Sunday, 18 April 2010

China : post-race analysis

A correction: the Spanish GP is in three weeks’ time, not a fortnight. Won’t be a post until pre-qualifying, unless something dramatic occurs (perhaps if the volcanic situation persists and creates logistical difficulties).

The rain made the race highly entertaining, and (again) a lottery. Once more the pole-sitter didn’t take the win. Overall, the bets (more due to luck than skill, save the laying of Vettel) came good. Vettel didn’t win, both McLarens got a podium. However, Webber was nowhere near the win.

Personally, I laid every bet save the laying of Vettel (would’ve finished a bit better off if I hadn’t, but there we are). I think that, taking both qualifying and the race, the tips finished green rather than red. Congrats to Nigel for his 18/1 spot on Button for the win.

I’d assumed Rosberg and Alonso would be unable to stave off the McLarens on the straight, and maybe a Red Bull would explode, hence my podium tips. As it happened, the rain meant that the McLarens got a deserved 1-2. Webber had a great start but, like Vettel, ended up in the middle of the points.

Impressed with Petrov. His bad luck came to an end today and he scored a good 7th. Kubica and Alonso (5th and 4th respectively) did well, especially after El Cheatero decided waiting for the start was an optional extra and got a drive-through penalty for being naughty.

Massa for the title now looks a bit, um, moronic on my part. However, it is early in the season and no driver has a decisive advantage. I did back Button for the title at 15 halfway through the race, he’s now down at 8, which I think is still value.

The Constructors seems to be between Red Bull and McLaren at the moment. Both are between evens and 3, which is about right. Schumacher’s poor performance and lack of pace mean that Mercedes have little chance, and the Ferraris, after a stonking start in Bahrain, just seem a little too slow. McLaren has pace and reliability, and the Red Bulls are the fastest.

Button tops the title race by 10 points, leading Rosberg. Button’s edge is down to a number of factors: reliable car, fast driver and fast car, and, most importantly, a cool head. He’s making the right calls on tyres and keeping calm when he must. Hamilton’s too prone to stress and losing it, even though I believe he’s got better raw pace than Button.

This is utterly contrary to what I thought would happen, having predicted Hamilton would thrash Button with relative ease. However, my forecast that Vettel would do that to Webber has proved more accurate. At Mercedes, Rosberg has shown himself to be good, but not, as yet, top class, and Schumacher seems to be a shadow of his former self. I think it’s hard to assess Massa and Alonso. Right now, their car isn’t quick enough, I feel.

Morris Dancer

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