Monday, August 30, 2010

F1 Belgium 2010

It was another Spa classic. There was some great wheel to wheel racing. The usual variable weather made conditions very unpredictable. There were lots of racing incidents to keep us entertained. It was a thoroughly enjoyable race.

Webber worked around a wet qualifying session to get poll position, with Hamilton in second and a surprising Kubica in third. Webber had a terrible start though and dropped six places before the first corner, but still managed to finish second, mainly because he kept his head while others were losing theirs.

Vettel was involved in more incidents than any other driver. I still don't understand how Vettel managed to spin nose first into the side of Button. What makes the collision even more strange is that, according to Button, the braking zone going into the second last corner was completely dry. That makes it a driver error, plain and simple. In my view Vettel hasn't shown himself to be a worthy championship contender. He is undoubtedly very talented but needs a few more years to mature.

There were interesting opportunities to compare factory versus customer teams. First was Renault and the Redbull which uses Renault engines. Even though the Redbull is widely acknowledged as the best car, the Renault faired very well I thought. Next was Ferrari versus BMW Sauber which oddly uses Ferrari power. I expected the Ferrari to blow by the Sauber which is a struggling middle-pack team, but the Sauber actually put up a credible fight.

Finally there was Mercedes versus Force India with Mercedes engines. On the one hand, I'll concede the Force India car is a mature design. On the other hand, I'm sure the Mercedes team have more resources, if not a bigger budget, than Force India so it is still a little embarrassing to be beaten by the customer team.

Best wheel-to-wheel moment was Alonso trying to pass Sutil's Force India. From Alonso's in-car camera view, Sutil slowly falls back at first. When he almost out of view, the Force India suddenly surges forward as they approach the braking zone. I'm sure Alonso must have thought, "Oh crap!" in Spanish, considering that Sutil had the racing line. The truly impressive part is, Sutil still managed to slow down and take the corner, which speaks volumes about Sutil's confidence in the handling of his car. Great moment!

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