October 10, 2011
2011 Japanese GP: Ring Ding Ding edition
There have been a number of incidents in the last couple of years where teams and drivers have been criticized for making the safe play and banking precious points. If anything Sunday's race in Japan shows how very important it is to get the job done and over with.
Sebastian Vettel may be criticized for some for his very Schumacher-esque opening move on gentleman Jenson Button but, let's get real, this is F1, he was on pole and he made the move to defend his position. Why every yard counts became clear later in the race, when a combination of Jenson's mastery of tire management and less than perfect timing by Red Bull relegated Vettel to P2 and later P3 behind Alonso's Ferrari. Sure Vettel needed only one point but you just can never take anything for granted when the big prize is in site.
In the latter stages of the race Red Bull sent out the order for Vetter (and Webber) to hold station, Safe, yes but it's obvious Mclaren has developed a car that is a real threat and who knows what could happen in the remaining races, you have a chance to seal a Championship, you do it. period.
There is little doubt Vettel is a deserving double champion. Red Bull gave him an awesome car but, as Webber showed this season, that is not enough. Seb made many mistakes in the past, but unlike other highly regarded drivers in the field, he has not repeated them, he learned from the past.
Speaking of, the Massa, Hamilton thing is getting to be comical. Those two are like those magnetic dog toys, always finding each others butt. I'm not sure how Massa thought he was going to pass Hamilton on the outside of the chicane, but for sure Ham turned out on him. His, not doubt PR scripted, excuse was that he could not see him. Balls, but whatever.
The podium in Japan saw the best drivers in Formula 1 at this moment in time, one single and two double World Champions. A good snapshot of this season and, hopefully a prelude of things to come. Next year the storyline will be the fight among those three and the outsider, Hamilton trying to get his game back together and into the top tier once again.