MPH: The technical battles raging on behind-the-scenes in Formula 1
Amid the flurry of nine grands prix in 11 weekends, there have been a few developments in the regulations and as we catch a rare pause for breath before next…
It looks like Massa is almost unbeatable at Istanbul Park after a decisive victory this year, giving him a hat trick of wins there. He drove a great race and Brundle was keen to point out that he was his “driver of the day”, ahead of Hamilton who, during his second stint, he described as putting in “Senna-like laps”.
Bridgestone delivered bad news to the McLaren garage yesterday as they were worried that their tyres could suffer the same problem they had in 2007 on Hamilton’s car, when one disintegrated just 15 laps from the end. No other driver suffered the same problem this year but it appeared that a combination of Lewis’ driving style and the never-ending turn 8, meant that the McLaren driver had to opt for a three stop strategy.
With this entered into the computer and a wrong tyre choice in qualifying, Hamilton was told that the best he could hope for was 5th. To finish 2nd makes you believe that when he descibed the race as the drive of his career, he probably wasn’t far off.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the weekend was that McLaren seems to have made up a remarkable amount of ground on the Italian outfit. Ferrari are down playing this but the McLarens matched them throughout the race, even though their cars weren’t well adapted to the softer of the two compounds.
With this in mind, and the fact that Raikkonen was complaining of a damaged front wing after his contact with Kovalainen on the opening lap, it would be easy to think that the Finn had an unlucky weekend, but if you look at the fastest lap classification sheets, it is the ‘Kimster’ who is at the top of them. Surely if he was suffering from a damaged front wing this would be a relatively difficult thing to achieve? There are some weekends when the Finn seems to turn up with only half of his driving ability – whether this is just an example of how ‘ice cool’ he is I am not sure. Does he turn up to a Grand Prix and accept that his team-mate is quicker at that circuit and just goes out to get as many points as possible? I know he is one of the, if not the, most level-headed racers in Formula 1 but I don’t believe that he accepts defeat so easily. Still, to become World Champion, finishing 2nd in almost all the races is infinitely better than finishing 1st in a handful. Such are the rules in current Grand Prix racing.
After their pace early on in the season, BMW seems to have lost touch with the McLarens and Ferraris. However, as we saw this weekend – it doesn’t take long to catch up if the right decisions are made. They need only ask McLaren.
Alonso finished another strong 6th position and it looks as though the Red Bulls are still in the midfield fight. The Force India cars didn’t have such a good Grand Prix weekend with a weak qualifying performance and then a first lap impact between Fisichella and Nakajima. Sutil did finish, but was complaining of chronic understeer throughout. They aren’t that far off and the midfield is so tight that even a small upgrade or a well-chosen strategy could change their fortunes quite considerably.
|7.||Webber||Red Bull||+64.2 secs||6||2|
|9.||Coulthard||Red Bull||+75.2 secs||10|
|16.||Sutil||F India||+1 Lap||19|
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