Ugh. Torn between Petrov and Webber at similar odds (for points and the win) I chose the wrong one. £13.33 ahead from 3 tips, at £10 each with no laying. Petrov got close, but his chances were ruined by 2 stopping, for some reason. On the plus side, I got most of my 1.5 lay matched, so finished ahead.
However, from a racing perspective this was utterly fantastic and thoroughly absorbing. I must say that the odd side of the track was clearly slower than the even side, something I’d read should never happen (as it disadvantages the pole-sitter). Unfortunately, this information will prove of no use next year as I think they’re moving the starting straight.
Vettel was the author of his own misfortune, but redeemed himself somewhat (aided by the safety car) to climb to 7th. Hamilton put in a great performance, as did Button who went from 14th to 4th, a worthy reminder that the McLaren is dire in qualifying compared to its very good race pace. [In addition, Silverstone is very much a Red Bull track, so for Hamilton to be the only chap anywhere near Webber is some good news for McLaren].
A great race for Mercedes, which saw Rosberg 3rd and Schumacher 9th, in the midst of a Germanic quartet of points scorers. Very poor for Renault though. Kubica had to retire, and Petrov (who was 10th for a time) fell back sharply when he had to pit for a second time.
I’m not an Alonso fan, but he was done a great injustice by the stewards and then slapped in the face by misfortune. The drive-through was unwarranted given he couldn’t yield the place (Kubica had retired by then) and the safety car emerging as it did meant he went to back the grid, and then had to have another pit stop due to getting a puncture. Massa also did not do well, so a second race in a row where Ferrari have a competitive car but have looked poor.
However, the most important part of this race was Webber passing Vettel even before turn 1 and then dominating the race completely. He banged in endless fastest laps, he was never under any pressure and completely crushed the opposition. I think I may reassess Webber. Not so sure he’s a second rate driver in a first rate car anymore. It is also a huge moral victory, after Red Bull’s ungentlemanly theft of his front wing. In the catfight of Red Bull, Luscious Liz, spurned chassis of Vettel, triumphed over Randy Mandy.
So, how are the Constructors’ faring? Here are the numbers:
Red Bull 249
Even with the tremendous performance advantage in qualifying, Red Bull gained only a single point relative to their rivals. McLaren won’t bring downgrades to every track, and other circuits will suit them much better. Red Bull missed a trick here, and McLaren can count themselves very lucky. I think Ferrari are out of it.
For the third race in a row, Hamilton’s doubled his advantage over Button. I do wonder why Button’s completely dropped off the pace, especially in qualifying. Hopefully this’ll change when upgrades come (and work). Webber will love being ahead of Vettel. Maybe they’ll even let him use upgrades in future, instead of stealing them to give to Vettel. Surprising, but Rosberg’s really homing in on Alonso now.
Next up is Hockenheim, in a fortnight. Last year Vettel came second… behind Webber. Hehe, should be a spicy race.
Anyway, I look forward to writing the pre-qualifying piece in a fortnight or so.