Yea, just a super short recap of the race highlights this time around. There are a couple of important things I want to touch on, though. If not, I would have left it alone since the race from a Kimi-fans perspective was pretty depressing.
A rain filled session saw Vettel break the pole streak of Mercedes. Another driver who excelled was Valtteri Bottas who managed to put his Willams in the 3rd grid slot. As for Kimi and Grosjean for that matter, qualifying proved once again how hard it is to heat the tires of the Lotus in cooler conditions. Kimi somehow made it into 9th – only to be dropped a place for being naughty by overtaking Webber in the pitlane.
Vettel takes off like a bat out of hell. And is leading with several seconds after a couple of laps. He led from start to finish and only made two small mistakes. Touched one of the walls with his rearwheel (could have ended his race, if it had hit harder) and a small excursion off track in turn 1. Other than that he was untouchable.
He lapped the entire field but 4 cars. If he had kept his initial pace, I am sure he would have come darn close to lapping all. You wouldn’t be wrong if you said that it seems like Red Bull has gotten a better hold of the tires now. If we see a similar scenario pan out in Silverstone, then hello 2011.
As for Mr. Raikkonen, he is not having a great start to his race. Almost right after the start, his brake pedal goes soft. That normally means a retirement right there. But somehow Kimi makes it work. My guess is that we will never know how titanic an effort and what a monstrous performance it really was for Kimi to keep the car in the points under those conditions. And still, on lap 12, he managed one of the best passes of the race on Ricciardo with a car that was far less than optimal.
To add insult to injury, he is informed of a fuel problem later on. The car is using more fuel than expected and he has to turn the engine down to save fuel. Not something that really enables you to fight for or even keep positions. And then there was the pitstop where he lost precious time due to problems with the jack. Here are Kimis comments on some of the problems: http://www.lotusf1team.com/breaking-records-of-no-interest-to.html?lang=en
What he didn’t mention – since he is a teamplayer – was the atrocious strategy chosen by Lotus in Canada. So Kimi was one of the few one stoppers. First of all, 1 stop doesnt help that much in Canada because the pitlane is very short. Stops were 5-6 seconds quicker than in Monaco for instance. Second, he started on the supersoft tire like everybody else who was 2- and 3-stopping. I mean, wtf?! If you decide to put him on a silly 1-stopper – at least put on the medium prime tire for a longer first stint! But no. I could elaborate more, but I won’t. It was stupid. End of.
So in conclusion, if this was Kimis worst weekend of the season, I will take it and I am glad it’s over. The Lotus E21 is not a big fan of the point and squirt nature of the Canada circuit. It excels in fast corners. And Silverstone has some great ones. So we have that to look forward to. It was a weekend to forget, yes. But they happen. After all, I prefer a race like this instead of a retirement. Speaking of, he has now matched Schumachers streak of 24 races with points scoring.
Alonso and Massa showed the great race pace of the Ferrari by climbing from 6th to 2nd and 16th to 8th respectively. Hamilton had a great fight with the Spaniard at the end, but was unable to keep 2nd. The Mercedes still a tad too hard on the tires on the longer runs.
I have to mention the atrocious behaviour that started when Eddie Jordan begun interviewing Vettel on the podium. The boos from the crowd were very loud, annoying and not to mention, disrespectful. Vettel ignored them professionally. And then it became clear who the culprits were. And I was not surprised. The booing faded into Alonso chants. “Alonso, Alonso” and so on. Like I said on Twitter, Alonso fans are proving their low IQ with this display.
And no wonder it’s fans of a driver that is found to be lacking a moral compass many times, that show this behaviour. I guess they belong together. Mind you, these are adults. Grown men. I have nothing but disgust for such a childish, stupid and juvenile behaviour. That is not how you behave. And there was no reason for it whatsoever. Shame on you. And Alonso did nothing to try and silence them. He could have, but didn’t. It was fans of the same driver that a few years back painted their face black and said they were “Hamilton fans”. Go figure.
FINAL WORDS AND EPITATH
I was fuming after the race. Fuming for seeing Lotus lose ground to other teams. Baffled by the idiotic strategy chosen for this race. Frustrated with the problems Kimi had to deal with along with errors on the pit lane. Now that James Allison is gone, I can see no reason why Kimi would stay at Lotus for 2014. The fact is that the Enstone team also have a known cash flow problem. And that is why they lose ground during the season.
I am grateful for Lotus luring Kimi back to F1. And that have given us some unforgettable moments. Kimi has once again cemented himself as the cream of the crop along with Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso. And that would not have been possible without the Lotus comeback. But the Finn is not stupid. He knows what is up and which way the wind blows – so to speak. That is why I am absolute certain that he will not be with Lotus in 2014. The way I see it, he will either race with Red Bull or retire. And I clearly prefer the first option.
When Kimi saw the opportunity to switch to McLaren for 2002 during his first year with Sauber in 2001, he took it without looking back. He was grateful to Peter Sauber for taking him into F1, but also knew the importance of being in a top team with resources. Anyway, its my view. If you have another, feel free to leave a comment about it. And now to the worst part of the weekend.
After the race was done, we got the very sad news that a marshall had died from injuries he sustained while clearing the Sauber of Gutierrez from the track: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/108014
Such a sad and unnecessary accident. Not what you have in mind when you volunteer for a job like this. My thoughts and prayers go to his family.
Be safe people.
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