there but you never know.
Kubica needs to start delivering some of this potential he keeps showing. People will start thinking it’s all about the car being there because others have failed to finish, not because he’s dragged the car up there. I’m still to be convinced he is the next big thing. Ferrari don’t appear to want him and i can’t see any of the other big teams knocking on his door.

Further back and the perennial “must try harder’s” at Williams are bringing new wings to Spa in an effort to beat the Force India boys. Barrichello is having a wonderful time with the boys from Didcot and this will be his gazillionth GP, making him the most highly experience driver to never win the world championship, well done him.

Not in a happy place at the moment is Mr Schumacher. He’s been keeping a very low profile these last four weeks, rather hopping that all will be forgiven in Belgium this weekend. Expect a very public attempt at a hand shake with Rubens in the Williams pit on Friday, hopefully the Didcot boys will smack the smug German in his smug face and throw him out.

Meanwhile the new boys in the cheap garages are all making the usual noises about “in it for the long haul” and “a learning year” bluff. Yamamoto is keeping his seat at HRT for another race, which means Senna gets the nod and Chandhok is pretty much fired from F1. A rather ignominious way to go in the end, he was a country mile faster than Yamamoto; he just didn’t have the readies to back it up. Shame really.

So, i think it’ll be the usual suspects up front. A Redbull for the pole with a Ferrari for the fastest lap maybe. Throw some rain in and the McLarens should be contenders, but it’s hard to see beyond a Vettel win in the rain.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Well that was pretty dull wasn't it.

Come on yes it was, if there had been no safety car, then it would have been a Vettel walk in the park and maybe a Webber getting second. Even with the safety car Webber never really looked like losing the lead. If you watched the live timing, then you'll have seen Webber put in fastest lap after fastest lap. Once Vettel had caught Alonso it was all over for the Ferrari driver, who had to concentrate on keeping Vettel behind him so couldn't push to take Webber when he stopped. Also given clear air the Redbulls were in a totally different race, over a second faster than anyone else. Webber lapped everyone up to 6th. Yamamoto and Di Grassi got lapped 4 times, that's how rubbish they were and dominant the Redbulls were.

The only high light was Schumacher demonstrating once again what an arrogant tosser he can be when he wants to be. Barrichello and he were fighting it out for 10th spot the last of the points paying positions, pride is all that's at stake here really. Barrichello was on new tires and easily about 2 seconds a lap faster, he's been all over the back of Schumacher for 3 laps and was going to pass eventually. Schumacher makes a mistake in the final corner so Barrichello is up his gear box onto the long start finish straight. Gets a good tow down the track, Mickey starts to drift right to cover the racing line into turn one, fair enough he's in front and has the right to do that. Barrichello pops right and is along side Mickey by about half distance, he's easily past and in a faster car that will brake later than the Merc. But Mickey keeps moving right, squeezing the Williams towards the pit wall. and on and on ... hang on he's not going to stop here. Barrichello comes about a knats left tactical from hitting the end of the pit wall and taking both cars out.
Then the smug German git had the audacity to claim that;

"I knew that he was coming so, from my point of view, I was moving over to the inside to make it very obvious and clear to him 'go on the other side, there's more space for you.' He didn't choose to, so it got a bit tight."

Which is just utter bollocks, because he knew Barrichello was coming down the right hand side, he'd watched him in his mirrors from the moment they left the last turn. If as he says he was giving Rubens room, why not get out of his way when he realized Rubens was along side, rather than drive him into the wall ? Mickey goes on to say without a hint or irony;
"We know certain drivers have certain views and then there is Rubens," said Schumacher, speaking to the BBC.

"As a driver, you have the ability to change the line once. That's what I was driving to. Obviously there was space enough to go through [because he did]. We didn't touch, so I guess I just left enough space for him to come through.

"I'm known not to give presents on the track. If you want to pass me you have to fight for it, and so it was [here]."

Seriously. Just who does he think he is ? He's got a rubbish car, which he can't drive as well as Nico and yet he is still willing to drive another driver into the wall to attempt to defend a single point. You might say "good on him for trying to get single point, rather than giving up" and I've championed Lewis when he's go out to get every point of fail trying. But as Alonso showed it is easy to defend a place round here if you don't make mistakes. You don't need to try and kill some one over a single point. There are more important things than being a cock and an arrogant smug German cock at that. I never really liked Mickey i respected his dedication and skill, but he has now driven to many drivers into the wall and been a dirty cheat too often to be one of the greats anymore.

schweinhund i vill never let you past !!!

Anyway, enough vitriol, he's been given a 10 place grid penalty so should be somewhere near the back in Spa

Webber gets the win, well done him in one of the fastest cars on the track. Stayed out on the prime tire when everyone else was playing silly buggers in the pits during the safety car. Didn't hit anyone and kept it on the road doing fastest laps when he needed too. He now leads the championship and it'll be brave man to count him out of the title race at the end of the season.

Alonso second , did all he could but never really looked like taking the fight to the Redbulls. Profited from Vettels drive though and held the Redbull back to claim a comfortable 2nd place

Vettel comes home third after failing yet again to turn Pole into a win. Fell asleep during the safety car period at least twice and dropped back further than the permitted 10 car length (about 150m i'm told) It was his own stupid fault and that of the teams. They all claimed that there had been a radio problem and he didn't know that the safety car was coming in when it did. But he did get the message to come into the pits when the safety car for thrown, and then to come in for his drive through. Looked like a bulldog chewing a wasp on the podium and thoroughly deserved to do so. Read the rule book next time laddie. He did get the fastest lap on the final lap of the race as well. Once again if he's done that a bit earlier he might have been able to take Alonso.

4th for Massa who spent most of the race on his own and never troubled the race for the podium.

5th for Petrov who does enough to keep his seat for a few more races. Got the jump on Lewis off the line then cocked it up and made a school boy error to loose the place back to Lewis. After that kept it on the island and did what he was told to.

6th Hulkenburg, another driver looking to keep his seat for next year and doing alright. Needs a few more results to go his way yet through.

7th Pedro De La Rosa. profited from the big boys playing silly buggers in the pits, but was there or there abouts in qualifying so deserves this result.

8th Button who was all at sea in qualifying and only just made the top ten with a lucky pit stop as the safety car got called out as he went in. with Lewis having a rare mechanical failure Button was the only McLaren in the top ten. Not a very good weekend for the boys from Woking.

9th for Kobayashi. After missing park ferme in qualifying they busted his ass all the way to the back of the grid. So to get it into the top ten is a pretty good result for him and the team. He is defiantly turning into competent little racer. How long before one of the bigger teams comes knocking on the door.

10th and justly rewarded Barrichello.