Monday, August 2, 2010

F1 Hungary 2010

On a track that suited their car, the Red Bulls completely dominated with another lockout of the front row, with Vettel on pole and Webber struggling a little match his team mate. The Ferraris took the second row with Alonso in third. The Maclarens are definitely falling behind in their development with Hamilton carrying the car to fifth but almost two seconds off Vettel's time. Button, who needs a more balanced car to deliver his best, only managed to qualify eleventh!

Vettel's conversion rate from pole to win is terrible and this race was no different. Vettel led comfortably until a safety car was deployed. He pitted and rejoined in second placed behind Webber and the safety car. For some reason, Vettel dropped back behind Webber just before the safety car returned to the pits. The rules require drivers maintain a minimum distance behind the safety car and Vettel was given a drive through penalty for his lapse of concentration.

That dropped Vettel to third behind Alonso. As expected Vettel caught Alonso fairly easily but, as the old saying goes, passing was another matter. Vettel was clearly upset by the penalty, and if he had been able to calm down, he would have had a good chance of finding a way around Alonso. Although the Ferrari was faster in a straight line, the Redbull is much better overall, but Vettel's mental state made the attack all but impossible.

Webber's win was critical to his championship hopes, but with only 25 points separating the top 5 contenders, there is still a lot of work to do. The championship fight is still wide open.

As is usual under a safety car, everyone dives into the pits looking for a tactical advantage. The chaos in the pit lane was some of the most dangerous I've seen in a while. First Rosberg's right rear wheel was not properly attached and it came loose as he exits the pit box. The wheel rolled through two crowded pit boxes and can be seen bouncing up into the air as it hit something! It was finally arrested by a Williams mechanic who got some bruises for his trouble. I shudder to think if that wheel had hit someone...

In the second incident, the Renault lollipop man failed to recognise that one of the cars approaching in the pit lane was a Force India about to enter the next pit box. He released Kubica who immediately collided with Sutil as they crossed paths. It was just lucky that the accident wasn't much worse than it was. The pit lane speed limit is still 100 km/h so if the cars had hit each other just a little differently...

Schumacher has sunk to an new low for his tactics with Barrichello. I'll concede that the view from inside an F1 car is very limited, so maybe Schumacher didn't know how close he came to running Barrichello into the wall. But surely, after watching the replays where it's obvious how dangerous the manoeuvre was, the sporting thing to do would be to apologize, even if it was insincere. Instead, he blames Barrichello for taking the wrong line! That's just crass!

Well, Schumacher did apologize later, but only after the stewards handed him a penalty for unnecessarily impeding Barrichello. Schumacher looses ten places on the grid at the next race. Given how poorly he has been qualifying, that could put him last on the grid, or very close to it. He deserves to be there.

No comments:

Post a Comment