May 22, 2011
2011 Spanish GP: The Grand Illusion
Fernando Alonso made Spain dream with his brilliant start when he burned Vettel, Webber and Hamilton with fantastic plunge into turn one. Looked like it would be something different and exciting in Catalunya but then, reality set it. The idea that Red Bull and Vettel are really that vulnerable is, I think just an illusion, just as Ferrari's speed was. I'm not even so convinced Red Bull was that worried about Hamilton passing Vettel at the end of this race, one that more than any other this year was dictated by tire strategy.
Even the entertainment value of the race was an illusion, on a track where DRS was needed most, it failed miserably. The "passing zone" (so sad one has to refer to such a thing in F1 but there it is..) was too short. If it were up to me I would have implemented DRS before the final turn, forcing drivers to choose between tire wear and speed. If you go back and check, other than in the first laps there were very few passes amongst equals, it was all either new vs old tires or DRS. BS, I say.
Speaking of BS, let's send Charlie Whiting on vacation, shall we? On a day where leaders lapped up to fifth spot you would think the FIA would try to promote competition yet it seems to go out of its way to apply technical regulations rules capriciously and arbitrarily.
Take for example the case of Ferrari's rear wing which was deemed to be within the letter of the rules but outside the spirit of the regulations and thus banned. Two seasons ago the same person declared Brawn's double diffuser to be within the letter of the regulation and outside the spirit of the regulations yet legal.
Even worse the question of the "hot gas" blown diffusers. Whiting said they are illegal yet they are allowed for at least one more race. This is a joke and make a mockery of the rules, it's sad small teams and even a veteran like Williams who do not use the system and are therefore legal, do not have the standing to protest. Rules need to be applied consistently and you cannot have this rest on essentially one person.
I would say the biggest impact of the Spanish week end will be on Webber and Massa. Webber now has his fate sealed at Red Bull for the season and this might have repercussions on his future choices in F1. Massa is being destroyed by Alonso worse than he has ever been by any of his other team mates.
Next week in Monaco bet on red, ...Bull.
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