Sunday, 22 September 2013

Give the cup to Vettel and lets go home.

Well that was all pretty dull yet again.

Look I’m not trying to take anything away from Vettel here. However, it is dull watching a driver disappear off into the distance with no one to actually race with.  And i’m just not sure why no one is there taking the fight to the German? Webber was there or there about until the engine in the Redbull FlambĂ©ed itself at the end of the race.
Alonso did hid usual thing of dragging a reluctant car to the front of the race .... for the love of God why can’t Ferrari just give this man a car to race with, why do we have to watch such a superb talent waste his time chasing after a driver that is a bit iffy under pressure and even more suspect when it comes to overtaking ?
Look even Kimi who was whacked up on painkillers after picking up his new Ferrari contract and putting his back out, was up there behind Alonso, as once again the Mercs failed to turn up and deliver on some of that mid season promise.
Which is all a big shame because i think F1 cars look absolutely stunning in HD under the lights in Singapore and a bit of paint swapping at high speed was what you really want to see here. Not yet more dust from Vettel as he wonders off to collect yet another trophy.
But hey, its Korea next and that always throws up exciting races ... doesn’t it !

Vettel won then, ho hum he was just that much faster than anyone else. Even the safety car just served to underline how much faster he was when it went in and he disappeared up the road. I don’t think there’s  really any doubt that the championship is his to lose now .. is there ?

Alonso second again, He was 32 seconds further back, but it may as well have been a whole continent away.  It’s still impressive that he was there though, if you saw any of the Friday practice sessions where he spent the three hours of running fighting a car that resolutely didn’t want to go round any corners. It looked like he was trying to wrestle with a bag of angry cats, sawing away at the steering wheel with a sort of blind hope that the back end would follow the front into the corner. It looked jolly spectacular, but not very fast. So second is something of a testament to his skill and that of the team that they got it on the podium at the end.

Kimi, third and I don’t think anyone expected that after he finished qualifying in thirteenth.  Apparently, he tweaked a nerve in his back at some point and there were some doubts of his participation in the race. Some of the more humorous elements of the media suggested it had more to do with Lotus still failing to pay its star driver even after he signed to drive for Ferrari in 2013. Whatever the reason for his reluctance to race on Sunday, he managed to bring the car home on the podium and looked just as surprised to be there as Vettel and Alonso did.

Rosberg was fourth, and he almost made a race of it. He almost beat Vettel to the pole and he almost beat the Redbull driver off the lone ... but he didn’t and after that he just sort of watched Vettel drive away from him.  However, he beat Hamilton this weekend so I guess he will be happy with that. But a podium was there for the taking and he failed to deliver .... again.

Lewis was all bubbly and happy on Friday, disappointed on Saturday and dejected on Sunday. And to think some people were talking of the Brit making a fight of the championship. That is two races now where the car has worked out of the box on day one then got progressively worse as the weekend has gone on. Is it Lewis struggling to set up and develop this car over a race weekend or a more fundamental problem with the car not following the evolution of the track? It’s in stark contrast to Redbull who are always off the pace at the start and on the podium at the end of a weekend.

Massa sixth, he struggled even more than Alonso with a misbehaving car on Friday, but still qualified ahead of Alonso on Saturday, which seeing has he’s just been fired for Kimi, must have been sweet. However, once the race started he didn’t really go anywhere. He’s hoping to get a competitive drive in 2014, I’m not sure where that is going to come from.  Lotus maybe, as long as he doesn’t expect to be paid I suppose.

Button in seventh, they rolled the dice, tried to get to the end with used tyres and pick up a podium. They failed again and I still don’t see that changing. The whole “make it to the end on these tyres Jenson”  Did smack of desperation to a certain extent, didn’t it. After the BBC had caused a minor storm in a very small tea cup when they blew Whitmarsh’s perfectly ordinary comment that “yes, any team would take Alonso at the drop of a hat” into BUTTON TO BE FIRED ANY MINUTE NOW AS MCLAREN SIGN ALONSO THIS AFTERNOOON YOU HEARD IT ON THE BBC FIRST SHOCKER!Q!!!!!!!!21”!!!!!! media storm.
Martin had to spend the whole weekend telling every media outlet that “No, we have no plans to sign Alonso ....ever” It’s turning into a long old season for the boys and girls from Woking. Imagine walking into any meeting looking for sponsorship, with the knowledge that this is going to be the worst season the team has ever had. No podiums and just picking up point where they can, they’re not racing each weekend at the moment, just surviving.

Perez, still no idea what anyone sees in him  ... a geriatric Button is beating him !!! The word is he’s going to be given his marching orders at the end of the season and Hulkenberg signed up. What do you think ?

Hey look, Hulkenberg was ninth. Ferrari don’t want him,  Lotus look like they’re interested in signing Massa, Sauber are getting some Russian embryo to drive with their Russian money next year ... He must have McLaren on speed dial right now, or we’re going to lose a pretty handy talent at the end of the year.

Sutil was tenth and I don’t think anyone cares anymore.

Amazingly Pic was last, not Bianci who had to change a steering wheel pretty early on, or even Max. 

As I say Korea next at early o’clock in the morning and I do not intend to get up early to watch another Redbull fest.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Wake me up when Hamilton gets back to the top 10.

An F1 fan this afternoon.

Not the most exciting of races again, only Ferrari cocking up the drafting in qualifying once again and Hamilton driving it old school to keep it interesting.

Actually I feel asleep at about the first third point and woke up again for the last third, so I'm not entirely sure what happened. I saw Hamilton go into the pits for the slow puncture, which didn’t seem to be that bad as he missed the pit entry for three laps after someone forgot to replace the batteries in his radio before the start of the race. I feel asleep then as it was pretty much over as a spectacle for me, to wake up to find he’s got all the way to the top ten ... hurrah. Then he stopped to change his tyres again and he was all the way back in nowheresville....booooo.
Then, sans radio he drove it like a proper racing driver with balls and vim and grit and determination and stuff, Vettel please take note. So yeah that was entertaining, whilst Vettel calmly went about his usual gig of driving away from the rest of the field. Apparently they had some sort of gearbox issue and a slightly wobbly tyre for a bit of the race. Didn’t seem to  make much difference to his pace though.
Oh well
Alonso tried, but the Ferrari just wasn’t going to catch Vettel once he was ahead.

Vettel wins after a pretty easy pole (I think, I fell asleep for that too).beat Webber off the line and flat spotted the front right into turn one, the vibrations messed up his dyed blond hair a little bit.  He then won by a country mile.  Dull dull dull dull dull dullness.

Alonso gave it some beans, bit of a banzai move for second from Webber in the opening laps. Decided to ignore the team and stay out for aaages when he should have come in for his tyre stop. Would have still come second regardless. Ho and indeed hum

Webber gets on the podium for the first and last time in his F1 career.  He didn’t really do anything wrong, but he might have tried a bit harder to take second from Alonso. Maybe he was worried about being lynched by the Tifosi after the race. Anyway, I don’t think he’s particularly bothered now; he’s off so Redbull wouldn’t let him win and Seb is pretty much nailed on to the championship win so why risk an accident.

Massa, who everyone is expecting to get fired on Wednesday at the team meeting before they head off round the world, showed once again that when he gets threatened with the sack, he goes really well. To be fair the Mercs and Lotus cars had problems so he had a clear run, but it’s always nice to see him up there on merit.

Hulkenberg was fifth with a fine drive that didn’t require too much actual racing, once again he benefited from the other top line cars not being there. Still he was third on the grid on merit and if that doesn’t put him front and centre for the Ferrari seat, I have no idea what will. Kimi might be that little bit faster, but the Hulk will always keep trying however rubbish the car is.

Rosberg sixth had that better weekend he’d been looking for. But look at Hamilton and what he got out of the car, Nico just sort of tooled round and didn’t get in the way of Lewis as he went past. His engineer told him to use Hamilton to drag him up the field, but he failed to do that. I think he was ahead of his team mate by default, not because he deserved it.

Ricciardo seventh, yeah okay pretty good.

Grosjean eighth more of the same really.

Hamilton’s ninth was the drive of the day in my book. AND the drivers these days have a pit wall telling them when to push, how they’re doing, where they can go faster, which bit of their car Webber knocked off etc. Lewis had to do the whole race with no one telling him how to do his job. He went out there a spanked it, not even a slowly deflating tyre put him off his stride. He was driving like they used to do it in the good old days, by the seat of his pants and a state of the art steering wheel dashboard. Next time you’re on the motorway, passing a sign for a turn off to some backwater Hicksville area. Imagine you’re doing 200 miles an hour, the car is vibrating all around you, and there is another driver in front of your weaving around to break the tow and stop you slipstreaming past (for the purposes of not being blamed for someone causing a multi car pileup on the M6 on Monday .. don’t actually do this) But the sign is being changed each time you go past it. With messages about who’s in front of you and when you have to stop and have a cup of coffee at the little chef.  There is a reason they developed state of the art pit to car radio systems. Waving a board at a car travelling past at 200 mph is pretty much waving a hope he saw you.
So I was dead impressed with what Lewis did. That fast that he apologised to the team for not getting a better result makes me love him even more. That is a proper racing driver, one with passion and heart.
Oh yeah and he got the fastest lap, at the end of the race. See even at the end he was still trying!

Button, tenth and still dull. Actually its been highly amusing watching him tell anyone that will listen and anyone that doesn’t care than he loves McLaren so much and how he desperately wants to stay at McLaren and he wants to drive a McLaren Honda so much and he really admires McLaren and thinks they are really, really ace and he thinks’ it’s his perfect team ... and dear lord please don’t fire my sorry ass McLaren.  

Max was last, i think we can kiss goodbye to Van Der Garde for last place now, he’s doing alright and Caterham have invested a bit of money in the car at last. The Marussia boys are going to be scrapping it out for the last spot now ... and that means its Max all the way. So you should all get a least five points a race now ....

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Monza; It's more than just "fast"

Righty ho then Monza up next.

First off the bat and Ferrari are really, really going to have to pull something pretty special out of the bag to win here. Unless they bolt the thinnest of thin wings on that thing and rely on Fernando to do his black magic thing in the (few) twisty bits, they’re looking at second or third. Which is a shame because it you want to see the very definition of “Passionate” then you want to be at Monza on the Sunday that a Ferrari wins, because Ferrari really is a national team like no other. No other team is so identified with a country and a national identity. But the car just doesn’t cut it in a straight line and whilst Alonso was second in Spa, I think that was due to Mercedes having problems rather than Ferrari speed.

So yeah Vettel has to be favourite here; he went like a rocket in Spa and importantly like a rocket on the very fast bits. Job done, unless he gets too cocky and makes a hash of it somehow.

Hamilton has been talking this race up a bit on the social media world, If they have figured out why the car is so awful with full tanks he could be there. As ever Nico “could“ have one of his those weekend where he gets it all right and beats Lewis. well Maybe.
McLaren have been telling anyone that will listen that they don’t stand a change of even getting a podium this year. Which is probably true, they might feel the need to roll the dice a bit and try something different, so you never know. They went well in Spa, well Jenson did, I don’t know really, I'm not expecting them to be in top ten, six or seven maybe. Depends how Force India go really.

Which leaves Kimi and Grosjean, who will be praying for a nice hot track.

As for the rest, no idea. This one is a bit of a lottery because the cars are pretty much specials for this event and the form book should be regarded as a vague guide rather than a road map to the result. Apart from Vettel winning obviously, I think that’s a given ....isn’t it ?