Was the 2011 European GP boring?

I’ve seen all manner of opinion across a variety of internet feeds, be it Twitter, Sidepodcast’s comments, and more, that the 2011 European Grand Prix was the most boring motor race of all time. But was it?

No.

Don’t be silly.

This kind of reaction seems to have become a hallmark of internet discussion and especially in ‘real time’ fora such as Twitter or Facebook. Knee-jerk overreactions just because someone is bored with a race and there is a keyboard in front of them.

Was the race boring? Well, half of it was. The first half actually really interesting, but the second half was awful. It seems people with a keyboard in front of them lose all sense of time and perspective after 25 boring laps, and by the chequered flag they had forgotten the first part of the race wasn’t actually that bad. They seem to have applied 3 previous years of boredom to this year’s event. I’m sorry, you just can’t do that.

The only person I saw with a different opinion was Lukeh in this excellent post, a beacon of common sense. It was not a great race. It might not even have been a good one, but I tell you something, it wasn’t a bad one either.

Afterwards I posted the following comment to Sidepodcast’s ‘Rate the Race’ thread:

I give this a 5 out of 10 simply on the basis that I really enjoyed the first half of the race and it was only from halfway onwards that it got boring (really boring).

People must have such incredibly short attention spans to level the vitriol I’ve seen about this race. There is nothing wrong with having a 5/10 race once in a while.

I’ll admit I didn’t watch live and because I had it fullscreen and was too lazy to boot up a separate device, I wasn’t following internet reaction as it happened (i.e the live thread), so I was just left with my own thoughts. I found the first 40% of this race to be just as interesting as any other. There was racing. There was passing. There was a 3-way fight for the lead which could have resulted in a pass at any time. That it didn’t was neither here nor there, at no stage in the first half of the race did I think it was a foregone result (apart from actually already knowing the result.. but you know what I mean).

There was a battle for 4th. Racing between McLaren, Mercedes, etc. There was a colossal battle for 7th-14th which I loved, Force India, Toro Rosso, Williams. There was split strategy among midfielders, with Jaime in particular proving a lot of people wrong, he shouldn’t be written off. Sutil had a good run as well, no crashes, top ten result.

There was genuine passing as well as DRS-assisted passing. Just because the DRS was useless among the top 5 – and we have to say the FIA got this one wrong with the distance between detection and activation – it doesn’t mean it was useless for everyone.

We also can’t expect the FIA to get the zones right first time at each venue.. they are going to get some wrong in the first year, they got it wrong here. But on the few occasions a car was close enough in the zone, there was a pass.

So it fell flat in the second half. That’s not an excuse to write off the entire thing. It was by far the best F1 race at this track I have ever seen. That’s not saying much but it is positive progress. We had half an interesting race here, that’s half more than we had before. Change the DRS zone next year. Problem solved.

In the second half of this race we’ve proven conclusively – without the effect of rain as per Canada – that the old aero problems still exist and cars can’t pass without DRS (even with KERS and Pirellis). That’s a problem.

By 2009 standards this would’ve been a good race. Leaders sailing off into the distance, bit of battling in the midfield as a sideshow, just like 2009 with different players. We’ve been spoiled this year. Frankly if this was the worst race of the year, we’re very lucky. People are acting like this was Bahrain 2010 and it was nothing of the sort.

And I’m not saying the latter half of the race wasn’t boring, far from it, it was terrible..

I should also add… it probably says something about how low my expectations were, that I was watching on delay in the first place, having prioritised a golf game with my Dad over it. And I always prioritise F1 first.

Let’s just have a sense of perspective, shall we? Two years ago we’d have loved this race and here we are with people saying it is dull. I think that shows just how far we’ve come in such a short time. What a great result that really is for the sport of Formula 1 and motor racing in general.

MotoGP: 2010 Valencia

GP Generali de la Communitat Valenciana

Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain

Date: Watched live on 7 Nov 2010 taking notes during the race which were then forgotten about until I found them earlier. Oops.

This is the final race of the year. Jorge Lorenzo has the title wrapped up, and in 2nd Dani Pedrosa is 19 points ahead of Valentino Rossi, will the positions be reversed after this race? As this is Rossi’s final race for Yamaha, the BBC’s Jennie How has a good interview with him in the pre-race, he says he’s had many special moments not least of which was the first win in his first race with them after switching from Honda. When asked if Lorenzo has pushed him harder than any other teammate he says that’s true.

Then there’s a bit of an introduction to Cal Crutchlow, the new Brit taking Ben Spies’ seat, seems a really straight-talking guy and I hope he sticks around longer than Toseland did. Nice to get a few words from a few 125 and Moto2 riders as well, perhaps in future this could be extended to show all frontrunners not just the Brits.

Not many good races are held at this circuit in any category and I hope this one bucks the trend.

Front row: Casey Stoner is on pole, Lorenzo and Simoncelli alongside. Marco’s first front row start.

Stoner assumes the lead through turn one but it’s Pedrosa who impresses, from 7th he’s up to 2nd quickly – until Hayden gets past him to make it a Ducati 1-2. Simoncelli is 4th, Lorenzo down to 5th and then there’s Rossi. And that’s just lap one.

We know Simoncelli isn’t scared of anyone and he proves it again on lap two, Lorenzo dives inside him but is fended off by Marco on the switchback. Jorge tries again and touches Simoncelli’s bike, he’s nearly thrown off! He saves it but falls down the order. Meanwhile there’s a cloud of dust… it’s Hayden in the gravel, he’s out of the race, such a shame as he was was having a much-needed good run. Replay: Hayden went off by himself, lost the front end and no-one else to blame.

Rossi passes Simoncelli into turn one with 25 laps to go (lap 5 or 6), Marco tries to push back but has a bit of respect and backs off rather than taking out Vale or himself. This puts a recovering Lorenzo on Simoncelli’s tail as Rossi opens a gap. One lap later Lorenzo makes the same move to claim 4th.

22 to go and Pedrosa had been putting in fastest laps but no more. He’s on Stoner’s tail and now I’m sure Rossi is closing on the pair of them, and just like that he’s passed Pedrosa – and Lorenzo follows him through!

16 to go, the group has started to compress, Lorenzo is catching Stoner while Rossi is faster than both – this time. It seems to be changing with every lap.

14 to go, Stoner’s tyres are starting to go off and it is showing. He’s running wide here and there, only slightly but just enough because these bikes aren’t very wide – a few more laps and he’s a sitting target, unless Lorenzo has used his too in his charge?

Replay as Lorenzo had bit of a bump and wobble in his seat, allowing Stoner some breathing space. Dovizioso passes Simoncelli and then Pedrosa, yet after spending half a lap looking at replays of this we cut live to the group and the order is once again Pedrosa, Simoncelli and Dovizioso! Dani then runs wide and is passed once more.

10 to go. Lorenzo is still harrying Stoner but Rossi has been dropped. Pedrosa has now fallen to the back of his group of four riders.

8 to go and Lorenzo is through! He takes the lead! The crowd goes crazy with their #99 flags. A lap later Dovizioso sends one up the inside of Simoncelli who tries to fight back, nothing doing. Now Spies is on Simoncelli’s tail. There’s a lot of daylight between this scrap and Pedrosa now.

With just 3 laps to go Spies passes both Simoncelli and Dovizioso with some great passing on a single lap! Dovi retakes him into turn one but Spies has the line for turn two and he’s in front once more. Epic.

Lorenzo wins! Stoner 2nd, Rossi 3rd, Spies 4th, Dovizioso, Simoncelli, Pedrosa, etc.

Final points: Lorenzo 383, Pedrosa 245, Rossi 233, Stoner 225, Dovizioso 206, Spies 163, Simoncelli 125

What a superb race. At the Ricardo Tormo circuit too. That almost never happens.

With some huge line-up changes for 2011 I’m really looking forward to picking up the series again in Qatar.

I’m Watching… #3: NASCAR road courses, F1, F2, more

I watch too much racing. What have I been watching over the last couple of weeks?

I watch too much racing. What have I been watching over the last couple of weeks?

Formula 2 – Valencia 2009
Race 1 of 2. This was the ‘comeback race’ for the F2 name, unfortunately it was at the Ricardo Tormo circuit so it was rubbish, really boring. I don’t think I’ve seen a good race at that circuit in my life, any series. Maybe MotoGP. Martin Haven did his best to inject enthusiasm and a great deal of knowledge of ‘old F2’ and of drivers parachuting in from other series, but really you need the on-track stuff to be good as well and it really wasn’t. I missed the 2nd race, I have a feeling I watched it live on their site but I can’t remember, it was a year ago..

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”false” link=”term=Nationwide+Road+America&iid=9161555″ src=”http://view1.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9161555/bucyrus-200/bucyrus-200.jpg?size=500&imageId=9161555″ width=”380″ height=”294″ /]

Nationwide Series – Road America 2010 *live*
I was curious to see the 2nd-tier NASCAR series on a road course, and it had Jacques Villeneuve guest-driving and a couple of guys were pulling the double with this race in Wisconsin on Saturday and the Cup race in California on Sunday. I was disappointed. JV and Carl Edwards had a great battle at the front, unfortunately the rest of the field were hopeless and it came to a head with a lengthy red-flag delay after a multi-car pile-up which is when I gave up following it. I didn’t expect a ‘Dega-style “Big One” on a road course! Apparently once the race restarted it was brought back under safety car multiple times, and finished some hours after I’d left it. Needs work.

IZOD IndyCar – Iowa 2010 *live*
This was a great race, you could tell that from the few times the Race Control cameras were pointing in the right direction. I’m going to have to watch this again with the TV feed. To give them credit they did stick with the lead battle for a good while, unfortunately the lack of direction meant I missed the battling in the pack. Tony Kanaan had a brilliant run and it was great to see him win and to do it with a pass for the lead as well, excellent. I wasn’t sure what happened to Marco Andretti’s early run, I guess the car went away from him just as TK’s was coming to him. Needless to say the ‘red cars’ were all up there in contention throughout, but I do think Andretti Autosport are regaining the relative pace they had against them some time ago. Good to see.

Sprint Cup, Sonoma 2010 *live*
Again I wanted to see how the stock car people handled the road courses. I expected something more professional than the Nationwide race and that’s largely what we had, after all most of them have driven at Sonoma for some years now. It was a pretty good race with a mixture of strategies throughout the field, it was great to see DTM driver Mattias Ekstrom lead the race for a while on his debut but it was former V8 Supercar driver Marcos Ambrose who was in control much of the time – until he threw it away with a driver error under caution, allowing Jimmie Johnson to win. It was interesting to see how the race turned into a knife fight in the closing stages, it was like a 25-minute BTCC race with cars being pushed all over the track and spun around. This race also had a red flag period caused by a multi-car shunt, thankfully it was cleared up significantly faster than in the Nationwide event. There was the usual problem of going full-course yellow for someone spinning and resuming within 30 seconds, though it wasn’t as bad as usual and some incidents were allowed to develop and recover before the safety car was called so there is some progress.

Formula 1 – European GP 2010 *live*
A moderately interesting race, it was better than I was expecting for this circuit so that is a small victory. Mark Webber was exceedingly lucky and that’s a huge victory. Kobayashi really proved his worth by staying out on one set of tyres for that length of time when nobody else seemed able to, then using his fresher tyres to put a move on Alonso. Well played, Kamui. There was that dodgy safety car call with Hamilton and his penalty, we’re a few days on and now I’m a bit talked-out about it but you can read more here.

The World Cup
A lot of prime motorsport viewing time has been taking up with the World Cup instead. Some of it really wasn’t worth bothering with and I’m by no means a fan of the game, yet others have been enjoyable. There was a game last Tuesday between Japan and somebody which was the best game I’ve seen in ages.

Looking Ahead
Le Tour de France starts this weekend and over the next couple of weeks I’ll be watching the nightly highlights on ITV4 if they are as they were last year. I’m also heading to Goodwood for the Festival of Speed on Sunday.

Blog note.
You may have noticed I’m not very good at sticking to ideas, the weekly review each Monday/Tuesday hasn’t happened lately due to one thing and another (mainly the World Cup) so I’m reworking it into an ad-hoc approach to be done whenever I feel like posting an update. Better to be more ‘organic’ that way rather than doing a post for the sake of it.

Delayed Race Notes: European Grand Prix 2009

[Preface – Due to studies I fell behind with the editing of these posts. They were written live as usual, but needed a lot of work to make readable. Anything in italics in square brackets was written during the edit, just like this paragraph.]

2009 Formula 1 Telefonica Grand Prix of Europe
Date: 23 August 2009
Circuit: Valencia Street Circuit
Location: Valencia, Spain
Distance: 57 laps

Coverage: BBC One / BBC Radio 5 Live[*]
Anchor: Jake Humphrey
Analysts in the paddock: David Coulthard (DC) and Eddie Jordan (EJ)

R5 commentary[*]: David Croft (Crofty) and Anthony Davidson (Ant)
R5 pitlane[*]: Holly Samos

Tyre selection (red): SS / S / M / H

[*for many years the BBC has held the UK radio rights to F1. In ’09 they also picked up the TV rights and they now offer an alternate feed on digital television, combining TV pics with radio commentary. I tend to use this feed.]

Coverage begins at 12.10pm.

We start with a recap of the title race so far. Button leading early, but Vettel and Webber are catching up but the McLaren resurgence is helping Button retain his lead.

JH, DC and EJ are chatting. JH and EJ in pink shirts, which has been the theme for every Button win so far. John Button wears a pink shirt ‘for luck’ and early in the season Jake followed his lead.

Just over their shoulder the RTL guys are talking with Niki Lauda. M Schumacher is walking around – Eddie tries to grab his arm, misses, gestures to him, then runs off and grabs him and brings him to the camera!
MS is disappointed that he’s not in the car, say his fitness was far below the level to withstand the forces in the car. We can hardly hear him because of the engine right behind him.
Just a quick chat. Jake says we are all keen for him to get back in a car sooner rather than later…. errr, no Jake.

Quali recap.
Story of qualifying: Badoer is subbing for Massa, leading to a Ferrari qualifying slowest on merit for the first time – they’ve been last before due to crashes/penalties, but not lack of speed;
Badoer says he’ll be better at the next race;

Webber’s car overheated the soft tyres. What’s the problem? “laptimes of other people”;
Alonso isn’t happy with 8th but says they did the maximum they could do;
Button says he’s not in a bad position, Vettel just in front, not too bad;
Barrichello thought he could put the car on pole;
Hamilton got pole position – a grinning Lewis says it has been a long time since they’ve battled for pole, this time they had the pace and were able to do it but the Brawns are still quick;

Grid:
Hamilton, Kovalainen
Barrichello, Vettel
Button, Raikkonen
Rosberg, Alonso
Webber, Kubica
Heidfeld, Sutil
Glock, Grosjean
Buemi, Fisichella
Nakajima, Trulli
Alguersuari, Badoer

Now live with Lewis.
– Great feeling, very relaxed and casual for the team. Still very tough as always, Heikki did an excellent job next to me. Clean side of the grid, drag race with Heikki ‘cos he has KERS, same power same everything. He generally gets a good start so I have to make sure I start well.

Now a recorded segment with Lewis. Gushing platitudes for team. He’s visibly proud of having his own ‘bay’ in the factory for his car, says he came here as a kid and saw Mika, David, Juan’s bays and wanted his own. He reckons he notices each upgrade, asks when things will be tested, why haven’t things been tested yet.. Says he gets really involved with the team, learning about the car, can talk for ages about the car. Ropes Jake into doing pull-ups in the gym!

Martin Whitmarsh, first win a weight off your shoulders?:
“When you’ve got one win you want more. We’ve already forgotten what happened in Hungary, we feel we can win here. We hope we can win this afternoon.”
Jordan apologises for calling his car a dog earlier in the year. Whitmarsh says he always enjoys Jordan’s apologies.” From this evening after this race we’ll be looking at Spa, we need to win at a high-speed circuit, it is a great circuit and we are looking forward to it.”

He talks about drivers as well but we can’t hear him because engines are firing.

12.30 UK time. Pitlane is open.

Focus switches to Jenson, pre-record with Lee:
“I’ve got a 19 and a half point lead still. Its not easy, not a walk in the park as some people might think it is. We did a better job but I don’t think we had the best car all the time. Rest of the season will be very competitive. Red Bull are challenging, McLaren are very strong.”
He did a triathlon in London during the summer break, then went on holiday. It took his mind off it, and he says if you don’t take your mind off it you’ll go mad. He’s nice and refreshed now.

Jump into a Martin Brundle package on pit stops, a running feature for some races now. This time we’re looking at the layout of the pit lane. Fast lane for entry/exit, inner lane where work is carried out. 26 men waiting for the driver when he arrives. Tyre changers, jackmen, fire extinquisher, fuellers. We know all of this Martin, tell us something we don’t know.

Gridwalk!
Martin Brundle
– Expected the Safety Car last year, didn’t happen, maybe we’ll see it today.
We find Eric Clapton – “I don’t know what to make of [Badoer]. He’s got the experience but its going to be tough for him. If he can stay with the field its a great thing.”
MB – “I find it bizarre. Give him an Enzo for a month and put someone quick in.”
EC – “With the rules he’s just dropped in it so I thought he did really well considering – even if he gets around in one piece its a result.”

Martin says it feels like Bahrain temperature and humidity.

Bernie with the president or mayor or something, via translator.
Valencia has re-signed for a further 5 years.
Dignitary: “We’d like to make this one of the best Grands Prix in the world. We are very pleased that Alonso has made it after the penalty was rescinded.”

Rubens would love to win the race. He’s wearing a ‘cool suit’ which extracts the warm air away from his body. Ahem.
Barrichello: “Would you rather be less fuel on pole or not? We thought about it, the guys in front have KERS and they’d just overtake me, so it is a bit of a game in a way. I would love to win the race today and I think it’s my best chance.”

There’s a queue for Seb.. haha, Brundle pushes in front of Sky Germany to get to Vettel! She’s not impressed…
Vettel: “Not a secret that this track is not the best for us. 4th is not a disaster. Our focus is on Rubens, Jenson, Kimi.”
Martin walks away and apologises to German TV as he leaves..

Horner: “Our priority is to beat both Jenson and Rubens. Mark isn’t happy with the car, the stop/start nature of the track doesn’t suit our car.”

Rosberg says he has more fuel than the guys ahead of him, is worried slightly about Kimi and his KERS but may be saved by the short run to turn 1.

Anthem

Err, we stop for the Spanish national anthem but are unable to hear it, it fades up a little but very quiet. Shouldn’t it be the European anthem? This is the European GP. We can now hear the Spanish anthem in the background but enough time has passed that maybe they played the European song first.

Jake says Martin is in serious trouble with Tanya from German TV, he’ll be lucky to make it out alive..

Fuel-corrected quali report with Ted – to the tune of Push It by Salt’N’Pepa! I am not making this up! Haha.
Rubens would have been quickest on equalised fuel, so he has the best strategy. Kovalainen looks better than Hamilton on strategy. Both McLarens (and Vettel) are stopping ahead of the rest. He tips Barrichello for the win with a slightly later stop.

Ross Brawn: “The start will be what it is, thereafter it’ll be making the tyres last. It’ll be marginal for us with our fuel load.”

Pundits, pick a winner: EJ says Hamilton by a big margin. DC says McLaren.

Grid Recap
Hamilton (pole), Kovalainen
Barrichello, Vettel
Button, Raikkonen
Rosberg, Alonso
Webber, Kubica
Heidfeld, Sutil
Glock, Grosjean
Buemi, Fisichella
Nakajima, Trulli
Alguersuari, Badoer

FORMATION LAP
Switching to 5 Live audio. I love the 5Live coverage of the formation lap. BBC1 is just the two guys filling to almost dead air while they wait for the cars to come around. 5Live has music, rapid-fire scene-setting, a real tension-builder.

GRID

Lights are 1.2.3.4.5…GO!!

Badoer up four places before turn 2!
Someone loses part of the front wing.
5Live says Grosjean,
Button runs off course.

Button tries to repass Alonso, goes too deep.

Grosjean, Glock and Buemi all pit for damage repairs.

L3 (2 laps done, we’re on lap 3) Badoer is now 17th, he’s fallen back behind the guys he beat at the start.

L5 Badoer spun?
Webber on the radio, he says Button should be behind him because Jenson cut the chicane.

L8 Things settled down really early. Not much going on. I didn’t expect it to be this boring so early!

L10 Grosjean has a half-spin.

L14 According to official live timing at f1.com there has been no change of position since lap 5. Literally NOTHING has happened.

L17 Here we go, Hamilton pits. Vettel and Kubica are also in.
L18 Kovalainen and Alonso pit.
Vettel is also in again, looks like the rig may have failed on the last stop!!

Fastest Lap from Rubens Barrichello on lap 18. The BBC guys tipped him for the win earlier, said he had the best fuel load / position.

L20 Raikkonen and Button pit.
L21 Barrichello pits and he’s out between the two McLarens!
Webber also pitted, he’s out in front of Fisichella and Button but Giancarlo has yet to stop.

L22 Rubens has gone for another stint on the harder of the two tyre choices. Hamilton is on the softer tyre.

L23 Heidfeld and Sutil pit. Confirmation from Holly Samos that Vettel had a fuel rig problem and didn’t get any on that first stop. Ant says this has cost him 20-30 seconds.

Hamilton told to ‘lift and coast’ to keep rear temps low

L25 ANOTHER engine failure for Vettel!
He manages to pull over to the side of the road and into an escape road, track is clear although there may be oil.

L29 The heavier runners are about to make their stops.
Badoer and Grosjean pit. Clean stops, but Badoer pulls to the right and isn’t accelerating, Grosjean drives past him!! Badoer then momentarily puts his wheels over the white line where the pitlane joins the racetrack. Big no-no!

Grosjean not at fault there, clearly if a car slows and pulls to the side he’s in trouble (even if he wasn’t really).

L32 Drive-thru penalty for Badoer for crossing the white line on pit exit.

Rubens told he must cut the deficit to Hamilton from 4.5sec to 2sec in 8 laps.

L33 Glock has pitted and Badoer takes his penalty. Luca is 18th.

L34 New FL from Rubens. Button is also fast, catching Webber.

L37 Badoer spins..again.. Braked too late at turn 17.

L38 Hamilton in. Early stop? Pit stop is slow, tyres were not ready! He’s lost a place to Rosberg, and lost a good 4 seconds on a usual stop time.
Rubens needs to PUSH HARD now to take advantage of this.

RB sets another fastest lap of the race.

L39 Kovalainen pits.

L40 Puncture for Nakajima, rubber everywhere. SC?
Rubens should pit now just in case of Safety Car..

So far it is covered with a waved yellow flag, and white flag. Rubens does pit.

RB is back out, wow that’s a huge gap to LH.

Nakajima makes it back to the pitlane for a replacement set of tyres. Yellows clear.

Message from Holly in the pits, the pitwall called in Hamilton but the garage was not ready..

L43 Button and Alonso pits. Kimi has passed Heikki, was that through the stops? I missed it.

L44 Rosberg is in. Webber and Heidfeld in, a spinning Toro Rosso! We cut away to see the stop of Webber, who rejoins the track some way behind Button. Jenson’s quick laps and shorter stop really gained him some ground.

The spinning STR was Buemi, Ant says it looks like his brakes were too hot…

Barrichello, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Kovalainen, Rosberg, Alonso, Button, Kubica! Where’d he come from?

New Fastest Lap from Button. 1:38.874 Catching Alonso.

10 laps to go.

Rosberg is setting personal best times, so is Webber, and Button is still catching Alonso. They are going to run out of laps.

5 laps now. The only action in this race was during the pit stops, the intervening parts have been pretty dull… Not for the drivers who have been pushing like hell, drivers who have been pushing like hell, unforunately that’s not very interesting when they are running by themselves.

3 to go.

Drivers are setting the odd personal best sector here and there as the fuel loads come down and the rubber is being laid on the track. The gaps aren’t really changing much, we’re talking tenths.

Glock sets Fastest Lap! He did pit a 3rd time so maybe down to low fuel and new tyres.. He is 14th and 22sec down on Trulli in 13th.

Final Lap

Rubens Barrichello WINS!

Brawn on the radio: “Fantastic, just like the old days, fantastic.”
I can’t make out Rubinho’s response! He’s crying??

Parc Ferme

Applause in the pit lane for Rubens.
Congratulates the mechanics.. up the stairs, kisses the camera, little dance on the way to the podium!

Brazilian national anthem.
British anthem for Brawn.

Another stealthy podium from Kimi. We hardly saw him all race.

Trophies.
Champaaggggne!

Whitmarsh denies the pitstop was the reason for losing the race, and says it was down to race pace. The error only lost 2 seconds, he says, they weren’t quick enough on race pace.
I don’t agree with that! They lost more than 2 seconds and there would have been a fight, Lewis may not have won it without it, but he may have done….

Brawn says it was one of Barrichello’s best races. Could have been more aggressive on strategy, worked for Rubens not for Jenson.

Conference with James Allen:
(ex-ITV commentator Allen now does the conference, Peter Windsor has his USF1 job so can’t work for F1/FOM due conflict of interest)

Rubens:

“It’s been fantastic, a weekend I will never forget. After 5 years you don’t forget how to do it. The car has been perfect, I want to thank the team for that.”

Lewis:

“We win and we lose together. We’ve had a tremendous effort to get us here, we had extraordinary pace in the last 2 or 3 races, it was a tremendous race for everyone. We’ll keep pushing, we need to catch these guys.”

Kimi:

“We needed to go 100% all the time, we knew on Friday I had a good feeling from the car. We know we are not where we want to be, we’re not bringing new parts to the car but usually we can fight for 3rd place and if something weird happens we can fight for the win.”

Kimi is happy with a podium.

Okay, that’s all from me. Here are the stats:

Race Result





Pos
Driver Gap Pts
1 Barrichello 57 laps 10
2 Hamilton 2.3sec 8
3 Räikkönen 15.9sec 6
4 Kovalainen 20.0sec 5
5 Rosberg 20.8sec 4
6 Alonso 27.7sec 3
7 Button 34.9sec 2
8 Kubica 36.6sec 1
9 Webber 44.9sec
10 Sutil 47.9sec
11 Heidfeld 48.8sec
12 Fisichella 63.6sec
13 Trulli 64.5sec
14 Glock 86.5sec
15 Grosjean 91.7sec
16 Alguersuari 1 lap
17 Badoer 1 lap
18 Nakajima retired
DNF Buemi brakes
DNS Vettel engine

Drivers

Pos
Driver Prev EUR Total
1 Button 70 2 72
2 Barrichello 44 10 54
3 Webber 51.5
51.5
4 Vettel 47
47
5 Rosberg 25.5 4 29.5
6 Hamilton 19 8 27
7 Räikkönen 18 6 24
8 Trulli 22.5
22.5
9 Massa 22
22
10 Glock 16
16
11 Alonso 13 3 16
12 Kovalainen 9 5 14
13 Heidfeld 6
6
14 Buemi 3
3
15 Kubica 2 1 3
16 Bourdais 2
2

Barrichello makes a big gain on Button, and both Brawns extend their advantage over the Red Bulls.
Hamilton and Raikkonen are well and truly up and running with big scores now expected at every race, they ought to reel in Rosberg fairly soon (even with Nico scoring well) and then set about closing the gap to the Red Bull drivers.
Kovalainen is starting to make his presence felt in the middle order now.

Constructors

Pos
Constructor Prev EUR Total
1 Brawn 114 12 126
2 Red Bull 98.5
98.5
3 Ferrari 40 6 46
4 McLaren 28 13 41
5 Toyota 38.5
38.5
6 Williams 25.5 4 29.5
7 Renault 13 3 16
8 BMW 8 1 9
9 Toro Rosso 5
5
10 Force India 0
0

Brawn now have a 27.5 point lead over Red Bull, not insurmountable but we will quickly run out of races to pull that gap back over the coming stretch.
Ferrari and McLaren have overtaken Toyota, and given Toyota’s current form it is unlikely they will mount a challenge. Realistically this table has broken into a series of team vs team battles. Brawn & Red Bull, Ferrari & McLaren, Toyota & Williams (along with maybe Renault), then the tail-enders.

The next race is the Belgian Grand Prix at the fantastic Spa-Francorchamps, the middle of the 3-race close to the European F1 season before the flyaways resume. I hope to have notes up soon.