Sunday, 10 October 2010

Suzuka: post-race analysis

Betting-wise, disappointing (rather a habit of late). Webber had the potential, he was two-thousandths up in sector 2 but cocked up the third sector. Vettel only beat his own time by seven-thousandths, so Webber had a chance, but failed [as did my tip].

I also, brilliantly, didn’t wake up until after the race started and it was about lap 20 before I caught up with it. On the plus side, I definitely would’ve laid Vettel for the win, and he managed to convert his eighth pole to his second win of the season.

Schumacher did well, though he should’ve been able to pass Rosberg and was fortunate when the latter’s car decided four wheels was one too many.

Very disappointing for Hamilton. In 4th, he was catching Alonso at a great rate of knots, when his gearbox decided that third gear was some sort of optional extra and it stopped working. Due to a hefty margin, he was able to bring the car home in 5th, ahead of Schumacher by 20 odd seconds. Button was gifted the 4th but lacked the pace and was too far back anyway to do anything about Alonso, in 3rd.

The Red Bulls were dominant at the front, and did not seem particularly troubled by anything. No reliability issues, plus they had quite a bit of time in hand.

Now, I may be a bit too sleepy at the moment, but I’m pretty sure Kobayashi’s Sauber had a hard left rear tyre and all the rest soft at the end. No commentator remarked on it, so maybe I was mistaken, but I could’ve sworn I saw that. Anyway, he got 7th ahead of Quick Nick (who will quickly be leaving Sauber as a Mexican chap called Perez takes his seat in 2011).

So, how does this leave the title race? Well-balanced, as it has been from race 1 onwards.

Webber 220
Alonso/Vettel 206
Hamilton 192
Button 189

Both McLarens are now more than a win away from the leader. They need a tremendous race in Korea (assuming Korea even goes ahead). The next race is make or break for the Britons.

Alonso was quick, but was lucky Hamilton suffered his second gearbox failure of the weekend, otherwise he may have been pushed down to 4th.

Vettel and Webber were very close in performance terms, and both were ahead of the field by a decent margin. If this result were repeated at the next three races, Webber would have 275 points, but Vettel 281. Webber’s still in the best position, but he cannot afford to relax.

The Constructors’ places seem more or less sorted, with Red Bull getting the title, then McLaren, then Ferrari. It could change, but I doubt it will.

Morris Dancer

4 comments:

doctorhuw said...

'Very disappointing for Hamilton. In 4th, he was catching Alonso at a great rate of knots, when his gearbox decided that third gear was some sort of optional extra and it stopped working.'

Which is all the dafter when you consider it was a brand new gearbox and they'd taken a 5 place penalty to put it in!

I can't see any champion other than Webber or Vettel from here, but I could be wrong.

Morris Dancer said...

Whilst I agree the two Red Bulls have a great chance, Alonso could still win. Why d'you rule him out?

Hamilton's had some bad luck this season. As well as recent DNFs, he got poleaxed by Webber in the early season and was... second, I think, somewhere or other when his car broke down.

doctorhuw said...

Because RBR seem to have the momentum. Moreover, while Korea is an unknown quantity and Brazil is one of those tracks where anything could happen, the RBs seem to have a much faster car - and that has got to count for something

Yes Alonson could still win. In theory so could Jenson Button. That's why I said 'I could be wrong.' I just don't think it's very likely.

Morris Dancer said...

Korea's on. I've had a glance at the track. Sector 1 looks nice for McLaren [lots of straights, and is about half the circuit, the rest of which is Red Bulltastic.

It's certainly true Red Bull dominated with ease in Suzuka, but (sadly) I don't think Alonso can be written off yet.

Anyway, less than a fortnight and we'll probably be able to say that the McLarens are out of it, or stand a real chance of victory.