A race of two halves. Entertainment-wise, a cracker, and the perfect antidote to the processional ocean of dullness that was Bahrain. Bets-wise, atrocious.
I’ve had a shocker of a start to the season, worse even than Michael Schumacher. I’m going to post a mid-week piece analysing why I’ve been doing so badly, to try and correct my mistakes (I’ve had a small measure of bad luck but the lion’s share of my bad tips have just been misjudgements/idiocy on my part). This post will focus on analysing the race and implications for the titles.
Button surprises just about everybody and storms the entire field. He had a minor stroke of luck with Vettel’s car helpfully exploding (yet again), but deserved the win by superb and seemingly effortless tyre management after brilliantly making the right call to switch to softs early on. Special congratulations to Mr. Tibs, whose excellent 22/1 suggestion to back Button I foolishly ignored.
Kubica held off the world and his dog to claim second, another real surprise and proof, were it needed, that he’s a class driver.
Massa, at a circuit he really isn’t at home, prevented the faster and much-fancied (including by me) Alonso from passing him to become the only chap to claim podium spots at both races so far, and stays second in the title race.
Michael Schumacher continues on his mission to underwhelm on his comeback, claiming 10th spot. He struggled to overtake, whereas others had little difficult scything through the field. He needs to improve.
Vettel. Or, to be more exact, whoever is responsible for his car. Once again he was leading, looking good for the win and then his car let him down. Fast is nice, but you need to finish a race to get points.
Webber turns kamikaze on Hamilton, taking the Briton from behind, an event neither man enjoyed. Despite having the fastest car [which worked throughout the race] he manages to turn 2nd into 9th.
Hamilton severely disappointed in two ways. Firstly, whereas Button took responsibility and made the tyre call himself, Hamilton let the team do it, which would be fair enough if he hadn’t then had a hissyfit because he couldn’t pass Alonso. Secondly, Button stayed cool and calm and effortlessly held the tyres, Hamilton lost composure and couldn’t pass the Ferraris. Last season Barrichello had a similar outburst, but that was deeper into the season when he and his team mate were tussling for the title.
We’ve had two sorts of races so far; a complete procession, and a partially rainy lottery. This race was absolutely classic, and hopefully proof that whilst Bahrain was as exciting as an Alistair Darling Budget the dullness was due to the track, not the rules. Still need to see what a competitive and dry track (ie Interlagos without the rain) throws up.
Here are the driver standings:
Alonso – 37
Massa – 33
Button – 31
It’s worth remarking that Vettel, despite being the best driver with the best car has, due to crippling reliability, just 12 points and lies 7th in the title race, with Red Bull tied on 18 points with Renault at 4th. Still happy to be green on Massa at around 10/1.
Things look good for Ferrari in the constructors’ race; their car is reliable and fast, and they’ve got two great drivers.
Next race is Malaysia, in just a week’s time. Last time out it was a complete washout and had to be halted partway through due to a monsoon flooding the track. Before that, as I said, I’ll try and identify precisely why my antennae are wonky and correct them. I loathe getting tips wrong, and two weekends in a row is not good enough. I’ll do my best to improve for Malaysia.