#F1 2011 Act 2 – The season begins to come alive – Reflections from Nordschleife Light

July 25, 2011

Apologies for the lack of posts recently, but I have been away sunning myself on holiday (more of this in a later post). I therefore am ashamed to say I missed the British Grand Prix, but it appears Ferrari benefitted from my lack of attention and have turned around their performance and put themselves back in contention. But what of the German Grand Prix? Well, it was an excellent race and suggests we are in for a real battle between some of the best drivers and teams that F1 has seen for many years.

Winners

#F1. The fact that we had three different cars in the top three positions on the grid always bodes well and when they feature drivers of the calibre and style of Hamilton, Webber and Alonso it bodes even better. It was a great fight – particularly Lewis’s round-the-outside pass on Fernando and it was uncertain as to who would be the final winner until quite late on. A great race, and not the first one this year.

Lewis and McLaren. As Ferrari turned things around at Silverstone it looks like McLaren (or more specifically Lewis and McLaren) turned things round in Germany. Not sure what happened to Jensen though, but there’s still time…

Respect. There’s always much made in the media of the relationship between Hamilton and Alonso following their turbulent time together at McLaren. It’s always good for the press to stoke up a feud, but I have to say having watched Alonso acknowledge Hamilton’s victory as they drove round for the slowing down lap (before Alonso ran out of fuel) and to see them chatting before going out on the podium, I saw no evidence of two people who hated each other, just healthy respect.

Losers

The Rules: Apparently (according to DC) drivers are not allowed to ride on another car (as Alonso did with Webber, bringing back memories of the famous Silverstone image of Senna riding with Mansell); and also are not allowed to leave the parc fermé area at the end of the race (as Hamilton did to celebrate with his team – or could he quickly have put some lead down his trousers before he went on the scales?). Anyway if the rules looked a bit silly, it was good that nobody seemed to be following them to the letter and common sense prevailed.

Vettel: Has Sebastian lost his momentum? Fourth place is not a bad result for an off-day, but the real question is whether or not this is a trend or a blip for the reigning World Champion. Lewis suggested it was a blip in the post-race press conference, let’s wait and see.

Williams: It really saddened me to see WF1 putting on the option tyre to try and make sure they got through to Q2, perhaps this circuit isn’t the best for their car, but in my view WF1 should be consistently in Q3 not fighting to make it into Q2. There appear to be three groupings of the teams so far in the season – the leading teams who are going to win races: RBR, Ferrari and McLaren; the midfield consistently in the points: Mercedes, Renault, Sauber and Force India and the back of the grid (all with zero points): Team Lotus, Virgin, HRT. The two teams who appear to be floating between groups 2 and 3 are STR with 17 points, and Williams with 4. Let’s hope like Lewis and Fernando, Williams make things happen in the second part of the season.

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5 Responses to “#F1 2011 Act 2 – The season begins to come alive – Reflections from Nordschleife Light”


  1. You’re not the only one who’s saddened to see Williams’ plight.
    But I agree that was like a race from the good old days of the early 90s; Hamilton was Senna, Alonso was Prost and Webber was…Mansell:?I
    Which leaves Vettel as Schumacher. judging my his perforance, still in his Jordan…..

  2. Ago Says:

    I find a bit surprising that nobody questions Lewis’s performance. Obviously the lad is very very good however more than 1s to Jenson in quali is a bit of a surprise to me. If you add the fact he was only 0.055s from Webber when Alonso was 0.363s and Vettel 0.157s… My immediate suggestion is that Lewis’s car was setup differently. Dry setup ? Lewis has got what it takes to take that risk… 0.2s coming from the set up makes things appear more logical. Just behind Vettel, slightly in front of Fernando and only 0.8s from Jenson… A very good job anyway.
    What do you think ?

    • Mark Says:

      It’s a good theory, Martin Brundle reckons it’s the sign of a champion to be able to get 1/2 second from nowhere, if it happened further down the grid it could have been a sign of a driver not trying hard enough in the first place, but that’s not something you could accuse Lewis of.

      • Ago Says:

        Maybe in Martin’s time… Not sure today a driver can pull 0.5s out of the bag without some help… from the bag ? 😉

  3. thepak Says:

    Did it puzzle you that despite all the talk about the prime tyre being 1.5-2 seconds slower than the option, Hamilton, and Alonso, and Webber all managed to set their fastest laps on the harder prime tyre in the dying stages of the race. Yes the fuel load plays a factor but even taking that into consideration, the harder tyre seemed to be as quick as the option tyre. The proof is in the pudding, if you take a look at this link, http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/statistics/2011-f1-statistics/2011-f1-statistics-race-charts/2011-german-grand-prix-fastest-laps/, you’ll see the top three finishers lap times are evidence that the prime tyre was up to par in terms of performance. Love your blog, thanks for the posts!


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