Reverse Order for Red Bulls 1-2 Victory

14 07 2009

From never having won a GP until this year (excluding STR’s victory) Red Bull have scored a third 1-2 in a third of the races this season.  Well done Christian, Adrian and your team.  The only difference is the guy from down under came out on top this weekend. Only six months previously Webbo must have wonder what his chances were this season, in bed with a broken leg and not disclosing to the team he also had a broken shoulder.

This weekend Webber eventually got his first GP win and did so in a fairly commanding style despite being over-aggressive and hitting both Rubens and Lewis in his  “Demolitian Derby” start. His team mate Vettel never looked as “dialed in” this weekend but the Red Bull advantage over every other team today was very evident and he finished second.  Red Bull are in the hunt to chase down Brawn, and I for one think they can do it (I will make a blog on my reasons for this sometime)

Brawn must be worried, in practice they got their grid positions by being lighter on fuel than everyone else. This ultimately hampered their race and the strategy would only have worked if interrupted by rain or a safety car.  The problems though, were deeper the Brawns simply could not make the intermediate tyres work so most of the race had to be run on the softs which probably could not last the distance required of a two stop strategy.  More bad luck in the first pitstop for Rubens with a fuel rig problem saw him lose any chance of victory despite a stellar start to lead off the line.  Bringing Rubens in early for his last pit stop saw Jenson yet again beat him on the track if not on racing merit.  I did noticed the skilled way the Brawn team got Jenson ahead or Rubens.  That extra point could help win the championship.

Gradual improvement is the best way to describe team Ferrari.   Felipe having made a good start brought the Ferrari home to his first podium of the year. Kimi was again outclassed by his teammate and again seemed to have a magnetic attraction to Adrian’s car while the latter was in a strong position. Fortunately Kimi did not get a penalty, but why leave it until after the race to make the decision? Adrian was remarkably resigned to the situation and very professional in not putting any blame on Kimi.  To me it was a genuine racing incident and it might have been possible for Kimi to have avoided it but this is racing.

For Force India it is a case of so close and yet so far to scoring points – the cars are now genuinely in the mid-field and should be scoring points. I wonder if FIF1 should not do an STR trick and draft Luizzi rather than Fisi – Adrian is getting the better of his veteran team mate.

McLaren are improving especially with the new specs of the car Lewis drove.  Lewis and Kovy both made good starts (Lewis’ was superb), but for the incident on the first corner Lewis would probably have been on the podium. The light fuel load of Lewis’ car would have prevented victory today but the team should be encouraged by the HUGE progress. Kovy for me, yet again disappoints, a good start but seems to go backwards during the race – still one is one point (but if I were Macca I would be looking for another driver next season – particularly Timo).

Williams were rather anonymous in the race.  I did not see much of Nico but another very solid drive ensured more points for the team and more chance he wil stay with them. Kaz had problems at the start with an encounter of the Trulli kind and that finished his race.

I am perplexed by Fernando, spins on the warm-up and yet gets fastest lap of the race and scores some points – what are Renault’s problems?  PK having out-qualified his team mate for the first time ever had a rather poor race and is yet to bother the score board.  While there has been recent improvement in the young Brazilian, is it enough?  Will Renault decide to replace him for the next race or could they in a patriotic spirit grab the soon to be released LeSeb?  I think very unlikely but in the strange world of F1 I guess anything is possible.

I am biased, but I think Timo impressed starting last from the pitlane and finishing 9th in the Toyota (which generally struggled with low temperatures at a circuit not suited to their aerodynamics). Were it not for the KERS in the Macca I wonder if he would not have got past Kovy. His team mate had trouble at the start that finished any chances in the race and Toyota had a miserable day at their home circuit.

The other home team of BMW Saubers were again terrible – they should put Nick on a one-stop strategy like Timo to stand any chances of getting points. Kubica had a good start but otherwise a dreadful race with tyre issues.  Nick still beat his teamate in qualifying and in the race and yet the rumours still insist that he is for the chop.  If realised I say stupid team – Nick is a great driver but he needs a winning car.  If I had a wish I would put him in a Brawn with Jenson and design a car for their smooth driving styles.  Incidentally it seems he was close to moving to Honda last year – Nick Fry is apparently a bit of a fan of the quiet German.

Toro Rosso are the only team not to have a rear double diffuser.  If that was their only problem a cure is in sight with its introduction at Hungary.  It seems the stream of technical emails from the Red Bull factory has run out and the team is floundering.  Buemi is over-driving and making mistakes but still impresses more than his experienced team mate.  Surely there is nothing to lose now for Toro Rosso to put Jaime Alguersuari in the seat to get experience for next year. They are the slowest on the grid and my prediction is they will remain so for the rest of the season.

Finally my driver of the day (and indeed the weekend) had to be Webbo. Losers of the day (and weekend) were Brawn GP who are now not longer even second best – arguably Ferrari and Macca were equal and even Williams are close. The factory teams of BMW-Sauber, Renault and Toyota will have some more explaining to their board members. At least Renault customer engines are now winning which is some consolation.

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