November 5, 2012

Leave me alone, I know what I'm doing.

Kimi Raikkonen, Yas Marina 2012
The last time a Lotus, in Black and Gold livery won a Grand Prix was in Detroit in 1987 with Ayrton Senna behind the wheel. On Sunday at Yas Marina, Kimi Raikkonen certainly "knew what he had to do" and did what Michael Schumacher with the might and budget of Mercedes behind him could not in two seasons of racing... and he almost smiled on the podium!

Quite a race, possibly the most exciting this season, a total surprise from this track usually pretty but boring. The Championship is closer now but not as close as as it could have been.

Vettel is the luckiest driver in F1?

Without taking anything away from his driving proficiency consider this:

oh, the cruel irony of Kimi winning in a dry country!
1.On Saturday Red Bull commit a technical infraction (which they lamely blame on Renault) in their zeal to put Vettel on pole. RBR have been setting their cars up so they are lacking in top speed but fast in the corners figuring Vettel can break away at the start and be out of DRS range in two laps. It's a strategy that has worked well for them as long as they are on pole.
With their time disqualified, they are allowed by the rules to start from pit lane meaning they could essentially rebuild the car overnight and completely change the setup. In my view this is an error in the regulations, if you commit an infraction, you should not be able to remedy an advantage, Vettel should have started 24th on the grid with the car in parc fermee mode like everyone else.

2. Formula 1 has had what, 99% reliability? 7 cars did not finish Sunday, De La Rosa had to start behind Vettel. Grosjean had a flat on the fist lap, Di Resta had a flat as did Senna. Two Toro Rosso simply moved over and Massa, that fool, managed to lose his head and spin. Perez had a flat and a drive though. Webber moved over. That's 13 cars out of the way and left only Button Alonso and Raikkonen once you take away all the moving chicanes. Add safety cars at favorable times and his getting away with hitting cars and Styrofoam signs, passing off the track and making two blocking moves and Vettel's comeback looks less epic.

Still, you need luck and you need skill,  Webber had a pretty lame race with the same car.  Vettel, as much of a bulldog as Alonso is even if blessed with a better car at the moment, did not "settle" for fourth when he easily could have, he attacked Button.

Who deserves to win the Championship more, Alonso or Vettel?   Tough one, it's Red Bull's to lose but I'm suspecting most racers would say Alonso because he's fighting as the underdog.

But enough about those two, it's Raikkonen and Lotus' day. Super happy for them and Kimi of course, was just vintage Kimi wasn't he?

"Just leave me alone, I know what I'm doing".



The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi;
55 laps; 305.355km;
Weather: Clear.


Pos  Driver        Team                       Time
 1.  Raikkonen     Lotus-Renault              1h45:58.667
 2.  Alonso        Ferrari                    +     0.852
 3.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault           +     4.163
 4.  Button        McLaren-Mercedes           +     7.787
 5.  Maldonado     Williams-Renault           +    13.007
 6.  Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari             +    20.076
 7.  Massa         Ferrari                    +    22.896
 8.  Senna         Williams-Renault           +    23.542
 9.  Di Resta      Force India-Mercedes       +    24.160
10.  Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +    27.463
11.  Schumacher    Mercedes                   +    28.075
12.  Vergne        Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +    34.906
13.  Kovalainen    Caterham-Renault           +    47.764
14.  Glock         Marussia-Cosworth          +    56.473
15.  Perez         Sauber-Ferrari             +    56.768
16.  Petrov        Caterham-Renault           +  1:04.595
17.  De la Rosa    HRT-Cosworth               +  1:11.578

Fastest lap: Vettel, 1:43.964

Not classified/retirements:

Driver        Team                         On lap
Pic           Marussia-Cosworth            42
Grosjean      Lotus-Renault                38
Webber        Red Bull-Renault             38
Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes             20
Karthikeyan   HRT-Cosworth                 8
Rosberg       Mercedes                     8
Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes         1

World Championship standings, round 18:                

Drivers:                    Constructors:             
 1.  Vettel       255        1.  Red Bull-Renault          422
 2.  Alonso       245        2.  Ferrari                   340
 3.  Raikkonen    198        3.  McLaren-Mercedes          318
 4.  Webber       167        4.  Lotus-Renault             288
 5.  Hamilton     165        5.  Mercedes                  136
 6.  Button       153        6.  Sauber-Ferrari            124
 7.  Massa         95        7.  Force India-Mercedes       95
 8.  Rosberg       93        8.  Williams-Renault           73
 9.  Grosjean      90        9.  Toro Rosso-Ferrari         22
10.  Perez         66       
11.  Kobayashi     58       
12.  Hulkenberg    49       
13.  Di Resta      46       
14.  Maldonado     43       
15.  Schumacher    43       
16.  Senna         30       
17.  Vergne        12       
18.  Ricciardo     10       
All timing unofficial


  1. Pretty funny to see Vettel lose it after the near collision with Ricardo...I would've liked a debate over whose fault that may have been.

    What is up with Webber's starts? You'd think he could practice those in the simulator to his hearts content.

    Last, I love Raikkonen! I'm really glad I finally ordered the Axis shirt recently. Naps, Ice Cream, and Racing. What a badass!

    1. Simulator starts are one thing, but it's whole different game on the grid. Given his repeated slow starts...I mean, would you honestly think he hadn't done everything in his power to correct them? Given that thought, one has to wonder if it isn't something to do with the clutch settings It's hard to believe that RBR would sabotage his chances off the line but the only legitimate possibility is a failure on the hardware end of some sort. Perhaps a wrong setup of the electronics, or a faulty reading of the clutch position.

    2. RBR were expecting Seb to be next to him, so they had the ahem, appropriate settings for Webber. They were too busy rebuilding the #1 and forgot to switch the clutch settings back ! :)

    3. well I didn't want to go there but here we's hard to deny this as a possibility, isn't it?

  2. Dear AC,
    The last time a black and gold JPS Lotus won a GP was in Detroit, but in 1986, not in 1987 - the '87 Lotus 99T came in Camel yellow/blue (
    Greetings from Lisbon for a great blog,

  3. "Leave me alone, I know what I'm doing."

    There's your next Kimi T shirt!

    And you could also do another that says,"yesyesyesI'mdoingallthetime, youdon'thavetoremindeverysecond"

  4. For another boring Tilke track, Abu Dhabi ended up being a very entertaining GP. I would've loved to have seen Vettel finish outside of the points but as usual things have gone his way. Horner should stop telling the media that RBR doesn't do team orders. That Webber pit stop was pretty obvious, regardless of how bad his race was going. He strikes me as being very frustrated with the car and with the team this season.

    More reliability bullshit from McLaren. The conspiracy theorists must be having a field day over more "mechanical issues" with Hamilton's car. I'm waiting for Whitmarsh and Michael to step up and explain themselves...

    Hats off to the Iceman. I've been waiting all season for him to bag a win and it finally happened with 3 races to go! That podium ceremony was pretty hysterical. The "English is his second language" comment from Coulthard, after Vettel's F-bomb was priceless.

    Great race, I hope Alonso wins the WDC.

    1. When they were calling Webber to the pits he was in a position that would already take him out of the championship battle... They do team orders whenever one of the drivers has no chances (just like McLaren). But that's not in the contract, and Vettel just don't need that... He can fight his team mate and win. Team orders is Ferrari's bullsh*t for drivers like Alonso that can't stand the preasure of an intern battle with a serious driver and need the hole team arround them... Talking about Alonso, he always cries and cries saying Vettel has Newey... But Ferrari has the FIA, that banned all the things that made RB7 so superior.

    2. And isn't Alonso lucky??? He's got the most reliable car, having only two retires for colitions!!! Meaning not a single failure... On the other hand Vettel lost Valencia when he was in the lead (a race that won Alonso), retired in Monza (being 6th)... And what about Hammilton's bad luck? lots of pit trouble, disqualified from Montmelo's Q, retired in Singapore, retired in Abu Dhabi, etc...

  5. I've worked in cycling, and lots of riders complain about the same; having the DS giving way too much info and orders when the situation is obvious, it ruins the concentration....

  6. Priceless. Aside from literally banging my head on the wall when Hamfist pulled off the track (OMG seriously McLaren WTF?) those radio calls were comedy gold. I really wish I knew of some serious underground blog action, I'd like to know how the Iceman partied after that win.

    I forsee a new series of Kimi shirts on the Axis horizon.


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