Reflections from Shanghai 2011

April 19, 2011

If things continue this way we could be in for a great season of something not seen for a while – racing.

Winners

Formula 1: The Chinese Grand Prix certainly brought a lot of drama and excitement, right from the moment Lewis Hamilton nearly didn’t make it to the grid. Watching those mechanics work as fast as they could, and yet without panic was riveting. It seems that a combination of Pirelli tyres, KERS and DRS are combining to provide some real variation in car and driver performance – great stuff.

Lewis Hamilton: Lewis’s swashbuckling style has always been great to watch but hasn’t always helped him deliver in race performance. This time he showed a judgement and maturity not seen before to pace himself, may be this is just a short term reaction to Malaysia, or maybe Lewis has moved a step further forward to being one of the all time greats.

Aussie Grit: As usual Mark Webber has been on the receiving end of some bad breaks, some say it is bad luck, some say he gets a raw deal at RBR, either way it isn’t helping. It was fantastic to see his fight back from 18th on the grid to finish on the podium. Real Aussie Grit.

Losers

Jensen Button: Apart from his Rookie mistake of going into the wrong garage, which must have been a bit surreal from Sebastian Vettel’s perspective, Jensen has always been seen as the cool head in contrast to Lewis’s fighting approach, here the tables were reversed, Lewis drove a very mature race and Jensen seemed to lose his cool, and his momentum.

Ferrari: They’re not quite panicking in Maranello yet, but things are simmering. The race performance of the Ferrari was not too bad, and it was certainly heartening to see Felipe Massa getting the bit between his teeth and outperforming Fernando Alonso, but they’re not where they should be and need to make some significant process in the middle part of the season (sounds familiar?) if they want to be challengers for the championship.

WilliamsF1: Things still haven’t turned around for WF1 who seem to be now moving back towards the new teams. There’s much talk of reorganising and revision at Grove and their share price has now dropped further to below 18 Euro. It’s interesting to speculate the link between the share price and performance and at the moment this seems to be compounding their current troubles.

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2 Responses to “Reflections from Shanghai 2011”

  1. BazL Says:

    I notice that you’ve made no reference to DRS,KERS, or tyre degradation in your post Mark! I’m with you on Lewis Vs Jenson and I’m really surprised and disappointed with Williams – though at least they got their cars home this time around.

    I’m a little upset with the level of degradation we saw on the tyres towards the end of the race – the fact that being on tyres only 4 laps fresher brought such a significant benefit is, I think, worrying. While Webbo and Lewis both drove astoundingly well the point was made by Button that there was no defence against Mark’s charge.

    I also thought there was plenty of overtaking outside the DRS zone which kind of renders the DRS obsolete as an aide to overtaking.

    Then again the tyres made overtaking possible – witness Sutil unlapping himself from Vettel on lap 55.

    • jordan lo Says:

      but BazL, without the degrading tyres and Button’s helplessness, we would not have had DC’s hilarious commentary! LOL

      “The only way that engineer’s message could have been any scarier would have been if it was delivered in the dark!”


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