It was probably the most conflicted I had felt in quite a while, since I was forced to choose between two major sporting events- the Liverpool- Chelsea Barclays Premier League match, and The F1 Brazilian GP! But I chose the GP for the most part, primarily because I am a Petrol-Head!
What happened last night in Sao Paolo will not only have a great impact on this year’s world championship, but on F1 as it heads into next year.
Team Red Bull: A perfect one-two in Brazil wins them the constructor’s title. The result also keeps both the drivers in the hunt for the driver’s title. Good thing? Not really. Remember the 2008 Brazilian GP? Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso both had the chance to win the title, with Kimi Raikkonen (driving for Ferrari then) having only an outside chance. What happened was the two McLaren drivers tripped over themselves (well, both on track and off the track happenings had ensured that tempered were flared in the McLaren camp), and Kimi won the title in dramatic fashion. The same may happen in Abu Dhabi, this time with Red Bull. I know it is wrong to tell one driver to back off and let the other guy fight for the title, but sometimes it has to be done. Who will be the winner if both Vettel and Webber take each other out in the heat of the moment? It is very much possible! Whoever the winner may be, but Red Bull will definitely be at the wrong end of the result. It’s time Red Bull took a decision.
Ferrari: It was in Hockenheim that Ferrari recognized who their real number one driver was, and that is paying rich dividends today. Had they let Massa stay ahead of Alonso that day, Fernando would have been five points poorer heading into the last race, and how big an impact those five points may play is no joke. The entire world criticized Ferrari at that time, but look at the facts, Fernando is now leading the Driver’s Championship and Felipe Massa is nowhere. Ferrari look like the smarter team now!
Fernando Alonso: Drove the best he could, and well within himself. He knows it’s for the other guys to chase him. And remember, he does not have the best car around, by any stretch of the imagination. Even now, if Webber wins at the Yas Marina circuit, Alonso will still win the title by finishing second. Again, we know the significance of the 5 extra points he got at Hockenheim.
Lewis Hamilton: If only there were not so many DNFs this season. Lewis still has not learnt the art of doing the best job on the day and getting the maximum points possible on that day in that car. And that has come back to haunt him. Mind you, if Alonso, Webber and Vettel all crash out, and Lewis wins, he will become the driver’s champion! Highly unlikely, but that’s a scenario. However, Lewis needs to start picking up whatever points he can on a day when his car may not be on the best behavior.
Jenson Button: He now officially becomes the “former world champion”, but truth be told, he was never quick enough this season. Showed real pace and was helped by some smart strategy choices in the first few races, but became a solid upper-midfield finisher for most part of the season. Hopefully he will be quicker next season, because he is definitely more consistent than his teammate.
But there may be a long term impact which may emerge from this weekend. Apparently, Red Bull are not happy with Mark Webber, who again whined in the first press conference of the Brazilian GP weekend about the lack of support from the team and his teammate. The comments will surely not be taken lightly by the Red Bull bosses. Will this be the end of the road for the Aussie at Red Bull? If no, then he and Vettel will line up again on the grid next season, and we may see a repeat of this season. If he does leave, then who replaces him there? Will Kimi make a return? There have been (the now failed) talks of a return with Renault, which means Kimi is open to the idea of a comeback. But then again, Red Bull may decide to slot one of the drivers from their baby team- Torro Rosso.
Well, the dramas continue…Over to Yas Marina now!