|(photo : Ferrari)|
Who would have thought that a track which produced the highest ever speed for a Formula 1 car, 378 kmh (234.8 mph) followed by a braking zone into a tight 90 degree turn flanked by concrete barriers would produce a dull race with no accidents or safety cars?
That was the biggest surprise of the inaugural European GP in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Street tracks usually result in either dull processions or giant clusterf...s. Baku promised a yet untried variant for F1, a Macau for big boys, with cars trimmed as much as teams dared having to scrub 170 mph or so into turn 1
As Vettel put it after the race, it's a track that requires proper "equipment" yet the race was as short on spectacle as it was on spectators.
|(Photo: Mercedes AMG Petronas)|
In reality, the most necessary equipment was a Mercedes power unit. It is obvious on this track how much Mercedes has been cautious in the past in deploying its full power potential. It certainly seems like the Germans have a vast reserve to call upon whenever another team gets too close. On a track with a two plus kilometer straight, Ferrari and Renault powered cars had little hope, the Silver Arrows could only beat themselves.
Which they partly managed to do in Baku.
We get attacked by the Hamfosi any time we dare say anything about the spiritual heir of Ali and Senna , suffice it to say, he had a doozy of a week end, starting with him calling other drivers "moaners" on Friday and ending with him complaining about the new radio restrictions. We'll leave it at that.
I would recommend you read the editorial on Formula1blog.com. Eloquently put.
On the subject of press coverage: After Canada, Ferrari got creamed for "blowing a sure victory" this was both in the international media and in particular with the often bloodthirsty Italian press. In reality, it's not at all certain Vettel would have been able to keep Hamilton behind in Montreal.
But everyone is Ross Brawn on Monday.
In Baku, Red Bull made the same "error" but ended up with a much worse result. Will they get the same thrashing? Maybe in the Australian press.
|(photo: Getty/Red Bull)|
Ferrari actually had a fairly good week end, Vettel second, Raikkonen fourth despite a two stop strategy and a questionable penalty.
It's an interesting stat that as of the start of the European phase of the championship, Vettel has scored 63 points, Hamilton 60 and Rosberg 41.
Chances are the fat lady will sing Wagner or God Save the Queen but, she has not sung yet.
|(photo : Ferrari)|