March 16, 2008

The Fog of Oz

Hamilton was perfect, that's all there is to say. Total domination but as Schumacher proved many times, perfection can be dull from the outside. If Lewis and Mclaren showed all how it should be done, what happened behind? With only seven cars crossing the finish line ( eight if you count the disqualified Barrichello) let's score this demolition derby.

Stars of the race:

Hamilton: Mclaren finally learn the advantages of having a designated #1 driver and give Lewis the winning fuel strategy this week end. Hamilton takes full advantage, drives a perfect race and dominates with ease.

Mclaren: Very simple, the team was almost perfect this week end. Almost because what looked like an oddly relaxed last pit stop for Kovaleinen cost him the podium.

Alonso: Fernando showed double world champion form fighting to the end in what was visibly  a very bad car. His opportunistic pass of not one, but two Finns at once was brilliant.

Rosberg and Heidfeld: Neither very visible but turns out that was a good thing in Melbourne. Fantastic to see a Williams on the podium again.

Bourdais: He did keep Fernando Heikki and Kimi behind him and considering his qualifying disaster, a great race. Toro Rosso's move to do just one lap the soft tires during the safety car and then switch back to the preferred rubber was brilliant.

One half of Raikkonen: Kimi was fantastic on the first lap, everyone always complains about no overtaking in F1 and Kimi passes eight cars in one lap. The first safety car made it all for nothing as his soft tire gamble was neutralized when he is stuck behind a much slower Barichello.

Dunces of the race:

The other half of Raikkonen: Kimi gets high marks for trying hard and I cannot really fault him for going at Kovaleinen . Getting ahead of Hamilton's blocker was really his only chance of getting onto the podium, he went for it but with no rubber on his front left, he lost. His second spin however was absurd, especially as he had done precisely the same thing, on the same corner, in Friday practice. Jokes about his hangover sure to follow.

Massa: On the first corner Massa showed why nobody takes him seriously, period.

Ferrari: First time both cars fail to finish since 1997, period. Oh wait it gets worse, all their customer engines failed to finish too.

Coulthard: He should retire. You'd think after all this time the head of the F1 driver's association would have figured out Formula 1 cars have no fenders and when you are passed you cannot bump your way back. He did it twice, on the first lap when Kimi passed him and of course with Massa. Perhaps he should go be the second Scotsman in NASCAR.

BMW: If they had a strategy for Kubica, I missed it.

Formula 1 drivers and restarts: What part of "you need to get as close to the leader as possible" is not getting through? Infuriating.

The Speed TV team: First race and Peter Windsor's Ham-worship and constant Alonso and Ferrari bashing is getting old already. Amusing to hear them praise Kovaleinen's blocking abilities and willingness to be a clear #2 driver.

The Albert Park Circuit: Forget installing lights for a night race, how about filling in the potholes?

Luckiest unlucky guy of the week end: Timo Glock, hits a berm and flies but JUST misses a barrier that would have made a spectacular accident a very serious one.


  1. I disagree on Massa vs. Coulthard. That incident was entirely Massa's fault. He had fallen in behind DC for the braking zone, then jumped out and dive bombed into the apex after DC was already committed. It was an amateur, go-kartish mistake on Massa's part at best, and DC was right to be pissed about it.


  2. he had not "Fallen behind DC in the braking zone", he braked later than DC and was beside him when he got, predictably the door slammed on him. There was plenty of room for DC to..give him room and to top it off the next turn was a left... Bonehead Coulthard and as for Massa...he will never be forgiven for that screw up on the first corner.

  3. Kimi made the most "bonehead" mistakes IMO. Heikki 's driving when Kimi was trying to pass him was very impressive. Made Kimi look like a total amateur. Heikki's pass on Fernando was great too. I just hope he can find an extra third of a second to give Hamilton a run.

    Coulthard and Massa was a 50/50. Massa came from too far back and Coulthard should have left room as you said it was right left. Both second rate drivers anyway. Vettel to partner Kimi in 09 !

    Williams and Rosberg made my day though.

  4. re: restarts, i think drivers air on the side of caution and leave a gap because of incidents like vettel/webber last season at fuji, and you cant say that only happens in low visibility becase i think it happened today with nakajima/kubica....

    Re: coulthard vs massa. Personally i feel massa was in the wrong (maybe im biased) he is a hot-headed driver and its not the first time weve seen him like this, remember vs alonso at nurburgring iirc. On the other hand, i do feel coulthard is a little bit oldschool, still stuck in the 90s with less overtaking, certainly less risky manouvres and doesnt prepare himself for the offchance that there might be someone a bit faster than him.

    Gutted for Bourdais, im hoping he and Vettel do well this year.

  5. AC:

    I didn't say "fallen behind" DC, I said "fallen IN behind" DC. You can hear him then accelerate to the apex. Watch it 5 more times like I did...


  6. I watched it 12 times and you are still incorrect. I should have left in the head on shot in there, I think that helps to see it better. In any case, Massa's wheel was past DC's head when they hit.

    And to further bolster my already airtight case (;O)) I submit last season Hamilton made a very similar pass on Raikkonen. Kimi managed to fight it but in the end give him enough room not to take them both out....

  7. I'm a Coulthard fun and also don't like how Massa drives, however Coulthard made a mistake he didn't let enough room and Massa's front tire was more than a half of Coulthard's car whe he closes the door.
    Speed comments are too... British they should be more neutral.

  8. When DC checked his mirrors Massa was dead behind him. Then Massa divebombed the apex and essentially rammed DC... I don't give a damn where his front wheel was relative to DC. Massa tried to make an impossible move after DC was committed to the corner.


  9. precisely what Hamilton did to Kimi at Monza last year, except Kimi had a clue.

    Race stewards looked at the incident, shrugged.

  10. Hmm, and oddly like your incident at SPR last year, and of course we agreed that was the other guy's fault as well. Fair enough.


  11. Haha...I was going to bring that up but then I thought that would have sounded too "Mr.Bombastic" :o)

    Did you read what DC was quoted with after the accident?

    If Massa did not come apologize, he said to an interviewer" "I'm going to kick three colors of shit out of that little bastard".

    Oh yeah, he and the Grand Prix drivers association will work out just fine!

  12. The suggestion that Coulthard is free of blame in the incident with Massa is pretty far fetched.

    I could go high horse in my dissection of this flawed p.o.v., but I think DC already addressed this for me in later lashing out against the rear view mirrors currently used in F1.

    Massa a hot head? C'mon . . . you're kidding, right?
    Montoya and Alonso are hot heads. Next to those two, you can't even get a whistle out of Massa's kettle

  13. P.S. Must take "anonymous" to task in regards to the comment on Heikki vs. Kimi.

    Sorry, Kimi had him dead to rights and lost it strictly because he should've known better . . . which makes complete sense until one considers how quickly and easily he toyed with the field in a heavy car with worn tires to that point.

    Anyway, it was still Kimi's fault, but it wasn't quite the same thing as Hamilton's suckering Massa into trouble at Sepang last year. Not even close.

    I like Heikki but I'm not certain the praise is accurate


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