Monday, July 27, 2009

F1 Hungary

Massa's crash in the second qualifying session was bizarre. A piece from the rear suspension of Barrichello's car broke loose and hit Massa in the head. The strange part is they were not very close to each other at the time! It is just incredible that the debris could tumbled down the track for such a long way and then actually hit Massa on the head, almost the smallest target possible. Thankfully, with Massa likely already unconscious, the car crashed straight into a tire wall and not something more solid, which could have had a far more tragic result.

The timing system went down near the end of Q3 so it was all confusion in parc ferme as the driver's had to compare lap times to figure out their positions. I was surprised that Alonso got pole position but the fuel loads revealed that it was due to an aggressive low fuel strategy. The other surprise was that Brawn GP was seriously off the pace at a track that was supposed to favour their cars. This is not a good sign.

The race was not really that exciting. Maclaren emphatically showed how much they have improved with Hamilton dominating the race from start to end to get his first podium finish of the season. Ferrari's improvements allowed Räikkönen to net a second place finish. Webber finished third and Button managed seventh place, so Redbull crept a little closer in the championship, but not by much.

Although Brawn GP and Redbull are the only real championship contenders, with many more teams squabbling for points, the opportunities for scoring maximum points is now greatly diminished. Neither Redbull nor Brawn GP can afford any missteps now, as evidenced by Brawn GP's sudden reversal of the how the car treats the tires. Luckily for them, Redbull didn't do much better in this race, but it could easily have been much different. Both teams will be under much more pressure now to squeeze as many points from every race.

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