July 23, 2014

2014 German GP Executive Summary

Hamilton Locking up into Raikkonen.



The German GP gave us some pretty exciting racing but why is it that people are not so excited about F1 this year?

Part of it is the Mercedes domination, when Ferrari dominated, when Mclaren dominated or Williams, it was different. I guess Mercedes is not warm and fuzzy in any way, it's hard to cheer for the teutonic giant.
Turns out not even Germans are that excited and the GP at Hockenheim had fairly low spectator turnout. 50 some thousand vs the 200 some thousand who crowded the Austrian GP.

Of course the Austrian GP was subsidized by Red Bull and tickets were uniformly inexpensive, and order of magnitude less expensive than any other race... Hint, hint F1.

Like at the Red Bull Ring though, there is something about Hockenheim which makes for good racing. Both are simple layouts with not too many corners and some slow turns.
Slow turns are a feature of Tilke tracks but simple certainly is not. One could argue Tilke tracks started with good intentions but became too clever for their (and the sport's) own good.

Perhaps F1 has done the same.

Massa flipped
Full marks for having one Mercedes start from the back, At least Hamilton had a good time slicing though the field as you would expect with a car capable of finishing 20 seconds ahead of P2. Lewis was lucky to escape a penalty for barging into Raikkonen and compromising his race somewhat.

His issue with Button was more of a 50/50 thing, Button left a hole so you can't blame Hamilton for going for it. In any case, hats off to Hamilton for putting on a good show.

Ricciardo, Alonso and Bottas were the true stars of the race. Ricciardo was, as even Fernando said, amazing. His move on Button was textbook, I can't believe a world champion fell for that dummy. His fight with Alonso in the end, what we all wish F1 would be but in a fight for at least the podium.

Alonso as usual was able to get more out of, in Niki Lauda's words, "a shit car" than anyone else can. It's very interesting how F1 drivers have come to modify their lines to get the most traction out of their tires in slow corners. Reminiscent of Moto GP riders where try to lift their bikes as soon as possible, the cleverest drivers are avoiding a traditional line to minimize the time spent turning and squaring off the corners as much as possible. Alonso,Vettel, Bottas, all very adept at that trick.


Bottas was able to hold Hamilton at bay for many laps with that way. We will hear much more from the Finn in coming years.

4 comments:

  1. Somehow even the Finn Bottas manages to deliver more flare and personality than the wooden Rosberg. He's a good fit for the clinical Mercedes team, but that kind of corporate approach doesn't register with fans. I'm trying to figure out if Hamilton even enjoys being on the team still. Something tells me he bails when the contract is up, especially if Rosberg clinches it this season which is looking more and more likely.


    Hats off to Alonso and Ricciardo who continue to be the two most compelling drivers in F1 right now.

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  2. At the moment I tought that Ricciardo fighting back Alonso with far superior tires was hopeless and naive, he instead was trying to stay in touch with the spaniard in order to take advantage when he would hit the cliff, wich he very nearly did it. brilliant

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  3. This year F1 has been lackluster to say the least. I didn't start watching F1 until 2006 and since then I've managed to watch about 80% of the races live. No matter if I had to be up at 2am or 6am.


    This year however I can't say I've seen a single race. I managed to catch the German Gp when they replayed it around noon my time but interest is just not there. Now the driving is excellent but the Mercedes clear dominance is so boring. Like your post said above, its not the same as when Ferrari was dominant.


    Its an odd feeling however, because mid-pack competition is actually really really good and new drivers (Riccardo) mixing it up with older drivers (Alonso) has proven to be an excellent thing to watch time and time again.


    But I hate to sound like an old record but those engines. What a terrible, terrible choice was made gong to the turbo v6's.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFxKYPwxNV8



    What a difference.

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