Monday, 31 August 2009

Post-race Spa analysis and what it means for the title races

A mixed bag regarding my tips, but overall good. Raikonnen just about managed to beat Fisichella, who did a hell of a lot better than I ever would’ve predicted. Hamilton, alas, had an argument with a wall (admittedly not really his fault). So with equal stakes on each tip about 150% profit should’ve been had (with no laying, which I did quite a bit).

Fisichella really pushed Raikonnen all the way and it’s a phenomenal result for Force India. Vettel did pretty well to climb from 8th to 3rd, Webber again finished poorly, and Button showed us all what a lucky sod he is.

Despite having his worst result (0 points at all due to a first lap entanglement with Grosjean) Jenson [Saxon for ‘luckiest driver in the universe’] had his title lead cut from 18 to 16, keeping him in a strong position with only five races left to go.

However, almost all the fat has been cut from the lead he has, and if any of the other three contenders score well they will make significant headway. As it stands:
Button 72
Barrichello 56
Vettel 53
Webber 51.5
Button has used up all his luck. If he keeps finishing with 1-2 points his lead may well evaporate in the next three races or so. But the fact is he has a 16 point cushion, and if he were to extend it by 4 points he would have a two race advantage with only four left. He really does need to rediscover some form though.

The Drivers’ title is at a crossroads. If things progress as they have recently Button will crumble and be overtaken, probably by Barrichello. If he can rediscover his past form Button can yet win the title. It’s a fortnight until Monza, where last year Vettel showed the world what a phenomenal driver he is by dominating the race in a Toro Rosso.

The Constructors’ is led by Brawn with a 23.5 point lead. That’s fairly healthy but certainly not safe. I’d expect Brawn to win this title with a 65% (give or take) likelihood.

It’s also worth commenting on Vettel. 53 points, third place, yet he’s only finished 7/12 races and only has one entirely new engine left (he’ll be using it at the engine-straining Monza circuit). With a better finishing rate (which is dire partly due to driver error and partly due to car failures) he’d be far ahead in first place. Of the four contenders he’s the best driver, in my view. If the Red Bull becomes more reliable next season he’ll be a very serious contender. However, this season he’ll face a 10 grid place penalty if another engine blows up and I think he should not be second favourite for the title at 5.5. Barrichello (7.6) should be second favourite.

Morris Dancer


CJ A said...

Interesting post MD. You called it spot on with Raikkonen I wish I'd taken up the tip at 5.3

Fisichella surprised us all and Force India's pace was incredible. To a lesser extent the BMW's if both can keep going on a similar style of circuit at Monza then it'll be more good news for Jenson.

Morris Dancer said...

Yes, you're right to highlight the rather overlooked BMWs. Interesting that Kubica didn't do better than his team mate, given how well he did in 2008.

Hehe, I wouldn't feel too bad about ignoring my tip, my record is patchy at best. I'm going to continue only posting a pre-race prediction after fuel weights are known. That's what clinched it for me with Raikonnen [although it was also lucky because the safety car really helped him out].