Sunday, 27 May 2012

Wheres the rain when you really need it ?

Monaco then ... well that was a bit dull wasn’t it ?

Someone needs to point out to the teams that just sticking your hand up from behind the banks of data screens will tell you if it is actually raining or not!  

Everyone was waiting for the rain that never came, trying to make their tyres last as long as possible and well, just sort of rumbling along in a train.  Massa, who surprisingly was in the top six for a change, was only 6.2 seconds behind the lights to flag winner Webber. This on paper would suggest a close exciting razzle dazzle finish, with cars jockeying for position right to the line wouldn’t it ?

But in truth it was all over as a race after the first turn, Hamilton got a slow start which bunched up the faster starting Ferraris, who pushed Grosjean out into Schumacher. He tried to avoid the Lotus but couldn’t avoid the rear left of the black and gold car running into his front right, which pitched Grosjean into a half spin and carnage to the back of the grid boys.  

Maldonardo, last week’s hero and next owner of Massa’s seat at Ferrari, failed to heed the mantra “Don’t believe the hype lad” and first took a swipe at Perez in free practice for allegedly blocking the Venezuelan. Then lied his face off to the stewards about it, claiming the car had “slid out” and he was “correcting it” as he drove across the track into the front left wheel of Perez. The stewards told him to shut it and gave him a 10 place penalty, and then he broke his gearbox and got another five place penalty. Which put him 23rd one place ahead of Perez who had crashed in qualifying after his front left wheel had suddenly and mysteriously stopped working after being damaged somewhere.  

So after last weeks heroic the star of Venezuelan motor racing had a chance to redeem himself with a fine drive from the back, just like Hamilton did last time and prove he has the driving chops to play with the big boys of the upper fifth. Well that was the plan ... except he piled into the back of Pedro De La Rosa, broke the nose off the Williams, limped round after the rest of the field and eventually crashed it into the barrier at the Lowes hairpin. Classic.

That was the highlight really. Is was slow and dull and nothing really happened. But that’s what happens at Monaco there isn’t enough room to overtake if the driver in front has any talent or a healthy car. The DRS zone is too short and a goes through a big long corner and the breaking zones are all single file.
 Hamilton just whinged all day about his team not helping him, didn’t drive fast enough whilst trying to look after his tyres and did his best with what he had.  Alonso looked faster than him all day and jumped him at the pit stop, then Vettel went forever on his set of soft tires before jumping past Hamilton at his stop and pushing the feisty English lad back to 5th place. Still it was better than Jenson “where has the balance gone guys?” Button who also made a rubbish start and ended up behind Kovalainen in 14th for most of the race before binning it in a do or die move.  Those are the highlights ..... hmmm

So then Webber becomes the sixth different driver to win this year, a new record and jolly well done to him. He did have to work at it, he controlled the drivers behind him as they all waited for the rain, didn’t hit anyone or anything and did what he had to do.  It wasn’t the most exciting race for him but a win is a win and this year the championship is going to come down to day like this where points are saved and the likes of Button lose them.

Rosberg had a few stabs at trying to make a race of it, but couldn’t get close enough out of the final corner to trouble Webber too much. A fine job in qualifying netted 2nd place at the start and that’s where he stayed all race.

Alonso shows that Ferrari have turned their killer car round into a beast with pedigree at last. He was faster then Hamilton for most of the race and as the track cooled he took advantage of a slow McLaren pit stop and took third from the Brit. A fine result which now means he leads the drivers championship, and that all that matters really.

Vettel tried to be clever and very nearly pulled it off, started on the prime “hard” tyres and went deep in to the race before changing, at one stage he was 22 seconds ahead of Webber and could have pitted for the super softs and kept the lead. But he would then have needed to run 40 odd laps on the very soft rubber, which would have left him in trouble at the end of the race so he held out for the rain that never came. When he did pit he came out in front of Hamilton and never looked like losing or gaining from there.

Hamilton could see the winner four seconds ahead of him for most of the last 15 laps. That must hurt, to be so close and not be able to do a damn thing about it. When , no really just when is his luck going to change ?  The gap to Alonso is now 10 points in the driver championship and he is slowly slipping further back, as Webber leapfrogs him.  He needs a win soon to reward the effort. Although he could have been a bit faster  when Vettel was leading to save 4th really.

Massa, surprisingly said this was going to be the restart of his season and it was ... I know, I'm just as surprised. The Media are now saying that Massa should get Massa’s seat at Ferrari and put Massa out of his misery for Massa. But if everything goes to form this new owners of Massa’s seat at Ferrari will have a terrible next race out.

Di Resta was 7th ahead of his team mate again

Hulkenburg did alright for 8th.

Kimi was 9th after holding most of the field up for moist of the race waiting for the first rain shower that didn’t turn up.

And Senna round out the top ten and is being linked with no one’s seat anywhere, not even his own.

Our last places driver as usual is Karthikeyan, who lest be far got out of the way in a really professional way a lot of the time and didn’t hit anyone. So well done to him.

Right it’s late, two weeks till we get back to a proper track in Canada, see you all there.

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