Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Well done lad, almost £1300 raised for Movember,

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Webber 'wins' the battle, Vettel takes the war.

And the final result is in, it’s all over and about bloody time too.

Dear Bernie can we not have a 10 month season next year please, it’s too long. This year it was four races too long, in the good old days the FIA would have banned Vettel for a few races to give everyone else a chance. Bernie must be losing his touch !
Right straight off the bat then and I think Vettel has done a great job this year, he’s been consistent, hasn’t had to rely on the Lady Luck and has done exactly what he’s paid to do. He even gave Webber a win at the end of the year, what a jolly nice chap.

And to be honest with you all I think he is a jolly nice chap. He’s not a smug git like Schumacher was for all those years. He not a grumpy bugger like Alonso is and hes happy to give an interview on the starting grid unlike Hamilton. He can turn it on when he needs a pole, turn in fastest laps when he has too, and he can have a gear box problem when his team mate needs a moral boasting win.
What more do you require of a driver ?

So what if he hasn’t had to drive form the back of the grid to win or over take a load of people, this year do you really think he couldn’t have done that if he needed to. But the reality is he’s not let himself get into the position where he needs to do all that. Front row all year, beating Mansells record of 14 poles in a season here in Brazil, that’s 79% of the races he’s led into the first corner and from there it’s difficult not to win. As other drivers had to avoid each other and make up for a bad qualifying run, he calmly got on with it.

So you know I think he’s done alright this year, complaining he can’t over take is just sour grapes really.

Right then, Vettel on pole, gets away cleanly again, except this time rather than sailing off into the distance ... oh he did. Errr with Webber behind for a change. Then unexpectedly he started getting messages about the short shifting in 2nd gear to make it cool down a bit, then short shift in 2nd and 3rd. Then suddenly he was being told to be extra specially careful with the gearbox because it might explode at any second. As this was happening he slowed down a tinnys wennsy little bit, just enough for Webber to close up. Then he told the pits that “Got un himmel I vill haf to slow down aun let my team mate pass to save zee gear un box, himmel”
“oh” we all thought, maybe Alonso or Button can catch him and pass him and we he won’t make it to the podium yet again in two traces.
But then an odd thing happened and he started to follow Webber and not drop back at all like he had a gearbox on the edge of survival. Hamilton showed him how it was supposed to be down as he exited turn three and found he had a box of neutrals and not 4th gear as he expected.
No Vettel managed to be 2 seconds a lap faster than anyone else and apart from Webber and proceeded to pretty much cruise to an easy second place, ‘gifting’ the win to Webber who has singularly failed to come out of Vettels shadow all year ... what a surprise.

As for the rest who cares? They didn’t get close and didn’t look like beating the Redbulls all weekend.

So Webber gets his one and only win of the year, well done him. He also got the fastest lap on the very last lap, I think he’s trying to make a point there.

Vettel second for a change, he didn’t look too fussed

Button makes a bit of a meal of it but did enough to ensure 3rd with a fine drive past the ailing Alonso

Alonso is 4th and will be more than happy to see the back of this year Ferrari

Massa is as dull as ever in 5th after much weaving around in front of Hamilton.

Sutil might have done enough in 6th to buy the seat a Williams or even keep the seat at Force India.

Rosberg should have got a bit more out of the car than 7th but its still, as ever, better than Schumacher.

Di Resta rounds out a good rookie year in 8th, hopefully he’s nailed onto a Force India drive now.

Kobayashi was 9th apparently.

And Petrov rounds out the top ten, just to remind everyone that yes Renault are still in fact taking part.

Finally Ricciardo is the last man walking, will we see him in a Torro Rosso next year. More than likely though I don’t know why, Luizzi beat him most of the time.

the real winner in all of of this though  ...

see you next year lads ...mmmmwwhahahahahahaha

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Dear God this had better be interesting.


And about bloody time too. Does it seem like it’s been a long, long year to you ? It does to me and I’m not too sure why really. We’ve had some great racing, but a lot of well, dull races. You knew who was going to win after the first corner for pretty much the whole season.

Most people had realized that Vettel was going to walk this championship after Spain. Oh there was Hamilton’s win in china, with a pass for the win least we forget. But that is pretty much it in terms of dicing for the win. There was a sort of omnipresent feeling that Vettel was going to be untouchable all year .... and he has been.

But I don’t want this to sound like I’m moaning about it all. On balance it’s been a good year, the racing away from the top spot has been cracking. Once Vettel had disappeared off into the distance, we could watch Hamilton and Massa clouting each other whilst Alonso dragged a lame stallion to places it shouldn’t have been. Button really settled into the McLaren suit like it had been made for him, as Webber looked like his Redbull had been made for someone else smaller and more German.

The midfield saw Mercedes struggle to catch the big boys, Renault fail to deliver its revolutionary exhaust to the front. Both of these big spenders found themselves being swamped by the likes of Sauber and Force India. Who might not have been up there challenging the top five, but they were both a constant feature of the lower top ten.
With Torro Rosso suddenly getting their act together for the latter half of the season we’ve had an interesting fight for sixth place all season. If you were watching it of course, it was easy to miss some weekends.

Lower down and Williams has had its worst year ever, Lotus continued to look the most professional, while HRT and Virgin continued to look inept and rubbish. Actually that’s a bit unfair. HRT have tried hard, they weren’t helped by the thing being sold to a bunch of money men, but they turned up to every race and they kept going in the certain knowledge they’d be 3 or 4 laps behind the winner and they didn’t give up. Virgin sold up to the Russians and fired the Wurth squad which was unfair but probably the right thing to do.
I like a plucky underdog and HRT have provided plenty of amusing quotes for me this year.

The drivers market has been a bit static this year. Kubica was the key but then he crashed before he could take the Ferrari seat everyone expected him to claim in 2012. Now with Kubica saying this week he’s not going to be in any F1 cars in 2012 (and I suspect ever, I’m afraid) 2012 could well see the major teams jockeying for drivers for 2013.  Massa, Webber, Hamilton, Schumacher, Sutil and Di Resta are all expected to be moving, some to other teams, other to a long overdue retirement.  Driver like Barrichello are not expected back in 2012 anywhere and Schumacher needs to start justifying the paycheck soon.

Right then.

There is absolutely nothing at all to race for here, except pride. So I expect Webber to be all gungho and balls out to restore some credibility, Hamilton to keep the ball rolling into next year and Massa to start the “getting his finger out to keep his seat for 20 races next year” program. This week Ferrari has told Massa that no seat is guaranteed despite what the contract might say.  So he’s on a notice to start delivering with a bit more consistency. 

but really, Vettel is going to win this one and a McLaren will be behind, probably.

Our championship is still up for grabs so please update your predictions and pray they make a fist of it in Sao Paulo.

Good luck.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Hamilton has a big smile for a change.

Well that was a bit of a turn up for the books wasn’t it? England beat Spain, who would have thought that was possible ? Then to cap a weekend of unusual events, Vettel has a “catastrophic tire failure” and cashes out to let Hamilton take a very welcome win.
To be fair Hamilton has been all over this track since day one, He was robbed of the victory in 2009 by a broken brake disc and just couldn’t match Vettel last year. So it’s about time he won this one. It’s a track like Singapore and Monaco, those tight twisty circuits that require a bit of bravery and a sharp handling car. 
Would he have been able to beat Vettel if it had been a straight fight ? Who cares, it’s about time he had a break and had Lady Luck cruise around on his shoulder. It’s been a tough year with too many silly mistakes and trips to the steward’s office.  So it’s good to see the smile back on his face with a well deserved win.
He lost pole to Vettel in Q3 having set a time in Q2 that would have seen him sitting pretty on pole. The problem with Vettel is that he is fast becoming the qualifying king. He’s always been able to come out and deliver a hot lap when it matters. These days he seems be able to just go out and drive that perfect lap that just blows the opposition away. Better than Webber who has failed spectacularly to be anywhere near matching Vettel the only drivers getting close to him are Alonso and Hamilton.  Who go out and rag the cars like Greece with a bailout cheque, they thrash their poor machines but still end up looking at the back of Vettel exhaust come Sunday afternoon.

So as the cars tore away from the line as the lights went out, we watched Vettel sail into his usual spot at the head of the field with a heavy heart. “oh, it’s going to be one of those races, is it” we thought. Vettel went a touch wide through turn one gave a funny sort of twitch and then swept into turn 2, except the back of the car continued to sweep into turn two long after Vettel had asked it to stop. The front pitched into the air as the rear left tire parted company with the wheel rim and Vettel sailed off the circuit.  Hamilton and co blasted past and never stopped to ask if he was okay.
“Hurrah”, we all chorused, “Now let’s see what our newest double world champion can do with the best car from the back of the pack”. Except, not being used to driving a sick car with a flat tire, he spanked it back to the pits and broke the suspension in the process!

Oh well.

So we were treated to Alonso keeping Hamilton honest for 55 laps
Hamilton never really looked like breaking into any kind of sweat with a controlled race ahead of Alonso. The McLaren had the legs and handling to make sure the Ferrari couldn’t get closer than a few seconds. Tantalisingly close to the magic one second DRS zone, but whenever Alonso got close Hamilton could open out the advantage and stay safely in front, despite various Williams, Torro Rosso’s and the like getting in the way. It wasn’t much of a spectacle, more a sort of high speed chess game.  But given how rough I felt after the party the night before that suited me just fine.  

So then Hamilton gets his third win of the year and jolly well done to him. He Mum was there on her birthday and it was nice to see a happy Hamilton family for a change. He didn’t have to do too much, but avoid the back markers and make sure Alonso didn’t get too close. Some slick pit work from McLaren and a sticky wheel at Ferrari might have robbed us of a grandstand result, but it’s nice to see someone other than a German in the top step this year.  Some of the more excitable press is already saying this is Hamilton of old and he’s going to win the next gazillion races and sweep all before him.  I think it’s a fortuitous win, when he needed the luck to go his way for a change.

Alonso was second and tried hard to take the fight to Lewis. But the old story of the Ferrari not liking the hard tires meant he was always on something of a back foot. I’m sure it’s more than they were expecting, but it continues to be a disappointing season for the team from Italy.

Button managed to salvage third after Alonso caught him napping on lap one. He had a bit of a dice with Webber as his KERS failed during the middle part of the race, with some exciting  moments as the Redbull zipped past in the DRS zone then lost out in the twisty bits. I think this was a race where Button was lucky to get the podium, if Vettel had been alright and Webber hadn’t tried to be too clever he might well have been further back. So I suspect he’ll be happy with this result.

Webber misses the podium in fourth; the car didn’t have the legs on the fast bits and could only overtake with the DRS open and Buttons KERS not working. Tried to be clever at the end with an extra stop and some blinding laps, but it wasn’t enough and he managed to keep fourth only because Massa spun the car fighting thin air. Webber has to look back at this race and think it was a massive failure on his part. Yes, the team wasn’t all that slick at the pit stops, and the car was underpowered on the straights, but he ragged it when he needed to be smooth and got caught out by Button being better when it mattered. Fastest lap will be scant conciliation.

Massa, despite everything just couldn’t blame this one on Hamilton. He had the chance to nab fourth but as seems to happen a lot these days, needed a lot of geeing up from Smedley to stop him from going to sleep in the second half of the race.  Given that Alonso is on the podium, Massa, like Webber, is failing to deliver for his team at the moment. He must feel his days are numbered as a Ferrari driver.

Rosberg was sixth once again ahead of his team mate.

Schumacher didn’t hit anyone this time in Abu Dhabi but couldn’t beat his team mate yet again for seventh

Sutil doesn’t fall asleep and beats his team mate to eighth.

Di Resta did a good job on a circuit that seemed to suit the Force India’s. I would guess that he’s done enough to certainly keep his seat at Force India for next year, Sutil despite a late bid for clemency may well be off. Well let’s hope so anyway. Ninth is okay, it might have been more with a bit of luck.

Kobayashi rounds out the top 10 with the “did he take part in the race I must have missed him” award this week.

Liuzzi makes it home in last place with this extra special quote “....still, I pushed until the very end and got the car past the chequered flag which is a positive thing. It was a difficult race but we got a decent result” that would a decent last place there buddy, two laps behind the winner.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Abu Dhabi 'aving a laugh

Abu Dhabi then ......
...I’ll be honest here; I’m struggling to write anything about this place.
It’s dull, and the highlight is that the sun goes down whilst the race is on.
Its got a big building that lights up in the dark ..

And ......

Last year no one could overtake and Vettel won the championship.
I don’t think that’s going to change this year, Vettel has already won the championship.

Sorry about this, I’m finding it very difficult to write anything interesting about this race, I can’t even get enthusiastic about it.  Vettel will win, probably, one of the McLarens will be second and if the other McLaren hasn’t hit the other Ferrari, it might fight it out with Alonso. Mercedes will follow the big boys home, Petrov might be there or there about and at least one if not both of the Torro Rosso’s will round out the top ten.  

So there you go.  If you have anything to add ... I’m more than happy to share it with the class.   

 Watch it .. or the puppies die.

 and in a shamless attempt to bump the numbers up on this site ... here are a pair of great tits.