Tips-wise, the worst weekend since Canada. Betting a tenner each bet without laying, you’d be down £20. The Alonso tip was eminently layable, the Button one was not, alas.
Button had a reasonable position in turn 1, but he hit heavy traffic and slumped back and never had a chance for a podium from there. Bit of a dull race, to be honest.
The most important part of the race was poor Rob Smedley, my favourite engineer for his fantastic lines (“Felipe, baby, stay cool!”), who had to give a ‘suggestion’ to Massa that his team mate was faster.
Team orders are banned, and there was a clear team order. It was pretty unpleasant to watch, to be honest. Eddie Jordan has stated that it was cheating, and that’s a valid position.
The Ferrari principal was smiling and lying after the race, pretending there was no team order. However, the head of the FIA is Jean Todt, former team principal of… Ferrari. So we’ll seen if it gets investigated or if Ferrari get punished.
In the post-race press conference Massa looked pissed off, and rightly so.
However, we should not lose sight of the fact that the Ferrari is really back in contention. We can’t read lots into a single Grand Prix performance because each circuit is different, but it seems that the Ferrari and Red Bull are approximately equal, with the McLaren slightly further back.
In addition, Webber may have been able to have a go at Button were it not for yet another reliability issue. Nothing race-ending, but still a concern for Red Bull.
The result actually extends Hamilton’s lead slightly to 14. It’s important to remember that last season Button had a pretty rubbish latter half of the season, but kept a steadily eroded lead because his rivals (Webber, Barrichello and Vettel) constantly took points away from each other as well as him.
The top 5 drivers are separated by just 34 points.
The McLaren Constructors’ lead declined minutely to 28, with Ferrari 70 odd points behind second place Red Bull.
So, a bad weekend I’m afraid, with 2 wrong tips and a distasteful end to the race. Hungary takes place in just a week’s time. I can offer one tip already: don’t back Massa to beat Alonso.