June 15, 2012
Casino de Montreal
I can't figure out why I've been cool towards F1 recently, after all, seven winners in seven races, that's special. Perhaps because once again after Monaco we had another objectively dull race. Sure Hamilton fans will be jumping up and down and I don't mean to take away from his drive which was great but, reality is that most passes were in the DRS zone or in the pits.
I simply don't find that exciting any more.
Couple with a nagging feeling tires are a lottery, that there is an an element of luck in getting a consistent set of PZeros on any given race day.
Having said that, kudos to Hamilton who drove the right strategy to perfection despite more pit stop shakiness.
Epic fail from Ferrari who cannot hide behind performance excuses for the newly developed F2012 any more. Not after Massa qualified sixth and was moving up, like the old Massa until the new Felipe (or should I say, the new Button) returned.
Why Ferrari would be covering Vettel behind rather then Hamilton in front remains a mystery. Why when the writing was on the wall they did not stop, even more. Alonso may come away from Canada only two points behind Hamilton but that may be the championship right there. Strategy seems to be Ferrari's weak point right now.
Ferrari's wasn't the only epic fail of the day, Button, Webber, Mercedes.
Mixed feelings aside, being at the track in Montreal was great (and a full report on the Axis CG epic week end in Ferrari Challenge and Porsche GT3 Cup is coming...) , sure you miss a lot in the chaos but you also get things you just miss on TV.
A good example is sound and how exhaust notes change though out a week end. In qualifying the Renault engined cars, Red Bull in particular, had a clear honking resonance as they accelerated out of turn 2 and a buzzing sound on the overrun. These were absent in the race.
I put the question to someone who would know and they confirmed that indeed RBR used different maps in qualifying and for the race, different ones at different stages of the race too (and not always the correct one at the correct time). This of course, all in an effort to preserve tires. Think of it as traction control through engine mapping. I never did get a good explanation about the buzz on the overrun though....
Also with some access to the pit you catch small details you never would otherwise. Ferrari's Pit signal board box contains the names of all the 2012 runners and one more, Robert Kubica.
And all of a sudden your faith in the humanity of Formula 1 is restored.
Please comment on Ferrari's strategy or your view on the championship so far, love to hear from you guys.