Sunday, 24 October 2010

Break out the storm laterns, there are cars out there somewhere

Lady luck can have a very strange sense of humour at times. She can take a liking to a driver and shower him with poles, fastest laps and wins galore. Fantastic wins in a claustrophobic Monaco and the windswept fields of Silverstone for Webber, she can rewards the brave balls out drivers of Canada and a soggy Spa for Hamilton. Even Button has impressed her enough to sneak wins in Australia and China.
But what ever Vettel does he just can seem to impress this fickle lady with a liking for Champagne. In fact the whole Redbull team should have had both championship sewn up weeks ago, they are so much faster than anyone else yet the have had bad luck after bad run. Webber has hit most of the field and Vettel has had pretty much every part of his car fail at some point this year. Time is fast running out and Lady Luck is starting to look quite minx in Ferrari Scarlet.

I have to say it was a better race than i was expecting. The track looked okay, if a little ugly and boring. I imagine for a normal dry race you wouldn’t get much in the way of over taking, but throw in the rain and a track that was only laid 11 days again and you get an exciting race. Hurrah! I always though Silverstone was in the middle of a windswept nowhere. But the Koreans have found the only ugly bit of a windswept coastline next to a shipyard and some interesting looking mountains in the world. If they get the money the they’ll build a city and a marine around the track, for now though it looks like the marsh in the middle of nowhere with a half build track on top of it. Spactator wise, they all turned up latre and left early. The stands had punters but there were still big empty gaps. Especially the darker it got.

Vettel made pole look easy on Saturday and after almost 2 hours of sitting around behind the safety car start and being bored on Sunday afternoon he disappeared off into the mist and gloom of the race. Hamilton who had looked pretty fast all weekend (behind the Redbulls) spent most of his time behind the safety car start complaining that it was fine to drive and they should all be on interes anyway. Once they were released to race, he got passed by Rosberg in the Merc that had had a few tweaks on the grid whilst they waited for a break in the rain. Everyone tip toed around for a few laps before Webber ran wide on turn 7, hit the wall and as he crossed the track backwards, collected Rosberg. Which left Vettel behind yet another safety car ahead of Alonso then Hamilton, Schumacher and Massa
Once they’d cleared Webber and Rosberg off the track we had a bit more racing. Until Buemi tried to take out first Kovalainen then Glock before ending up beached on the kerbing minus a wheel and several areo bits. Hamilton managed to jump Alonso for 2nd as the pack pitted during the safety car, but once it all got going again he overcooked the first turn and let Alonso back into an important 2nd place. And that looked like being it for the rest of the day. Sutil attempted to hit both of the Saubers with some horrendous overtaking moves. Actually you’d struggle to call them overtaking manoeuvres, they were more like desperate lunges at non existent holes in an embarrassing attempt to look like a bankable driver for next year. What he ended up looking like was an arse.

Then suddenly Lady Luck got tired of sitting in the rain and gloom at Redbull and wondered off to see if their was any free champagne down at the Ferrari hospitality rooms. The Engine of Vettel gave a rather strangled cry and blow a couple of Renault pistons out the side of the block, depositing a large quantity of oil, water and chunks of metal down the straight until he ground to a halt. There you go nine poles and 3 wins so far this year. It didn’t look like a particularly tough circuit for engines this one, especially in the rain where they’re nowhere near caning it on the twisty bits. Lady luck was then to be seen getting slightly tipsy in the back of the Ferrari garage as Alonso cruised off into the growing darkness, followed by Hamilton who was struggling on very used rubber and Massa who was taking it very carefully in 3rd.

Schumacher didn’t hit anyone this time out and made it to 4th ahead of Kubica who couldn’t live up to any of his hype in 5th.

Liuzzi slipped and slithered where his team mate couldn’t and ended up in 6th ahead of Barrichello who struggled for a long time on used tires to grab 7th and was thankful that it was all over.

Kobayashi had a more subdued race than last time, a few brave moves but the kamikaze stuff was left to the Torro Rosso and Force India boys this week. He picked up 8th mostly by luck and not hitting anything.

Behind his team mate and out of a job next year already, Heidfeld did alright but it was nothing special in 9th. Mostly he just avoided getting clouted but Sutil.

Hulkenberg the soon to be ex Williams F1 driver if rumours are to be believed was 10th after a late tire change as he’d ran the rubber down to the canvas. I’ve not been overly impressed with the lad, he’s not delivered when given the opportunity and Barrichello 200 years his senior has shown him the way home too often.

Other notable exits, Petrov had a big one into the final corner and his seat might not be a safe as he though it was. Unless he can come up with a whole shed load of used tenners, he may well be fighting it out with the Virgin and HRT boys for a seat for next year.

With so many so called worlds best drivers and Trulli cocking around in the wet, Kovalainen comes home ahead of Both of the HRT boys. Okay the lotus was a lap down and the HRT’s two laps back but they finished when the Redbulls didn’t and you have to give them some credit for that.

So the Red machine profits from Redbulls double retirement and Alonso now leads the drivers championship. If you consider that he was 47 points behind the lead half way through the season, you have to consider him as one of the favourites now. He’s taken the most points this half of the championship, the only fly in the ointment is the lack of engines he has left, with a slender 11 point lead over Webber it’s not over by any stretch of the imagination. Lady luck has could still change here mind yet.

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