Tuesday 31 August 2010

Hamilton Wins in Spa

Changeable conditions in Spa played into the hands of Mclaren who were widely tipped to be the team to watch. The race was exciting, partly due to the conditions but mostly because Spa is the last of the great circuits. It is a circuit that owes its challenge to the roads carved though the landscape and not computer aided design. This is a drivers’ circuit and many have proved competences in their craft here. Damon Hill and Hamilton jump out as two who quite literally out driven their competitors and to circuit. Others who have not been so lucky include Coultard who caused a massive pile up during a wet start after turn one and Schumacher after running into Coulthard in appalling conditions.

This time it was the turn of Vettel who once again pressed the self destruct button on lap 16 ploughing into Button at the Bus Stop. Button suffered a broken radiator and was out of the race, whilst Vettel made what seemed a dangerous turn into the pits for a new front end. A drive through penalty for the Button incident and a puncture meant that he claimed no points on the day and is third in the championship.

Schumacher demonstrated that he has got to grips with the new f1 cars and has a few more races left in him yet, whilst Webber looks much more confident behind the wheel of the Red Bull and claimed second behind Hamilton. In Third place a resurgent Kubica proving that the qualifying grid place was not a fluke and Renault too are making that F-Duct work.

There is no doubting that Vettel is a good driver; he is fast and is a race winner, but somehow he seems to throw it all away in the heat of the moment. He appeared not to have read the conditions when closing on Button and then was involved in a further incident with Liuzzi’s Force India. I’m not qualified to make judgements, but if I was his team manager I would be having a little chat. For me he is no longer a title contender and experience is winning the Red Bull race. As for Mclaren, we may well have been robbed of a thrilling battle of the Brits towards the end of the season. However, still six races to go and plenty of time for Button and even Alonso to eat at the top table.

Sunday 22 August 2010

Ferrari to face World Motorsport Council in September

Ferrari is back in the doghouse following race fixing allegations at the German Grand Prix. This was a race where Massa was in the lead and doing a good job holding off team mate Alonso. However, Massa responded to a team message that Alonso was faster which resulted in a $100.000 fine and a summons to appear before the motorsport’s governing body in September 2010.

There is no doubt that team orders have been around since the beginning with drivers giving up their cars to better placed for the good of the team. My own view is that this is about what the rules say now and the FIA have ruled that team orders are outlawed. The initial view of the stewards was that the law was broken and if this is upheld by the governing body then Ferrari must pay the penalty, which should be administered in such a way that does not penalise the drivers.