Pre season favourite was clearly Lewis. Fully integrated into the team and widely regarded as one of the quickest drivers on raw talent, the smart money was on him despite only being in F1 for 3 years. The fallout with Alonso in his rookie year could easily be placed at Fernando’s door and you can’t argue with the 2008 season which yielded a title. 2009 was if anything more impressive as (after he’d got past lie-gate) he put his head down and slowly got into the groove, eventually winning 2 races in Hungary and Singapore.Jenson however, although reigning world champion, has attained a bit of an odd reputation. Clearly extremely talented as demonstrated many times over his formula1 career, he’s always never quite been in the right place at the right time until the last couple of years. Now that’s often been down to how his career has been managed (remember the on-off-on again tug of war between BAR and Williams?). He was the best of the rest in 2004 but then the team faded and never lived up to expectations until it became Brawn. Now with the tools to do the job, Jenson got on an delivered, but the doubts still circulated in the media. Was he only winning because of the car? How good was he? What is becoming clear though is that Jenson has learned alot over his trials and tribulations over the years. He’s very much his own man and the confidence of knowing himself and his strength of mind was demonstrated in his bold decision to move to McLaren and proved on track in his call to come in for slicks. In contrast, despite showing the signs of maturing through last year and deciding to become more independent from his father this year, Lewis is still showing signs of insecurity. His reliance on the team to call tactics, and then criticising them when they get it wrong shows he still has some growing up to do. Although McLaren know how Lewis is more than us on the outside, I doubt that throwin his toys out of the pram on the radio during the race will endear him to the McLaren staff. Time will tell whether his natural speed will overcome Jenson over the whole season, but on the current showing I would say probably not. Jenson is clearly feeling the love in the team (where Lewis perhaps is not) and he’s showing them that he’s a man to lead a team rather than follow (something Ferrari seem to be currently treasuring from Alonso compared with Kimi). Speed alone is not enough to win championships. It’s going to be intriguing to see how the rest of the season pans out and if Lewis can turn things round
In a very interesting analysis of the Australian GP, Keith notes:
“First, aerodynamics is still a big problem and fully dry races are likely to be much more processional than what we saw today.
However, because all the cars at Melbourne started on intermediate tyres none of them were forced to use both dry tyre compounds. As a result we saw some drivers pit more than others and as a result lapped quicker on fresh tyres later in the race – creating the opportunity for racing.
In the dry at Bahrain we saw no major differences in strategy among the front runners because of the mandatory pit stop rule. Removing this rule, and the requirement for the top ten qualifiers to start on the tyres they set their fastest time on should, looks like a good way of improving the quality of racing in F1. The next few races should provide more evidence for whether this is a good idea or not.”
I really can’t see the point of the forced tyre stop and top 10 race-on-your-quali-tyre rules. All it does is force drivers to qualify and start the race on a soft compound and switch to a hard compound early on. Drivers then will just coast to the finish, holding station and settling for points (as they did in Bahrain).
Not only is it artificial, but it also takes away driver choice and the chance for them to do something different.
“Schumacher, however, said he was happy with his performance, after pitting early on to replace a damaged front wing. “That incident decided my race, obviously,” he said.”
Odd how Alonso (also last at the start) managed to get to 4th place. So much for the “Rainmaster” Schuie who struggled to pass the mighty Virgin and Torro Rosso
Mansell might not have been the best, and might have been a moany git, but when he was on a LAST 10 LAPS NEW TYRES MANSELL CHARGE by god was he spectacular to watch!
Silverstone 1987, Hungary 1989, Portugal 1989, Mexico 1990, Australia 1990, Portugal 1991 to name but a few highlights.
Fernando Alonso, keen to get in on some driver slapping action, has taken aim at Webber and the other drivers with a nicely timed salvo about their almost rabid reactions to the rather dull Bahrain race.Neatly forgetting that all Bahrain GPs have been dull (2010 featured more overtaking than 5 of the previous 6 races!) nearly everyone is calling for more mandatory pitstops. Of course some might say that of course Alonso likes the status quo, having won the first race seemingly at a canter, but he does have a point, and it's good to see him having a subtle dig at Webber. Will Webber retaliate? Lets hope so!