Sunday, 9 October 2011

Vettel and his finger of win Part two.

So he did it then.


Vettel has won his second championship, a back to back championship no less and he is the youngest driver to do so.

You can’t really argue with the results either, he’s beaten everyone without too much difficulty. Poles, podiums and enough wins to write a new chapter in the record books headed “The next generation”.

So why does it all feel like such and anticlimax? Where’s the Hullabaloo, the Pizzazz and razzamatazz?  Where are the bright lights, big fanfare and sparkly jackets, the dancing girls and fireworks of flashlight photography?

This is what happens when you win the title with four races to go. The circus has to be in Korea by Wednesday to set up for the next round of the now redundant championship. So there’s no time to get all worked up. And because this has been telegraphed for six months, it’s no big surprise. Not like last year when Vettel came from behind and snatched the prize from under noses of Alonso and Webber. This year it has felt like a foregone conclusion since pretty much the first round. Vettel has just had that aura around him that this is destined to happen, that this is as inevitable as the Sun rising tomorrow and a Conservative MP getting embroiled in a dirty little sex and nepotism scandal.

But despite the aura I’m still not convinced he’s the second coming either. Yes there is the pass on the outside of the Curva Grande, two wheels on the grass past a Ferrari on cold tires. But that was the highlight of an otherwise undemanding year!
I think the other drivers have dropped the ball and missed chances to take the fight to Vettel. Whilst he has undoubtedly performance as required all season as he is paid to do, go out and win every week lad. There hasn’t been a consistent challenge to him in reality

Hamilton has over driven a poor car and tripped over other, less talented, drivers. 

Webber has driven into far too many drivers again and made basic in qualifying and school boy errors off the line time and again.

Alonso has been hobbled by a Ferrari that couldn’t seem to get its tires to work at half the circuits and seemed to go backwards at half distance. 

Only Button has got his act together and the second half of the season has seen him get his mojo finally up to speed. But alas for the spectacle it has been too little too late.

Today’s win was another pretty good one in a year of pretty good drives. He seems to have grown in confidence and stature as the season has gone on and now it seems that McLaren are turning into the Jenson Button team.  More through a process of the team just following the success of a driver rather than an Alonso giving it all the “big I am”. This more than anything has probably contributed to Hamilton having a year to forget. The realisation that results are what a team need to gel it around a driver, rather than a feisty girlfriend and a few hip hop stars on the guest list. 

This race was another where Jenson just seemed to be on top of his game all weekend. He missed pole by the gnats proverbial left testicle, but if you need a driver to nail it lap after lap when the tires are not working, Jenson is your man. So as the Vettels and Hamilton's chewed through tires he just kept his head together and worked the car to win the race.  A good pit stop and being Mr Consistent left the other drivers to scrap for the second step. He didn’t look like he was going to lose all day. Even when Vettel tried to drive him off the circuit at the start of the race, the new improved calm Button just got his act together and drove the perfect race.

It was all rather dull in the end.

Hamilton and Massa reconvened their on circuit spats again. This time Massa attempted a very ambitious move around the outside of Hamilton into the chicane at the end of the lap. Oddly, this “avoidable contact” didn’t end with the (Ferrari) driver getting a drive through after he clouted a  car he was trying to overtake .... one rule for the, one rule for the rest.
Not that it made much difference to either Hamilton or Massa. Both look like they want the season to end so that can leave the media spotlight for a bit.

As for the rest, I don’t know. I was half asleep after watching the Bathurst race. 

Stuff like this.

Exciting stuff, i think you'll agree, anyway.

I think I fell asleep for the last few laps. Vettel got told to go for the points and leave Alonso and Button to it. Button was a bit touch and go on the fuel, but was far enough ahead at the end to protect his lead.

So a very creditable win for Button at what he called his other home race. He seemed pretty happy with the result and I think he deserves it. Vettel tried to put the frighteners on his at the start, squeezing him onto the grass as they all raced into turn one. Three or four years ago that sort of thing would have got the blood boiling and Jenson would have been all over the show. These days he gets his head down and wins. You can’t ask for much more than that, he even got the fastest lap for good measure.

Alonso got second, finally the ability of the Ferrari to not work its tires pays off and he gets a podium result for his troubles. Kept Button honest at the end, but didn’t look like he was going to catch and pass the plucky Brit in the remaining laps. Vettels was protecting his championship point so wasn’t going to try anything Banzi any time soon.

Vettel does what needs doing and rode lady luck all the way to third. Was a bit naughty with the squeeze on Jenson at the start, the fact is, that is the only time so far this year that you could say he has been naughty, gone is the “crash kid” tag it would seem. Anyway, had thoughts of going for the win, but an older wiser voice told him not to and he settled for the points and the championship.

Webber, who has been comprehensible beaten all year, fails to make the podium in the best car again. Gone is the posturing and the “it’s so unfair they all hate me” shtick. He’s being very quite these days, admitting his shot at the title was last year and he missed it.  Like Massa I don’t think he’ll take to being a number two driver very well. The truth can be just a cruel as Lady Luck.

Hamilton. Chewed his tires and hit Massa again for 5th. Like an England Rugby team, brilliant to watch when it all goes right, frustrating when the promise fails to deliver. But I still think he’s brilliant.

Schumacher was 6th apparently.

Massa was just as rubbish as normal in 7th

Perez with a head cold that would have felled lesser men was just as boring and tedious as usual and picked up more points for Sauber in 8th. I think he’s turning into my new Trulli. Just sort of annoyingly there and under the mistaken belief he’s actually good rather than extremely well sponsored.

Petrov .... yes .. remember him? Well he’s 9th for Renault as Senna who replaced an under performing Nick Heidfeld got 16th. It’s not just about the money remember, but it helps. Anyway Petrov got some points. He’ll know his fate in a week or two after Kubica gets into the simulator to see if his new bionic arms work.  

Rosberg does a cracking job coming from the back of the grid to 10th after he failed to set a qualifying time due to “technical” problems with the car on Saturday.

This week’s tail end Charlie is the ever reliable Liuzzi. Who spent most of the event sitting at the back of the pits watching mechanics take engines out and slot new engines into his HRT. I’m talking bets on how long it is before he gets fired for next years driver to get some miles under his belt.
So then, Vettel picks up where he left of last year, but does it with a lot more ease, less broken bits and no whinging from his team make. If it wasn’t for that bloody finger, I might actually like the man.

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