Posted by Carrot on October 16, 2011 | No Comments
It was inevitable really, after the season we’ve had and the fact that Sebastian Vettel was crowned so early. By outscoring McLaren today, Red Bull have put the Constructors’ Championship beyond mathematical contention. It’s back-to-back double championships for the team created by a drinks company, taking on titans of this sport like McLaren and Ferrari to do it.
So today, another victory for Sebastian Vettel in typically dominant style. It’s Vettel’s tenth win of the season which means he’s already won over half of the total races in the season with three races left to go. He’s won more races than the rest of the field combined and cannot be overtaken in this statistic even if he doesn’t win again in 2011. On the other side of the garage Mark Webber really reminded everyone why he nearly won the title last year. The Aussie went round the outside of Jenson Button and Felipe Massa on the first lap to give himself the opportunity to challenge Lewis Hamilton for second at the end of the race. With the pace of the McLarens on Saturday Red Bull couldn’t have expected to win this weekend, but both their drivers made places at the expense of the McLarens. It underscores why they’ve been so dominant this year, winning the races you shouldn’t makes a championship.
McLaren had the glory on Saturday but lost ground in the race and could only manage second and fourth. Lewis Hamilton was underwhelmed to say say the least with his pole position but had a good fight with Webber in the last stint and came out on top. I picked Jenson Button for a sweep this weekend, I was somewhat wrong. Getting mobbed on the first lap and spending so much time stuck behind the Ferraris ended his chance to challenge for the podium. If he’d had stayed ahead I think there would have been two McLarens on the podium, but we’ll never know. The titles are both wrapped up so surely everything will be put into the 2012 car, if they’d have started the year this close to Red Bull then the championship might not have been decided so quickly and there might be a different result.
Fernando Alonso said he gave up with two laps to go, not exactly what we’d expect of the former double champion who went to Ferrari with the aim of building a dynasty like Michael Schumacher did. Two years into his tenure at the team and they’re firmly on course to be the third placed team for the second year in succession. It’s not going to plan. Alonso lost time being stuck behind his team mate as he proved when he got clear air before his second stop and overtook Massa based on pure lap time while on old tyres. Felipe Massa had another standard weekend, lots of pace at the outset and then fades when the race hits half distance. While Alonso was chasing the pack of McLarens and Red Bulls, Massa was cruising round looking disinterested in the prospect of improving. It’s something I’ve commented on this before, and frankly think that enough is enough. Massa’s had two years to recover from his crash in 2009, it’s time to be the man that took Hamilton to the line in 2008 or it’s time he vacates that cockpit.
I’ve talked about Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari, now I talk about Mercedes GP. Usually, but not this week. An impressive drive by both Toro Rosso drivers gave their team seventh and ninth. Jaime Alguersuari took Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes GP on the final lap and Sebastien Buemi taking Paul di Resta’s Force India in the final stint to get an impressive double points finish for the Italian team. At the end of last year I questioned the wisdom of Red Bull continuing to spend money on the team, recent results have proved that wisdom sound. Taking advantage of their recent improved form has yielded lots of points for the team in the second half of the season and today’s result puts them in striking range of Sauber and Force India in the standings. If they can maintain their pace it’ll be an impressive recover from their slow start to the year.
The final two in the points were Nico Rosberg in the sole remaining Mercedes GP taking eighth place and Paul di Resta in the Force India taking the final point in tenth. It’s another strong performance by di Resta who’s clearly making his case for being the best rookie this year by out-qualifying and finishing ahead of Adrian Sutil yet again.
The collision between Michael Schumacher and Vitaly Petrov seems simple enough. Petrov held his hands up in press interviews and said that he was concentrating on racing Alonso’s Ferrari and just ran into Schumacher. It’s sporting of Petrov to immediately hold his hands up and take full responsibility for the incident. A disappointing end for Schumacher, who had a good result last year at this track, although he seemed off the pace of his team mate in qualifying.
Are we done then? Both titles are decided, so surely we turn off until 2012? Well some people might, but fans of the sport won’t. We’ve got three races left, Pirelli are going to aggressive and challenging in their tyre selections and we’ve got a new race and one of the most exciting yet to come. Yes, Abu Dhabi might not have produced classic racing before, but we’ve seen this year that the new tyres can spice up any race. Two weeks until the new race in India, see you there. Just try and not drink too much on Halloween weekend.