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Webber conquers the Principality

Posted by Carrot on May 16, 2010 | No Comments

We definitely learnt one thing from Monaco; when I’m left to make predictions on my own I get them all wrong.

Oh, you wanted something about the racing, right, I’m on it. Even though I picked him for the championship at the beginning of the year I’d all but written off Webber and fully expected Vettel to return to the top step of the podium here. So did the rest of the media. Mark Webber decided to disagree with us. Emphatically. Pole by an outstanding margin and control of the race even with the intervention of four safety cars. Pick a positive adjective and apply it to his performance, and you won’t be the first.

Vettel at least claimed the fastest lap honours while trailing his team mate, other than that Vettel will be wondering what he needs to do to redress the balance to Webber in the sister car. Whatever worked in the past doesn’t seem to be working now.

Elsewhere Kubica was really the stand-out performer of the weekend. Out-qualifying one of the Red Bulls and then outclassing the McLarens, Ferraris and Mercedes to take the final place on the podium. If it’s true that he’s only on a one year deal to Renault then he’s just become the most valued commodity on the driver market, ahead even of Räikkönen who was present at this weekend’s race. There are rumours that Ferrari are trying to secure his services to replace the under-performing Massa, he might be better to stay at Renault and build the team around himself and mount a serious championship charge in a couple of years. That plan might be the only good thing he takes from his time at BMW, the deal maker will be the ability of Renault’s new owners to provide enough funding to maintain an impressive development and design department.

Williams responded to their best qualifying of the year with two failures. Though I do have issue with Barrichello dumping his steering wheel onto the track. That’s not only dumb but dangerous. What if it had caused a puncture and a subsequent crash? There were marshals moving to assist him and clear his car, they do not need to be put in danger of more debris because Rubens is having a temper tantrum. He should get fined for that and be forced to personally pay for whatever damage was done to the HRT car when it ran over his steering wheel.

Jarno Trulli. Have any of you guessed I don’t like him yet? How does he try to change my perception of him? By trying an ‘overtake’ that wouldn’t have worked if Chandhok had been in a GP2 car, let alone an Hispania. The act was just plain dangerous, entirely his fault and could have easily resulted in serious injury to Karun. Kovalainen is simply out-driving him and the sooner he retires and frees up the seat the better for the sport and the safety of his fellow drivers.

Schumacher and Alonso. Ross Brawn sounded suitably convincing in his interview that Schumacher was more than entitled to pass the Spaniard. The stewards weren’t convinced and applied a penalty to the German, moving him from sixth to twelfth and promoting Buemi to the last points position. Expect clarification of those rules by the next race. After the race, and before the stewards’ decision, Schumacher was all smiles and jokes with the media, it will be interesting to see if his new found confident even arrives to the paddock in two weeks.

Driver of the day (since Martin Brundle doesn’t seem to be continuing the tradition) is not Webber for me though, it’s di Grassi. The plucky Brazilian fended off a double world champion to the point of Alonso losing his temper while driving the second worse car on the grid. The young man showed his ability and gave lots of screen time to his car in the race with the highest number of potential big spending sponsors, it’s just a shame his race ended early.

Idiot of the day isn’t Jarno Trulli, although he is an idiot, it isn’t the McLaren mechanic that left a tea cosy in Jense’s sidepod and it isn’t Schumacher’s sporting regulations advisor. It’s Martin Brundle. Come on Martin, asking a blonde Sugababe who she thinks will win the race? They were there to serve the same purpose they do in their music videos, looking pretty. A tip for all our readers, you can improve Sugababes music videos by a million percent just by pressing the mute button.

Barring the brakes, Red Bull seem to be finishing races. If they’ve finally conquered their reliability problems then the rest of the grid is in some serious trouble. The massive gap they had in Barcelona is likely to return in Istanbul and unless the other teams find some updates fast the championship is going to turn into an in-house battle between the Red Bulls, with Webber having the only advantage at the moment due to number of wins. Two weeks until Turkey.

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