Monday, 19 September 2011

Monza, better late than never

Monza then ... well they managed to have a two hour race where the highlight was Hamilton stuck behind Schumacher. That doesn’t sound all that exciting does it? And you would be right, it wasn’t all that exciting. 
Well I lie really, the first 15 laps or so were fun. Until you realised that Hamilton wasn’t going to get past Schumacher anytime soon. There was Liuzzi making an impact into turn one, where he impacted on Rosberg and Petrov and a few others, taking a lot of drivers out of the race in one move.  Alonso gave the ever hopeful Italian/Ferrari fans something to cheers about for 10 minutes as he passed Vettel off the line and had the lead whilst the safety car cleared Liuzzi’s mess away. Then we had the stunning scene where Vettel passed another car for the lead of the race and he didn’t wait for the pits or crash into the other car or hit his team mate or crash into the wall. 
So let us celebrate the first 10 laps or so, because Vettel won yet another race and will in all probability have the whole show wrapped up by the time we leave Singapore in two weeks time. I don’t blame him for this sense of anti climax that I now feel; I don’t even blame the other teams. The racing has been good and Vettel has done what he is paid a lot of money to do. Go out and win.
What annoys me is that whilst the world sat on its backside and watched the F1 race in Italy, a much, much better race was happening at Silverstone. For 6 hours Peugeot and Audi slugged it out with a brilliant show of tactical and balls to the wall racing. But not just Audi and Peugeot, BMW, Ferrari and Porsche battled for GT1 honours as the whisper quite Diesels battled around them, in some cases through them. 

Endurance racing is multi class racing with the big prototype cars, and you never get to hear about it in the main stream press. If you tell most non racing folk that you like motor racing they will almost always say something like ... “Oh I like Formula One too, that Vettels great isn’t he.” or some such nonsense. To most folk’s motor racing starts and stops with F1 on a Sunday afternoon.  Tell them that Audi won a brilliant 24 hour of Le Mans this year ahead of three Peugeots and a bunch of petrol cars and they’ll look blankly at you. Tell them about a race through the night with three cars chasing one car on a quadruple stint and they start backing off. 

To be fair this state of affairs does have an up side ... it means I don’t have to wad out £200 gazillion pounds to get into the circuit and I get to sit in a grandstand seat. It also means I can wander into the pits before the race and talk to team owners, drivers, mechanics and other assorted motor sport types as the cars are checked over before the race starts.

Trust me you don’t get this sort of access in Bernies ordered little world.

These are the mechanics of the 007 Aston Martin checking over a front brake problem they discovered with the car in the warm up 2 hours before the race, whilst I stand there and take pictures.

Meanwhile at the back of the pits, the pit lane babes catch up on texts and discuss tires strategies I imagine

Anyway, back to Formula One I suppose. Errrum yeah Vettel won, whoop dee doo. Was there any doubt in that .. probably not. Ferrari went of a bit of Glory, but Redbull and McLaren have the measure of them and only rain is going to spare Italian tears this year.

The result then, Vettel wins it was pretty easy, on a track that rewards going very very fast, there is little chance of one car chasing down another, especially one that seems to be working phenomenally well right now.
Button did another good job of nursing tires and fuel and not getting all hot under the collar to get to 2nd. He breezed past Hamilton and Schumacher as they fought each other to a standstill and just got on with things. It wasn’t all that exciting to watch but that’s what gets results. Button is having a storming time of it at the moment, being the most consistent driver behind Vettel. If only the McLaren could have had won few more, we might be seeing a different championship.

Alonso gets 3rd but was lucky Hamilton was held up for so long. The Ferrari really doesn’t work at all on the hard tires which is a major failing for the team. Nothing is going to change now, it’s too close to next season to start redesigning a car now. They’re just going to limp along and hope the others drop the ball.

Hamilton made it to 4th but could have won if this or that or maybe those things had gone his way. To his credit he could have punted Schumacher off numerous times and has every right to feel cheated.  I think being marched to the stewards office every race has got to him, he toned it all down and looked like a shade of his former self. McLaren had the wrong rations in the car and he was never quite fast enough to take the Mercedes ahead of him.  It was like watching F1 from 5 years ago. Dull.

Schumacher is a cheating German and that is all ... in 5th. I have no respect for him anymore. Too aggressive yet again and even his boss had to tell him to pack it in twice.

Massa 6th, not all that good.

Thanks to Liuzzi taking out much better cars means Alguersuari gets a deserved 7th, He’s sort of found his feet this year and has turned in several fine performances. Given Torro Rosso is a Redbull run gig, I expect he’ll be fired before the end of the season.

Di Resta had sort of faded from the picture over the last few months, so its a good result to get to 8th. It’ll put him back in the minds of the bigger teams again.

This week Senna makes up for the woeful performance last time in Spa with a creditable 9th.

Just ahead of Buemi in 10th, if Algi doesn’t go at the end of the year, Buemi will.

There you go then the only other news is Trulli gets to keep his Lotus seat for next year. Where does the man get the money from ? I can think of no other reason why he is still allowed to drive a car within 200 miles of an F1 Circuit.

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