September 28, 2009

Singapore GP: big mistakes and one surprise

All lit up, Singapore may look good on TV but, like Monaco minus the tradition, it's a horrible place to hold a modern Formula 1 race. On a street circuit where most corners are 2nd gear you have to wonder if the reason nobody bothered to clean the track was in the hope more cars would crash and give the race some excitement. That plan did not work, there were some incidents, but one was caused by brake failure and the other by brain failure...

More after the jump

Hamilton had a relatively easy time from the front, his race having effectively being won on Saturday when Rubens Barrichello made a mistake and tagged the wall in the crucial last minutes of qualifying. This placed the heavier fueled Mclaren ahead of the lighter Vettel and Rosberg, both on fliers when the session was stopped.

All irrelevant though, in the race Hamilton made no mistakes. Vettel and Rosberg made dumb ones and threw away their podium spots. That Rosberg, with one of the fastest cars of the field, was so hopelessly stuck behind the likes of Trulli after serving his penalty was clear indication of how hopeless the Singapore track is.

Barrichello made a mistake on Sunday as well when he stalled during his second pit stop and allowed Button to pass him. Now, rather than closing the gap to Jenson Button, the Brazilian lost ground. With 30 points still in play and a 15 point lead Button can afford to keep coasting, Prost like, to his championship.

I think the Sutil move should be commented by Paul Tracy...

For me the most entertainin part of the week end was the podium press conference. Fernando Alonso literally stunned the whole of the F1 press into silence by dedicating his result to "Flavio watching at home". Dependent on the FIA for their access most new sites did not know how to comment last night. This morning the party line is along the lines of "Oh that means he's going to Ferrari" don't say.

Aside from the stunning news the FIA did not manage to cancel Flavio's Formula 1 pay-per-view subscription, that was as big a public razberry to Max Mosley as I've ever seen and good show of Alonso's character. He and Mark Webber proved to be real men, not tempted to feign moral outrage. Don't be afraid Mosley is going to revoke your superlicence, Alonso is saying, just imagine him in the nude sipping tea with the hookers. In a sport where a team is deemed "too big to fail", Alonso just asked the FIA to try him. Let's see your moral outrage now!

Fernando is right of course, he thanked the team and he thanked Briatore who is the reason Renault is and, paradoxically now, will stay in F1. Briatore is also responsible for the deals that brought Alonso to Ferrari and likey, Kubica to Renault, all good things for Formula 1.

On a final aside, maybe our UK readers can clear up the cultural differences but, here in the US referring to Lewis Hamilton as "the boy", as this article in the Times does, would have some unpleasant connotations...


  1. If Rosberg had cut straight a chicane would have escaped unpenalized...

    Proportionally, Sutil should be sentenced to death?!

  2. I think that Pit exit line infraction is always enfotced because it's so easy to see and an easy one for the stewards. In this case there certainly was a safety issue as Rosberg almost made it to the racing line.

    Maybe they should have guard rails, that would certainly take care of it, as they have in the past/

  3. If you add up all of Vettel's obvious/avoidable errors this year it seems he has done more to throw away the championship than Hamilton did in the last few races of his first year.

    I continue to be amazed at the free pass that Piquet Jr. gets from seemingly everyone, I would think the other drivers would take it more seriously. I liked it when the BBC commentators nonchalantly referred to "Piquet corner" during the race.

    Worst. Track. Ever.

  4. I think that's a pretty fair statement, the track looks gorgeous under the lights but damn is it boring to watch. Glad to see Alonso on the podium though.

  5. The Boy thing Re:Hamilton is fine in that context. Bit like saying "the boy's done good"

    great site by the way. Stumbled across it a few weeks ago and have been hooked ever since. Recommend James Allen on F1 if you like a good analysis!


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