I didn’t do a blog post after China, perhaps I ought to have done. Nonetheless here are my musings on the Barcelona race.
Everyone expected the Spanish GP to be a little on the tedious side, and that has turned out to be the case with the only highlight being Button harrying Schumacher for 5 or 6 laps before the gap became too much (and it really was a good battle, Jenson was all over him trying different lines at different corners).
Despite this I still had to close Twitter and SPC comments because the whining was too much – yes, it was dull, we know, we knew it would be so stop going on about it every two minutes and let’s make the most of what there is, let’s find those standout drives further down the field. Or, if nothing really is happening and you can’t stand it, go and do something else. I think a few people switched to the LMS race at Spa which is apparently a very good one – good on you and I hope you enjoyed it. I haven’t done so because F1 is my first love and I stick with it through thick and thin. This is no doubt my loss. I don’t care – I can download the Radio Le Mans coverage via podcast later and I can torrent the Eurosport feed so I have pictures (hopefully they’ll sync). That’s not to say I’ll keep doing this if F1 keeps failing to deliver.
What have we learned from Spain?
– The Circuit de Catalunya has a great atmosphere in a good location just a little way outside a major European city, but it is useless for car racing. The only good race I’ve seen here was MotoGP last year which was a cracker – I’ve been watching 4-wheeled races from there for years and they have all been uneventful. If the Tilke tracks get a hammering for being crap then we should rank this track equally alongside them.
– Webber walked away with it, some of the problem with the racing wasn’t with the track it was with the pace advantage he had and the general lap time spread through the field – the cars aren’t close any more. Red Bull are dominant but Vettel wasn’t second as he had car trouble. Seb had all kinds of trouble making it home yet after Hamilton’s stupid crash he was still third, as only Alonso had passed him while he was backing the pace down. Good for Webs though, he needed a win and I’m pleased for him.
– Lewis, I hope that was a car failure because you can’t throw away a 2nd-place and the 18 points that go with it, not with this year’s points system and not when it is Alonso taking those points instead and Vettel still running. McLaren are marginally ahead of Ferrari on pace now. Only marginally. It could swing the other way very easily. They badly needed those points.
– In fact Webber has lapped everyone up to and including Barrichello in 9th. This is no different to when McLaren dominated in ’98 or when Ferrari did for that four year period. That was boring too – it was just the rest of the field seemed to provide some entertainment – where was that today? Usually we have a few midfielders running close together and having a fight, that didn’t seem to happen. Did I miss something? Barrichello made up places, Kobayashi mixed it in and that was about it. Rosberg had that pit error but couldn’t recover the time loss, I expected that car to make up places.
– Barrichello seemed to be the only one making progress, he started 18th and finished 9th with only a couple of places made up through retirements (most retirees were behind him already). He did it with the supposedly crap Cosworth engine and he kicked his teammate’s backside. Rubens rocks.
– Backmarkers need to do a better job of being lapped, particularly the slow new teams. Don’t park on an apex, don’t jump out of the way so quickly, surely you can blend in and out a little more effectively without being a danger to others by running at road car pace.
– Schumacher is getting quicker. Seems to be at the expense of Rosberg. We expected and feared this would happen..
Monaco next week. Knockout qualifying has been absolutely mental there since it was introduced and it will be a real lottery with extra cars particulary slow ones getting in the way, let’s hope it creates a mixed up grid with fast cars out of position. Perhaps different cars will be faster in a very different place.