OMG! Someone forgot to put a watch on Alonso. A very sad day in Maranello that they so did not expect to be on the podium that they weren’t prepared with a watch at race finish for their man. Although, I have to agree with Vettel who asked Alonso in the hall before the interview section, “Where did you come from?” He did have a fabulous race, but it was a nice job by Webber to regain his position and finish second after another horrid start for the Aussie.
Okay, now I’ll back up a bit.
Amazing work by Red Bull to put Vettel’s car back together in time from qualifying. I was surprised the chassis wasn’t damaged, because the way the car was sitting post-crash, it looked torqued. But I realize that’s mostly an illusion due to the suspension being ruined and tires off the car on one side and a carbon fiber tub just wouldn’t twist. Regardless, it’s nice to see that so far, Vettel and Kinky Kylie are not suffering from the reliability problems that made last season seem so much closer.
I can’t believe Red Bull parked Vettel and Webber with nearly two minutes to go in Q3. I mean, that’s a gutsy decision to make which happened to work for them. I guess it’s all a matter of tires and trying to not end up like Hamilton in the previous race running out of Primes. It was another impressive race by someone from the back of the grid.
Kobayashi finished in the points after a great drive. He moved 5 positions on the first lap and then was able to use his tires to pass and hold-off Schumi and Massa. Even with a bit of bump-and-grind going on in the middle of the pack, I’m surprised by lack of any full-scale accidents or yellow flags. Other than di Resta’s gearbox death at the end of the pit lane, there were no local or full course cautions the entire race. That’s gotta be something of a first.
There sure was a lot of action for the first 10-15 laps. But it seems to be all about DRS creating a lot of the back-and-forth. It seemed that every pass which was made prior to the DRS zone led to the passed drivers regaining their position immediate afterwards in the DRS area. So, were people able to make passes in non-DRS zones because of KERs or does Turkey just have a good set of corners that facilitate passing? At least for this track, DRS seemed unnecessary in order to facilitate more passes. I’m thinking its a combo of the two, even though, I think Webber was having KERs issues (hence his crap start and at race end him not apparently using it in his efforts to pass Alonso).
I think the position fighting between the McLaren boys ended up dragging them down in the end. Hamilton had the pace and ignoring the horrendous pit stop could’ve ended up in a much higher position. And while Schumi looked good in practice and even made into Q3, I’m confused as to how he fell apart to 1) only qualify 8th and 2) not being able to hold off Massa, Kobayahsi, or Buemi.
So Renault is doing a great job this year in continuing their recovery after Crash-gate, but I think they are sorely missing Robert Kubica. But what’s going on with Force India and Torro Rosso? Both teams seem to be having problems being anywhere as competitive as they were last year.
I am hopeful that Todt will really figure out some way to allow testing back into F1. The new teams especially need it along with Ferrari who courted some controversy last week by having a “filming session” with Alonso and Massa with all their new kit on track, at speed. Again, bending the rules just a bit, but the no testing rule is a bit absurd. Teams will just spend the money in simulation. So, if we get testing, can we have refueling, too?
Another fun race, even if front row still finished 1 and 2. So long as the rest of the pack remains so fluid, I see no problem with having qualifying at pole pretty much guaranteeing a race win because we still have a ton of racing for the other positions.
Alcohol content: Feeling mellow (cuba libres for everyone)