photo: Alex Comerford
The 2011 F1 season starts off where 2010 left off, with domination from Red Bull and with the best drivers still Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso.
I don't want to get bogged down too much about it: it's a long season and 2010 taught that early domination means little, but I'm not sure I'm a big fan of how Red Bull is behaving with regards to their obviously flexing front wing and, especially, with their not running KERS at all.
While it's perfectly legal for them not to use KERS, it seems to me that if there was an agreement among the major teams to run this expensive green technology fig leaf with all the packaging and reliability compromises it entails, Red Bull stuck it to everyone by choosing to run without it. That means less cooling, and more flexibility in balancing the car. Clever... again.
The movable rear wing seems to only kind of work, certainly it's not as dramatic as advertised. What I did notice was that, at least on this track, cars were able to run much closer together in the turns.
A big thumbs up to Mexican rookie "Checo" Perez for his excellent driving in the opening lap chaos, shame Sauber were later excluded on a technical infraction.
Big thumbs down to Barrichello who, in his 308 GP start, drove like you might expect a rookie pay driver might: he went off in qualifying, in the race he went off in the second corner and later managed to destroy the only remaining Mercedes of Rosberg with a divebomb maneuver usually seen at local arrive & drive kart tracks.
Finally the question everyone is asking, Petrov did a great job finishing third but what if Robert Kubica had been there?
Pass of the race? No contes:, Alonso's outside pass on Kobayashi on the fasters turn on the track. Brilliant.
Pos Driver Team Time
1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1h29:30.259
2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 22.297
3. Petrov Renault + 30.560
4. Alonso Ferrari + 31.772
5. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 38.171
6. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 54.300
7. Perez Sauber-Ferrari + 1:05.800 8. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1:16.800
9. Massa Ferrari + 1:25.100
10. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
11. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap
12. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap
13. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
14. Heidfeld Renault + 1 lap
15. Trulli Lotus-Renault + 2 laps
16. D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth + 3 laps
Fastest lap: Massa, 1:28.947
Link to the song used
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