Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Spanish Grand Prix - Race Day - Barcelona, Spain

Hello European season. Kimi is sitting pretty in 2nd place in the championship. But have Lotus kept up with the bigger teams in developing the car? Have some made a giant leap forward? The questions are always many once we get to Spain and the bigger updates gets fitted to the cars.


And qualifying usually tells all. But maybe not this year.. So much have been said about the tires and it’s not going to go away either. And when Nico Rosberg stuck the Mercedes on the pole and Hamilton 2nd as a Mercedes front row lockout, the questions were still not really answered. Have Mercedes got on top of their race pace problems? If not, then this will be the first Barcelona GP in a long long time that doesn’t have a front row winner.

Vettel on 3rd having used only mediums and Kimi lines up fourth having used most of the hard tires with only one fresh set remaining. So a different strategy is certainly shaping up. Alonso qualifies a surprising 5th after having shown tremendous speed in the practice sessions.


I wish Kimi had kept the outside line here.

I wish Kimi had kept the outside line here.

Lights out and the cars scramble and joust down towards turn 1. Kimi gets an ok start and amazingly seems to keep Alonso behind him. But instead of trying the outside line around Hamilton he has to slightly lift which enables Alonso to make up 2 places from Kimi and Hamilton. He is a slippery weasel. Both off and on the track.

At this time it is all about getting past the Mercedes roadblocks. It baffles the mind the speed they have in qualifying – only to drop like proverbial stones once the race commences. You hear Christian Horner speak a lot of trash about the Pirellis but I think Ross Brawn is possibly even more unhappy with the nature of this years rubber.

Kimi makes a boudacious move on Hamilton into turn 10. That’s right. I said boudacious. Cause that’s what it was. He can then take up the hunt on the top 3, having lost some time at this point. He slowly catches the leaders but it does take a little more life out of the tires than if he had been further up ahead.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Spanish Grand Prix - Race Day - Barcelona, SpainSurprisingly, Vettel is not making progress in getting past Rosberg for the lead. It emerged later that Red Bull were trying for a 3-stopper. This really hurt their pace more than needed. Especially considering they had a lot of fresh hards available. So Alonso pits early and gets the jump on Vettel after his stop. Ferrari clearly got their stop exactly right. Because Massa also got the jump on Kimi, having stopped 2 laps earlier.

Alonso gets past the race-pace struggling Mercedes. And effectively takes the lead of the race. Vettel, who is wrongly holding on to the 3 stop strategy, quickly loses ground to the Ferrari – even after passing Rosberg. Kimi also passes Rosberg on the main straight. Being the only man putting on the mediums again tells a story of a different strategy to the others.

Felipe baby is having a great race in 3rd place, but is no match for the tire whisperer who catches him rather quickly as his stint progresses. Massa has to pit for new rubber while Kimi flies by. Next target up ahead is the championship leader. He catches him and follows Vettel for one lap before the Red Bull concedes to another stop. Kimi loses a couple of seconds more while Alonso catches up on fresh rubber.

I spare a thought for Lewis Hamilton who is now battling with Toro Rossos and Williams. He is even passed by Maldonado in the Williams which promts a disgruntled radio message to his team. One of several this afternoon.

Spanish F1 Grand Prix - RaceKimi get a another set of medium tires slapped on. Which seems to hint of a 3-stopper. He is almost a full pitstop behind Alonso so he has to make some serious ground up. He is rapidly catching Vettel. Again. He loses a lot of time and a lot of life from his tires trying to get past his badminton-buddy. Kimi finally goes for a pass but Vettel gives him way too hard a time into turn 10-11. All the while, Alonso is unchallenged up in front. I cannot count the times where Kimis pace have been compromised by a so-so grid position.

Anyway, after Vettels rather stern defending he seems to make it a little bit easy for Kimi into turn 1 and Kimi takes 3rd place. I wonder if that came from the pit wall. Because Vettel really left the inside open for a looong time. Whatever reason, I am not complaining. Time to catch the number 2 Ferrari. Again. Fortunately, the Ferrari pits before Kimi completely catches up and prevents losing him even more time.

Alonso has just pitted however and easily catches up to Kimi on his fresh rubber. Kimi, ever the gentleman, doesn’t make it hard for Alonso and lets him pass without defending at all. I guess due to running on a completely different strategy. But I would still have liked to have seen a much bigger effort in keeping Alonso behind. It could have taken some life out of the Ferraris tires – just like his own struggles getting past people.

After this the race was pretty much settled. One stop left to do for the front runners. But with Alonso making a gap ahead, the positions were decided at this time. So after another stop for Kimi to the obligatory other compound, Alonso rolls across the line to the cheers of the bankrupt Spaniards. Kimi takes second while Massa completes the podium. Vettel keeps his championship lead with 4 th position but the fight is on.


Can you spot the only Ferrari champion here?

Can you spot the only Ferrari champion here?

Race rating? A 6 out of 10 for me.

Could Kimi have won the race? Only with a lot of ifs and buts. IF he had qualified better and/or made a better start, then yes. Possibly. Had he been in 2nd after the first corner and disposed of Rosberg quickly, then maybe. Or if he had made the start that Alonso did 2 years ago and shot to first place, then yes. I think he could have won by controlling his pace a lot better without losing time and tirelife behind others. But he didn’t and that is the reality we have. He got second place which is more than good enough for me. Especially since it seems that Lotus did not lose any ground after the major Europe updates.

In 2 weeks we have the Monaco GP coming up. A race where qualifying is more crucial than anywhere else. The good news is that Boullier has promised updates that will help the qualifying pace of the Lotus. Hungarian link:

Kimi always has something special around the principality. I remember him qualifying 2nd in 2009 with an absolute pile of shit. So lets hope he can take the fight for pole to those Mercs. Just 4 points off the championship lead. The hope is alive and well. This is Mr. consistency we are talking about here. Another win would really light things up. He has another one due. And it cannot come soon enough. Brace yourselves. The Ice age is coming.

Keepin’ it real,

"I wonder why they put me in the Caterham for the parade?"

“I wonder why they put me in the Caterham for the parade?”

Because the index finger is too mainstream.

Because index fingers are too mainstream.

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Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Bahrain Grand Prix - Race Day - Sakhir, Bahrain
Isn’t it strange how things sometimes go your way. And other times no matter what you do, things just doesn’t. Looking at the Bahrain GP, this seemed to be the case more than usual for an F1 race. Exaggerated if you will. There were some definitive winners and some definitive counterparts. One thing is for sure, it was full of surprises and entertainment.

My Race Rating off the bat is an 9 out of 10. I have not been very good at putting that up
lately, so this way I have at least remembered that 😉


Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Bahrain Grand Prix - Qualifying Day - Sakhir, BahrainA lot of promise and pace was shown from the Lotus in the practice sessions. But Q3 was a huge disappointment for Kimi (and his fans). The only driver unable to improve his Q2 time, he found himself in 9th. Boosted to 8th after Hamiltons gearbox penalty. It was not an impressive display and it left me void of all hope for the race. Yes, he came 2nd from 11th last year, but that was with some fresh soft tires to spare. This time around there were none of those left.

Mercedes on the other hand bagged another pole position. Thats two in a row and Rosberg taking the honors this time. I think the last time Mercedes as a team had two poles in a row was with Fangio and Moss, 55 years ago or something. See – thats some serious history repeating right there. Behind him, Vettel and Alonso lined up. Both Force Indias had an impressive qualifying session as well in 7th and 8th, 5th and 6th penalty corrected.


Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Bahrain Grand Prix - Race Day - Sakhir, Bahrain

As the lights went out, Kimi had a much better start than China. Looking at the onboard however, there was still a whole lot of wheelspin. If that was down to the clutch setting still not being perfect or just an effect from being on the dirty side is unclear. He manages to keep his position through the first turns while Vettel is reclaiming his 2nd position from Fernando up ahead. And this was done in the turn 4, 5, 6, 7 combination.

merc-rosb-bahr-2013-52And I will say this now. Tilke really nailed it in that section. Some great racing and overtaking were seen in those corners pretty much from the first lap to the last. As for the race as a whole: I don’t know how many races you have seen with scraps and close battles on nearly every lap, but this was my first. People are bitching about the DRS and the tires and whatnot. Sure, I get the arguments. I do. But grant me a favor. Go back and watch a race from 2008 from start to finish and tell me what you prefer. If you say 2008, you are lying.

All right. Kimi is up to 7th after Sutils puncture after touching with Massa, but is passed by Button down the main straight. Shortly after even Perez passes him and he is down to 9th. I call myself an optimist but when it comes to racing, sometimes the pessimist just take over and I was ready to turn off the TV by then. If not for the glorious battle at the front, I just might have. And what a numpty I would have been then.

Rosberg, who was seriously fast in qualifying is already struggling after a couple of laps and Vettel is all over him for the lead. The difference, of course, is about 160 kilos of fuel. Little Mercs don’t like that. They prefer to be light and fluffy. Being fueled to the brim, they clearly gnash on their tires in an alarming rate. And more so in Rosbergs case. Lap 3, turn 4. Rosberg defends the inside, but Vettel taking a better line and with so much more traction than the Mercedes, he takes the lead of the race. Again, I want to point out the firm move that Vettel made on the first lap on Alonso for 2nd place. All you people saying Vettel can’t overtake – just shut up.

GP BAHRAIN F1/2013Lap 5 was the start of Alonsos troubles. He is one of the people that I mentioned at the start. It was not his day. Rosbergs neither. Anyway, I see his DRS wing is open and apparently stuck in that position. Til now he has had front row seats to the battle for the lead and has just passed Rosberg and is poised to take up the hunt on Vettel. Instead he is called into the pits where some hi-tech measures were taken to correct the problem. Or perhaps it was just a couple of Italians banging on the wing to get it to close. Out he goes and tries the DRS – twang! Stuck again. Back in. Same sophisticated fix and sent on his way. This time with instructions not the use the wing for the rest of the race. Not the best scenario when you find yourself in 19th with a load of cars to pass. Thankfully for him, a strong headwind on the straight made the slipstream effect even bigger.

Meanwhile, Kimi is suddenly in the lead as everyone is pitting around him. Just briefly though, as Vettel soon catches and overtakes on new tires after his first stop. Clearly a 2-stopper for the Finn then. I guess the afternoon might not be so bad after all, I say to myself while reaching for a salty licorice. He stops a couple of laps later on lap 16 for the harder tire.

Rosberg continues his sad slippy slide down the order. And it gets him in a fighting mix with Button, Massa, Grosjean and Perez. This scrap goes on and on. Through two pitstops and beyond. Massa drops out of the fight due to two mysterious “punctures” as Pirelli insisted on calling them. Looked more like the tire coming apart to me. The word now is that it was debris. Romain slowly makes his way through the pack as well, clearly having found something in the car he had not before.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Bahrain Grand Prix - Race Day - Sakhir, Bahrain
The thing that really hit me with this race, was the nature of the fights. It has always been that once you have been passed, its sayonara. The person ahead is gone. Not so here. We see Perez doing a great pass on Rosberg in the turn 5-6 left-right combination. Ok, awesome. And on the next lap, Rosberg does the exact same thing and retakes the position! Lolwut? Well, I ain’t complainin’. Eventually both McLarens gets past the Mercedes and this set the stage for a McLaren teammate battle that would last for half the race.

Best teammate fight I have ever seen. Mostly because of the period of time it went on. Back and forth. It was a bit rough at times as Button also made clear on the radio. However, he was able to dish out pretty good himself judging from this clip:

Whitmarsh’s words to Perez about using more elbows after China certainly worked. But perhaps he should also have said “Exept your teammate”. Well, he obviously didn’t. And for that, we the viewers, thank him 😀

Another man on the up is Paul di Resta. Having a great race in the Force India. Going on a 2-stop strategy he was clearly in the hunt for a podium. Even passing the 3-stopping Grosjean at one point. The same could not be said for Mark Webber. He is looking more and more lost inside the Red Bull car. His teammate is half a minute ahead of him completely controlling the race and he can’t even keep up with a 2-stopping Lotus on old tires. Of course the driver of that Lotus may bear some significance to that. But still. Bottomline is – he sucks. In case I wasn’t clear. Webber underlines this fact by doing a violent signature “Webber-chop” right into the side of Rosberg in Turn 2. Oh bravo. Well done. You were thirsty for more after ramming the Toro Rosso in China? Why dost thou plague mine eyes with such foul crappiness??

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Bahrain Grand Prix - Race Day - Sakhir, Bahrain

Okay, on to better things. Kimi has just made his final pit stop and while setting the fastest lap of the race and overtaking Perez, he questions his team on the radio why they made him stop so early since the tires were still good. Epic. They do their best to calm down the allergy-plagued and clearly angered Iceman. And while doing so he overtakes the Mercedes of Hamilton in the final corner. Kimi doesn’t like to wait for DRS.. Ain’t nobody
got time fo dat! Kimi P2 after Grosjeans final stop.

A bit further down the order there is a great fight between Webber and Hamilton. Hamiltons car coming more and more alive as the race went on. He gets the pass in turn 4 – like taking candy from a very large whining baby. Webber does get him back and the fight went on to the final lap where Hamilton finally got the better of the Australian has-been. Enjoy it while you can:

Meanwhile, Alonso has passed Perez. But with the Mexican Slim brothers watching from the pitlane, he is not giving up without a fight. He literally muscles the Ferrari off the track after turn 4, keeps his foot down and takes the position. Superb racing! And this with a piece of the front wing missing. And if that wasn’t enough, he even catches and passes the Red Bull of Webber too. What a drive and way to answer his critics.


Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Bahrain Grand Prix - Race Day - Sakhir, BahrainTo round it off, Grosjean was catching Di Resta in 3rd by 1 second pr lap. Eventually he got the job done and suddenly we have another piece of history repeating itself. Vettel leading, with the 2 Lotus cars rounding off the top 3. Vettel crosses the line, completely untouchable today. Kimi a well deserved 2nd place, still very much in the hunt. Only 10 points behind Sebastian. Grosjean will be relieved with his 3rd place and can pat himself on the back. Which I am sure he will. Perhaps with a comment on how he was faster than Kimi. He likes to do that.
By the way, it is only the third time in F1 history that the podium has been the exact same 2 years in a row.

What a great and strange race. And I learned lesson learned to never doubt the Iceman. Vettel was clearly the man whom nothing could go wrong for in Bahrain. Now there is another 3 week break ahead of us. May I suggest filling it with some poetry? Maybe some Yeats? Take a trip to the park. Eat an Icecream and enjoy life. I’m out.


"This rosewater tastes horrible, but is doing wonders for my allergies!" *glugg*

“This rosewater tastes horrible, but is doing wonders for my allergies!” *glugg*

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Kimi fans China 2013
After the longest 3 week break in modern history, we are finally in China. Home of the craziest Kimi fans on the planet. My hat is tipped to each and everyone of you. Keep it up. Except the stalking. Don’t do that. Not like this:

Otherwise the measures to protect Kimi will be too extreme:


Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Chinese Grand Prix - Qualifying Day - Shanghai, ChinaLet us just jump to the good stuff first. Then I will touch briefly on the bad stuff. Kimi wrestling a front row starting position out of the Lotus was nothing short of outstanding. P2 was probably all that was to get from the car. Confirmed also by Boullier who was very impressed with Kimis lap. The car was really struggling in the 2nd sector. Up to half a second slower than the best cars and rivals. Kimi knew this and he made up for it with a blinding first sector. 24.6 was mightily fast and was a big part of getting the P2. Especially since his sector 2 was 3 and 4 tenths slower than Alonso and Hamiltons S2. Even more impressive when Kimi was the very first to go onto the track in Q3, when the track improves a little bit after each car and is fastest at the very end..

The bad stuff is the semi-sad spectacle that qualifying has become. Almost 3/4 of Q1 had passed before the first car came onto the track. Same thing with the other sessions. Tire saving is the name of the game. And the icing on the cake was seeing a 3-time champion not even setting a time in Q3 and instead gambling on another tire strategy and saved rubber. Same with Button. He set a time but was just idling around the track half a minute slower than the rest. Understandable considering the current tires but F1 is still a travelling circus if you will. And people watch it mainly for the show. So I wonder what measures are in the pipeline to prevent this from happening in every quali session onwards.


Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Chinese Grand Prix - Race Day - Shanghai, China

The lights are coming on one by one and every fan are hoping all they can that “their” driver gets a great start. This time around that is not the case for Kimi. He suffers wheelspin and has to defend heavily from Rosberg. Both Ferraris gets by him and he slips down to 4th. I had already expected Alonso to jump him since he was on the cleaner side so just losing one more position with a crap start could have been a lot worse. Still, it did compromise his race a bit. As it turned out, the team had told him to go to another clutch setting on the warmup lap. Kimi had wondered why since he was happy with the current setting but applied. And that was that. Which is why you heard Mark Slade apologizing on the radio after the race.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Chinese Grand Prix - Race Day - Shanghai, ChinaA fairly clean first lap as the cars settle in to their positions. Mark Webber who started from the pit lane due to a penalty is called in on lap 1 to get the softs over with. On lap 5 Hamilton loses his lead not only to Alonso but Massa as well. In the same corner. Kimi almost makes the pass too. Hamiltons tires seriously fading, he makes his pit stop on lap 6. To my slight surprise, Kimi comes in for the mediums on the very next lap. So does Alonso. And its the usual story. Ferrari gains one free second just on the pitstop alone. Kimi just manages to crucially stay ahead of Mark Webber.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Chinese Grand Prix - Race Day - Shanghai, China

Gutierrez acts as karma payback for Sutil in China as he uses his Sauber to glass Sutils Force India from behind. Take that! Now your rear wing is weird. Go back to the pitlane and burst into flames. Yes, like that. A grid penalty for the next race, you say? Oh well. Worth it! Or not…

My work here is done..

My work here is done..

Hamiltons early pitstop keeps him ahead of Kimi, so staying out any longer on the softs would have been a big mistake. As illustrated by Felipe Massa that pits the lap after and is therefore jumped by Kimi. But Alonso is served first. The top three are making their way up the order through the cars that are yet to pit. Kimi does a beautiful pass on Vergne on the outside in turn 1. Observers report Kimi braking noticably later than his rivals. His entry speed into that turn was immense. The Iceman earning his nickname.

Lap 15 we get served the douche of the day. Webber who dives straight into the side of Vergne and destroys his own front wing. Vettel has just come out of the pits behind his teammate and has front row seats to the lunacy. I could almost hear him grinning inside his helmet.


On lap 16 we have the Kimi-Perez incident. As much as I would like to slam Perez for the coming together I just can’t. I have watched the clash back and forth and Perez is only holding the racing line, nothing more. There is no defensive move or line taken in that turn 5-6 sequence. Perez is ahead and has the racing line. Kimi tries a far too ambitious move on the outside which I really haven’t seen work before. Perez is that much ahead, that there really is no reason for him to give room to the Lotus and Kimi was lucky to escape with just hole in the nose of the car and a few bits on the wing. So it’s not all bias here my friends.

Kimi gets past him in the DRS zone where he should have made the pass in the first place. Oh well, he was pretty much inch perfect in all his overtaking moves last year, so a little error will occur from time to time. With Kimi, it is thankfully a seldom occurance. Meanwhile, Webbers car loses its wheel Alonso style, Hungary 2009. Thankfully a slow corner so the cars around are able to dodge it. A weekend to forget for the Australian then. Perhaps it is time to move on to Porsche?

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Chinese Grand Prix - Race Day - Shanghai, ChinaKimi has caught up with Hamilton but just can’t find a way past. The damage likely the cause of that. Luck has it, or the lack thereof, that they pit on the same lap, and emerge in the same position on lap 22. This happening, coupled with the damage to Kimis car, took away his chances of challenging Alonso for the win. And I believe there was a very real chance. At this point there were only 5 seconds between Kimi and Alonso after their stops. Lotus did the numbers after the race and said that the damage cost Kimi about 0,25 seconds per lap. So hypothetically – HAD Kimi not made the mistake with Perez and HAD he come out in front of Hamilton, then Alonso would have had to fight off Kimi to the end. Without a doubt. And Alonso might have failed to keep him behind too. It’s hard to say though as the Ferrari was very quick yesterday.

But – we live in the real world and not in the world of ifs and buts. And yet it is not that bad a place to be. I am getting ahead of myself, but all things considered, 2nd place is a cracking result. He still sits pretty in 2nd place in the standings, only 3 points behind Vettel. And we have Bahrain coming up. I want – scratch that, I NEED to see a Kimi-Vettel rematch. Hopefully for the lead and the win this time arround as well.

Allright, back to the race. As Kimi and Hamilton fight it out, Alonso increases his gap to them lap by lap. Vettel is running his own race and is leading at one point before Alonso passes him just before his pitstop. He then has a long 20 lap stint on mediums before a final short obligatory stint on the softs. And this is where, once again, Vettel provides some first class entertainment in the final stages of a race. Say what you will, but I’m not complaining. I will get to that.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Chinese Grand Prix - Race Day - Shanghai, ChinaKimi, still being behind Lewis, pits on lap 34 to try and undercut Lewis. The Mercedes, not as good on tyres as the Lotus, is forced to stay out 3 laps longer. By the time the Mercedes pits, Raikkonen is comfortably ahead. And we get treated to a replay of another stunning pass by Kimi on the outside in turn one. “A world champions move” as Martin Brundle dubbed it.
Hamilton continues to put hard chase to the Lotus and Kimi calmly responds by keeping him just out of using the DRS. He dips under the one second gap a couple of times but Kimi ups the pace a little and gets him out of DRS range.

This goes on until just 2 laps before the end. Then Lewis has to switch his attention to behind him. Vettel has pitted for softs and is told by the Red Bull team that he is allowed to gun it. And gun it he does. He is about 14,5 seconds behind Hamilton after his stop with 5 laps to go. He gains about 3 seconds just on the next lap. And then 3 more. From thinking he was way too far behind to pose any threat, he is suddenly breathing down the neck of the Mercedes. It’s an awesome display and a welcome sight to see a car go absolutely flat out instead of conserving either the engine or the tyres. Thank you once again Vettel!


The German gets one chance on the final lap to take 3rd place from Hamilton but he just overshoots it and brakes too late into turn 11. This gives Hamilton enough of a gap on the back straight to stay ahead. Otherwise he would have been easy pickings for the charging bull. An exciting end to a very decent race. Alonso crosses the line to win it and Kimi follows after. Hamilton gets the final podium slot by the slimmest of margins from Vettel.
Again, great stuff.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Chinese Grand Prix - Race Day - Shanghai, China


2591652_1200pxI know Alonso drove a great race and won. Kudos to that. But Kimi Raikkonen really stands out in how he soldiered on and raced a stricken car to 2nd position. Kimi definitely likes a strong front end and it must have been a real battle keeping the speed in that car. Especially on a track like Shanghai. But somehow he did. Now, we saw the true pace of the car in Australia. That will happen again in Bahrain, Im sure. The car is good. No doubt about it. So no wrong clutch decisions from the team and no rash overtaking maneuvers and the E21 will be the ghost of the mighty MP4-20 in the hands of the Iceman. Keep the faith, Raikkos. I’m out. Peace!


Wanna hang out on the best darn Kimi group on Facebook:

I will show them how to get a podium from the pitl.. Crikey! My wheel!

I will show them how to get a podium from the pitl.. Crikey! My wheel!

Git back heah ya little peddla!

Git back heah ya little peddla!

Wot a clackah. Marko, you will pay for thees!

Wot a clackah. Marko, you will pay for thees!

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In my opinion, the best written piece so far on the Vettel/Webber Malaysia saga.

The Buxton Blog

Yep, you guessed it. It’s another opinion on the fallout from the Malaysian Grand Prix. I’ll be honest, I didn’t want to just blast something out in the immediate aftermath. I wanted to take the flights home to think about it.

I barely slept last night. Jetlag accounted for part of that. The rest was the final ten laps in Malaysia and, in particular, the podium ceremony, press conference and interviews that followed.

It was all just such a load of self-deprecating “woe is me” crap. Wasn’t it?

Three drivers, supposedly three of the greatest in the world, all looking genuinely miserable at the thought of being ranked as the best on their day, in their arena.

For me, none of them had any reason to be ashamed of their days or their results. But for the pantomime they played out post race in front of a global television audience…

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Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Malaysian Grand Prix - Race Day - Sepang, Malaysia
By being a racing driver you are under risk all the time. By being a racing driver means you are racing with other people. And if you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver because we are competing, we are competing to win. And the main motivation to all of us is to compete for victory, it’s not to come 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th. I race to win as long as I feel it’s possible. Sometimes you get it wrong? Sure, it’s impossible to get it right all the time. But I race designed to win, as long as I feel I’m doing it right.”
– Ayrton Senna

Lets start off with the big “talkie”. Webber and Vettel in 1st and 2nd was told to turn down the engine and conserve tires. But Vettel was not done racing. And for that, I salute him. He will of course recieve flak from that all over. But it was the right thing to do. The only thing to do. Formula 1 is still racing, right? Or would you have rather seen a procession across the finish line like the Mercedes cars? With a much faster Rosberg keeping station behind Hamilton? No, sir. You would not. I give huge props to Vettel in showing exactly why he is a 3-time champion at 25. If a guy is faster – then he should go for the win. Not with dirty tricks – but with speed. And that should be commended.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Malaysian Grand Prix - Race Day - Sepang, MalaysiaOr should we salute Webber in saying: “Oh no, you cant do that Vettel. The team told you not to. I should have won :'(” Well, then drive faster dammit and prevent him from even getting close enough to pass. Oh wait, I forgot. All you can do is make your signature “Webber-chop” when someone faster tries to pass you. That’s not fair and it’s not racing in my book.

Webber had plenty of time seeing Vettel coming. It’s not like he was suddenly pounced with no time to turn his engine back up. 2 laps went by after Vettels stop before he was passed. It was clear that Webber drove like mad to keep him behind. In 2010 and 2012 we have all seen how much 7 points matter in the end. And that is why Vettel had to go for it. And it was 100% correct from a racing standpoint. No matter what the team said. Vettel, my hat is tipped. Keep it up.

Mark Webber is a proven hypocrite. Remember Silverstone 2011? Did he listen to teamorders then? No. He did not. So Mark, respectfully – shut up.
And the fact that he almost pushed Vettel into the wall should seriously be adressed. This is the same guy who squeezed his teammate into turn 1 in the championship deciding race in Brazil last year. This allowed his rival to pass him unscathed on the outside. Genius..
Here is the article where Mark admits ignoring teamorders:

Webber has always done exactly what he wanted for years. Opposed team orders numerous times. Webber was praised by many for going against the “evil” Red Bull team orders in Silverstone 2011. But when Vettel does it for once to get a win, all hell breaks loose. Go figure.

Some people say its unsporting and compare Vettels behaviour to Alonsos. In fact, it could not be more different. In this case there is no broken seal on Webbers gearbox. There are no orders saying Webber should let Vettel by. We would hate that. Instead, Vettel gave it the beans and went for the win. Webber saw him coming. He defended in a ruthless manner. But to no avail. Racing and the best man won. Was it the “correct” thing to do? Should Vettel have stayed behind? Was he in the wrong from the team point of view? In a word, yes. But from a spectators view, I’m glad he didn’t. Result: Exciting racing and some delicious controversy 😉

My bottomline is this: The true culprits in this affair is not really Vettel. No, it is Red Bull or any other team that does not let their team mates race when only 2/3 of the race is done. What Formula 1 fan wants that? Don’t we want racing to the finish line? I sure do.


Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Malaysian Grand Prix - Race Day - Sepang, Malaysia
As for Kimi. From soaring high to stooping low. This race should just be forgotten as quickly as possible. Having shown great speed and promise in the practice sessions, the rain falling in Q3 marked the start of all his troubles. Unable to show as good a pace on a wet track, he qualified 7th. Ok, not too bad. We knew he could win from 7th. Hopes somewhat intact.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Malaysian Grand Prix - Race Day - Sepang, MalaysiaBut a mysterious 3-grid penalty significantly dimmed any hopes. As of now, I still don’t know who instigated the blocking complaint against Rosberg. Because it wasn’t Mercedes according to Wolff. As the race start approached, so did the rain. And with Kimi being stuck behind slower cars, the race went downhill from there. It was rather painful to watch to be honest. And his 7th place finish would have been worse if Button had not retired. Maybe even worse if the Force Indias had been racing as well. So I will gracefully leave Kimis race here as it was a bit disappointing. He did lose a part of his front wing on the first lap and that would explain a lot of the problems in the race. And why he could not pass as easily as Grosjean. Interview about that here:

I will say that we saw some great racing from Kimi in his fights with Perez and Hulk. The Hulk being way too much on the choppy side, though. But Kimi always stays out of trouble somehow. If only he had gotten by them quicker. Oh well. Luckily there was other stuff that made this race entertaining, weird and controversial. Kimi is lucky to keep 2nd place in the championship. It may be too much to ask, but a dry weekend in China is requested.

You can enjoy Skys segment on Kimi ice racing in Russia instead. I respect Natalie Pinkham a whole lot more after this bit. She is a dream interviewer compared to that Lee McKenzie. But Natalie – ixnay on the question about Finns having a good connection with the Russians :/ Eeshh.. Read some history, will you. Kimi was polite to laugh it off. At 4:35:


Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Malaysian Grand Prix - Race Day - Sepang, Malaysia
5. Alonso/Ferraris retarded decision to stay out with a broken front wing.
That was not clever. Funny as heck. But not clever at all. Encore!

4. Hamilton “visiting” his old team in the pitstops.
You can take Hamilton out of McLaren but you cannot take McLaren out of Hamilton?

3. The teambattle between the Mercedes cars.
Rosberg once again a lot faster than a teammate he was predicted to struggle against. It is still early days. But Nico is good and probably underestimated.

2. The racing between the Red Bulls.
Already covered in the first paragraphs. But oh boy it was close to a rerun of Turkey 2010. Can you imagine?? Lol.

It's the podium of the clenched mouths.

It’s the podium of the clenched mouths.

1. The angry podium. A furious Webber and a sheepish Hamilton.
And so the scorned rubberface was angry. And chose not to spray champagne on his teammate. Because “that’ll teach him!” For he thought he had been so horribly wronged. After all – he himself doth always abide the teams orders.. And the Mercedes driver did look upon his shoes and gave an awkward nod towards his team. And that concluded the angriest podium ever.

Yea, I’m done. Take it easy, people. I am renovating the nursery so I gotta be on my way 🙂


Wanna hang out on the best darn Kimi group on Facebook:

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BFFs forever <3

BFFs ❤

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Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Australian Grand Prix - Race Day - Melbourne, Australia

Kimi is leading by miles. This is looking good. Can it be? The very first race? All of a sudden the red car goes wide at turn 1 and I start yelling at the TV. What are you doing?! Wake up! Apparently that is what his team did as well. To no avail as his radio had stopped working. Thankfully Kimi recovers. Turns out that he was leading with such ease that he dozed off for a second and hence the slight off. But he crossed the finish line in P1
and the rest is history.

That was 6 years ago. And now we are back. In 2013. With a bang. And the wet dream of every Kimi fan has come to pass by seeing him clinch the win in the opening race. Some say that the more things change, the more things stay the same. And in this instance it’s the fact that when Kimi wins in Australia, he thinks it’s easy:

I have trouble believing that, but it’s what the man said. So lets delve into that enormous bag of goodies and see what we find.


Winter testing was so-so for Lotus. Kimi had not even done a race simulation yet, due to tech problems and illness. Some amends were made on Friday but Saturday rained out so the final shootout was reserved for Sunday morning. Vettel bags Pole position in familiar (and superior) style and the groan from the masses grew louder as another Red Bull dominant year was feared. As for me? I like Vettel, so if Kimi can’t take the win, then I will
take a Vettel win any day. He is head and shoulders above his teammate in one-lap pace and races.

I should win this race..

I should win this race…

The conditions were tricky to say the least. A wet but drying and increasingly faster track is as hard as it gets. I dont want to spend too much time going over qualifying but Lewis getting 3rd slot after the bulls was impressive. Massa got the better of Alonso in 4th and 5th. And we have Kimi and Grosjean down in 7th and 8th. Huh. Well, its a heck of a lot better than last year is what I said to myself. Perhaps he could get a podium if all
works well, was my hope.


My pulse is racing as the lights go on, one by one. I suddenly get a horrible thought. Kimi could be taken out by someone in 10 seconds from now! What the heck, brain? Shut up! As I fight my pessimistic side, the lights go out and I strain to see how Kimi fares. Oh no, thats a shitty start! FFFFUUUUUUU! Wait a minute… Isn’t it Grosjeans helmet that is white on top now and Kimis that is black? Argh, it is! FFFFFUUUUU! What’s with the switchy of helmet colors FFS!!

But hey, that not a bad start. Not bad at all! He surged past a couple of cars on the outside but has to slot in behind Hamilton at turn 1. 5th place and Kimi is looking hungry behind Hamilton. He attempts to get past him in turn 13 and 14. Great dicing. On lap 2 he gets it done on the outside of the Mercedes. Props to Lewis for leaving da space. 4th place.

To my surprise, Vettel is not doing his usual pull away at the front. Also to my surprise, Massa is still ahead of his teammate. Alonso gets a good run after turn 12, but Massa doesn’t give any favors away and defends to keep his 2nd place. It’s a pipedream, Massa. A fata morgana. But I respect you for still keeping the faith. Always interesting to see how the red team will make the ol’ switcheroo.

Anyway. The number 1 car has 2 Ferraris up his gearbox. Kimi a little further adrift, but chugging away at the gap between them. They all have the supersoft tires on their cars and they are wearing fast. Vettel is the first to pit for mediums on lap 7. The following lap its the number 2 guy at Ferrari that dives into the pits. By lap 9, Kimi has completely caught up with Alonso and they pit at the same time only meters apart! The expertise in the Ferrari stall shows immediately as Alonso gains a full second on that stop alone.

Exit the pits and that one second has already given Alonso a huge advantage in his fight with Kimi. He comes out ahead of Maldonado and Kimi behind. Not good. However, Maldonado senses an Icy chill on the back of his neck and it causes him to run off in turn 1. “Kiitos”, says Kimi and passes the Williams with ease. The margins in his favor for once.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Australian Grand Prix - Race Day - Melbourne, Australia

Lap 12 sees Kimi pull another ballsy move. He comes up on Perez with worn tires. The general concensus is that you don’t pass cars in the extremely quick left-right combination of turn 11 and 12. Kimi says, “Screw your consensus. Ain’t nobody got time for that.” as he makes the pass leaving me holding my breath once again.

Up ahead, the silver arrows are leading the race not having stopped yet. With comeback Stabby-boy Sutil an interesting 3rd. (For the uninformed, Sutil stabbed Genii boss, Eric Lux in the neck with a broken glass in a nightclub in 2011. The story is he only wanted to throw the contents of the glass in his face but ended up glassing him instead.) Sutil is on mediums and does not have to pit his Force India for a while. As the Mercedes car make their pit stops one after another, we have Sutil genuinely leading a race after having been away for a year. Not too stabby.. er. I mean shabby.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Australian Grand Prix - Race Day - Melbourne, AustraliaWhat is even more surprising is that when Vettel catches up with the Force India, he is not only unable to pass him but after a few laps, Sutil even breaks the DRS from the Red Bull.. Vettels mediums were worn so they have the same amount of laps on them as Sutils. The Ferraris have newer rubber on and is keeping well in DRS range, yet not having enough speed to make a pass.

This allows Kimi to close the gap that he had gradually lost after his pit stop. Up until then I was somewhat downhearted seeing Kimi lose ground to the Ferraris after new rubber was put on. It was only later that I realized he was being a clever little fox, keeping those mediums alive while maintaining a reasonable pace. I just don’t think I could do that in the same situation. I would be like “I know I gotta save the tires, but look, they are getting away from me! Screw this, Im pushing to catch up!” And I would have wasted any potential later advantage. But Kimi was not kidding. He really knows what he is doing, except he doesn’t make a big fuss about it. Smooth steering inputs, metronomic-like consistency, undistracted and determined he stuck with the program.

Lap 20 and Ferrari and Santander has had enough of seeing their golden goose (which has yet to lay a golden egg) being stuck behind Felipe baby. So they pit him and leave Massa out for 3 more laps instead of just one. And that gives Alonso enough of an advantage to jump his teammate. He does crucially manage to jump Vettel as well who pitted one lap later. And the race is very much on. Vettel gets out behind Sutil but an incredibly late
braking effort on the next lap gets him past his fellow German. Great move! Strange, since everyone knows he cant pass people.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Australian Grand Prix - Race Day - Melbourne, AustraliaOk, lets see. We now have our protagonist leading the race. Albeit on pretty worn tires. And I’m thinking, that’s pretty cool. But you gotta pit him soon, Lotus. He is losing a lot of time to those on fresher rubber! But Kimi stays out. And stays out. The times are respectable but not quite as fast as his rivals that are catching up. Just as I am about to go on Twitter to unleash some hate towards the Lotus team, it finally dawns on me: He is 2-stopping. The s.o.b. was going for a 2-stopper all along! And Alonso and co all have to stop again. That means.. no. Could there really be a chance?

Lap 34, Kimi pits. 23 laps to go. Alonso is 14 seconds ahead. To make it clear of Kimi after his stop, he needs at least 23 seconds. Not a chance as the Ferrari driver pits on lap 39. 7 seconds is the gap down to Alonso after his stop. But Kimi is not leading. Amazingly, we have Sutil leading the race once again. Mostly due to his different tire strategy but also by an impressive pace in his comeback race. Kudos.

Kimi does eventually catch up to the dolphin lovin’ pianist and makes an awesome pass:

Sutil defends his position in turn 13 and Kimi takes him on the inside on the next corner. Having carried more speed from a better exit. NOW Kimi is leading the race! 14 laps to go and the gap is down to 4 seconds.. Is Alonso catching him? Are the tires on the Lotus gone? Not likely. Kimi responds and helped by some traffic the gap is up to about 8 seconds after a couple of laps. Only now do I dare to dream of a win. Whitmarsh is being interviewed and while he is impressed by Kimi he believes the final 10 laps will be tough for the Finn.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Australian Grand Prix - Race Day - Melbourne, AustraliaWell, if they were tough it didn’t look like it. Everytime Alonso makes a slight push, there is a response. In the final couple of laps, the Iceman even sets the fastest lap of the race. The 38th of his career. Even as he crosses the finish line and raises his hand in triumph, I can hardly believe my eyes. It has been a display in speed, racecraft and smarts. Props to the Lotus team for a great strategy and a great car. Perfectly executed from Mr. Raikkonen. He did not set a foot wrong in the entire race. I admit I am a Kimi fan. Everyone knows that. But this was downright masterful. Nothing else to say. His Abu Dhabi win last year was great. Emotional. But he caught a break with Hamiltons retirement. This on the other hand was all Kimi. Just look at his teammate finishing in 10th position. One of his most impressive wins in my opinion.


I have not much to add really. I am still a loss for words. I’m drained from lack of sleep and being on a high all day. But I just had to put my thoughts to paper so to speak. And here is my 2 cents on Kimi and this years car and tires.

Kimi has always been a very smooth driver. Eje Elgh of the Swedish F1 broadcast called Kimi the greatest natural talent that Formula One has ever seen. And he is an old school racer so he should know. Kimis smoothness has been his Achilles heel at times though. Tires need heat to perform their best. And smoother drivers have a harder time working heat into them than aggressive drivers. This obviously affects qualifying. It was a problem last year as well. Although not as bad as in 2008. This year however, things could favor Kimis style for once. Pirelli have made tires of a softer compound to force more pitstops. They are also a lot grippier than last year and crucially – heats up a lot quicker.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Australian Grand Prix - Race Day - Melbourne, AustraliaThis is what I am hoping will bring Kimi the starting positions he needs to mount a serious challenge this year. The pace of the Lotus E21 appears to be very real. And it looks to have hit a sweet spot in tire management. But we will know more in Malaysia as Melbourne is a green track and temps were pretty low. The Red Bull will be back to fight another day I’m sure.

Anyways. My blog is back. And I aim to make a review for every race. Aim, mind you. Turns out that my lovely wife is pregnant and we are expecting a daughter this August. For this I blame the long off-season and winter 😉 No, we are as happy as can be, but my point is that I might miss one or two reviews due to external circumstances. But this could be a good one people. Stay tuned to follow Kimis glorious 2013 onslaught!


Ah. Real champagne. Not that fruity Bahrain crap.

Ah. Real champagne. Not that fruity Bahrain crap.

I guess I better spray some... GAH! Dafuq?! LOL, isn't it fun Kimi?

I guess I better spray a little… GAH! Dafuq?! -LOL, isn’t it fun Kimi?

Weee.. Look, a waterfall. Stop it you blithering idiot. I got it in my eyes. Its a darn waste.

Weee.. Look Kimi, a waterfall! -Stop it you blithering idiot. I got it in my eyes. Its a darn waste.

Look, I will show you. First we say cheers. Ok. Like this?

Look, I will show you. First we say cheers. -Ok. Like this?

Then you take a manly chug like this. Oh I see. Teach me, master.

Yea. And then you take a manly chug like this. -Oh I see. Teach me, master.

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Thank goodness, I can breathe again! This race must have aged me considerably. I have never been so on edge and never enjoyed an F1 race less than I did with the Brazillian GP 2012. And yet, when it was over – sweet release and pure joy to see a deserving champion prevail. Lets gets into the good stuff, shall we.


Kimis weekend was compromised from the get go. FP1 was hampered by an ignition coil, meaning he got about half the running time as the rest of the field. FP2 was good, but the final practice session was halted pretty much right away when his engine blew to smithereens. So hardly any time to work on qualifying setups, and that showed. At least it happened in practice and Lotus are able to swap to one of his other used engines without penalty.

The quali session had mixed conditions and proved very tricky. Especially for Grosjean in the other Lotus. Well, that was not down to conditions really. More to general stupidity. Q1 and the frenchman comes up on Pedro de la Rosa in the HRT on the main straight. And for some bizarre reason he thinks he can overtake on the inside of the long left bender. Everyone and his boss knows that is used as an apex to minimize turning. But Romain goes for it – and contact. Parts fly and qualifying is effectively over for the other Lotus.

Kimi gets to Q3, whereas the Ferrari drivers just scrapes through in 9th and 10th. He opts for one run in the final session and that was only good enough for 9th. Later bumped up to 8th because of Maldonados penalty. Maldonado now being the lucky owner of a dubious record. The most penalized driver in a season. Ever. Congrats Maldonadon’t!

Up ahead, things are mixing up for the championship. Hamilton bags another pole position. With 7, he has the most of the season. Could have been 8 if not for the penalty in Spain. Vettel on 2nd then? Not so. Button goes well around Interlagos and slots in behind his teammate. Webber also gets the better of his teammate in 3rd. Vettel makes a mistake on his first run in Q3 and probably plays it a little safe in his final run, not to ruin that
as well. Still, better than his mainrival Alonso back in 7th.


So the stage is set for a real thriller! In 2010, the difference was 15 points between the two. Now its 13. Another smaller drama for Kimi fans would be if Kimi could keep his 3rd place in the WDC (even if he himself says it doesnt matter) and if he can possibly finish every single lap of a race season. He has already broken the record for most completed laps in a season. Well, enough chit chat. The cars are lined up and it has just started to
drizzle. Oh boy..

Lights out and what is that I see? Is Webber actually pushing Vettel a little? He most certainly is.. There is a time and a place, Webber. And that was more than half a season ago, before you were completely obliterated by your teammate. Again. Because of this, Vettel has to lift for Webber before turn 1 and go cautious in the Senna S and thus slips down to 7th while Alonso has another rocket start and takes 5th. Applause for Vettels
teammate. The biggest douche in the entire lineup.

Down in turn 4 all hell breaks loose. Kimi is having the mother of all lockups behind Vettel and is merely centimeters from plowing into the back of him and taking him out of the race. That would have put me in a peculiar situation, wouldnt it? Luckily, we are talking about Kimi Raikkonen here. The man that seems to be made of reflexes. Here is what pretty much every other driver would have done: Held their foot down on the brakes and rammed the car in front. What Kimi does is release his brakes a fraction of a second before impact so the wheels get rolling again – and thus are able to jerk the car away from impact. Just miliseconds before disaster. No superlative is big enough for that acheivement. That was downright masterful.

There is no time to marvel at that because the sum of all fears has happened before my eyes. Vettel backwards in the middle of the pack with debris and cars all around. I could have broken down and cried at that moment. However, I am not Felipe Massa, so instead I let out a roar of “NOOOOO!!!” which makes my wife jump about 2 feet in the air from the sofa. By some miracle, Vettel gets going again. Watching the replays makes me wonder how that car was able to roll, let alone race. I send my thank yous and proceed watching with my heart beating out of my chest. That was lap 1. How will I survive 70 more laps of this?

Kine has landed safely back on the sofa.

It doesnt help seeing Webber racing like a numbscull and letting Alonso slip up into 3rd position. By the way, this was enabled by some great driving from Massa. Behaving exactly like a teammate should under these circumstances. I realize that with these positions, Alonso is world champion and I get horrid visions of an off season filled with “mm yes, best driver won. mm yes. quite.”

That can’t be good..

Vettel is not one to give up without a fight. The team informs him of his stricken car and turns his engine down to prevent overheating. Not the best of odds from the very back of the grid. Nothing to do but grit your teeth and get on with it.

And he does. While Webber keeps displaying abysmal racing, losing positions, Vettel is charging up through the grid. Up ahead, Alonso starts making some mistakes. By going wide in turn 1, Nico Hulkenberg slips into 3rd position and all of a sudden Vettel is world champion again as it stands.

As I am paying attention to the championship battle, my heart nearly stops as I see a Lotus heading for the wall with tremendous speed. Oh, its just Grosjean. Nevermind.
Au revoir big pants.

Webber spins and now he is the Red Bull at the backend of the grid as Vettel is up to 8th position on lap 8. With a stricken car. Brilliant! The team is nervous and pleads with Vettel to consider that it is a long race. The rain increases and it prompts most of the front running cars to pit for intermediates. Button and Hulkenberg in front opted not to. Hulkenberg has excelled before in these conditions and on this track. Remember his pole
position in 2010. And he is gaining on Button at this point. Sensationally he makes a pass on Button for the lead and does it beautifully. Great stuff!

After the pitstops, Vettel has caught up with Webber and after a couple of laps, Webber finally gives the position to his teammate. This to applause from the Red Bull garage. However, the shift to intermediates has not worked out. The track is too dry and they are overheating so they have to pit once again. Kimi was sadly one of the people that opted for rain tires. As a result, he is in 12th position after his second stop. Quickly advancing
to 10th.

Because of this, Alonso is a full minute behind Hulkenberg and Button. And we hear him complaining on the radio that there is a lot of debris on the track. And suddenly the Safety Car comes out. Hmm… Granted, there was debris on the track. But still. Nice way to eradicate that huge lead. When the restart gets underway, I have another jaw drop. Webber is trying to overtake his teammate after the restart into turn 1. Of course he
botches it and runs wide. But why Webber, why? That is not what you need to do now? Race your teammate who is trying to win a championship. Are you kidding me?? The inferiority complex is strong with this one.

What he should have been doing was mixing it up at the front – and crucially staying ahead of Alonso. But that is something he has failed to do pretty much all season long. So why start now I guess. Well, you get no respect from me. Thats for sure. Here is a good article by Mark Hughes. He is too kind on Webber, but saying pretty much what I have underlined several times this season. That he is a pretty crappy teammate:

The race settles in a bit after that. Alonso is 4th, Vettel is 6th behind Kobayashi – eventually slipping to 7th behind Massa. And yet obviously champion if it stays like this. But what is this? Kimi gets a run on di Resta but the Force India is mighty quick on the main straight. And Kimi has to try and outbrake him instead. Not easy on a slippery track and he unfortunately runs wide and concedes 2 positions down to 12th. He gets by him
later though as di Resta spins on lap 38.

The good thing about this happening is that it lead to a fantastic scrap between two champions. Kimi is hot on the heels of Schumacher and gets a tow down the straight and it is the closest wheel to wheel action I can recall having ever seen! Literally centimeters apart they dice it out through the Senna S. I jump to my feet in excitement and yell in pure ecstacy! Now that is how you race! Woo-hoo! Poetry. Fair and precise by Schumacher. Ballsy, hard and fair by Kimi. I take everything back about you being too nice in wheel to wheel in Korea. All of it. All hail the Iceman in his awesome comeback season! Yes, its only for 10th position, but that is some damn good racing! BOO-YAH! Michael, you will be missed for moments like these.

Overtake of the race? Check for Kimi. Comical relief moment of the race? Chalk that one up for Raikkonen as well, as he goes on a lovely excursion off track after he ran wide at Juncao. The first thing I thought when I saw that was: “Thats it. Kimi has had enough of this shit. He is gonna park it right there and find a lawn chair.” Seriously. I did. But then he nimbly spins around and goes back. And then I got what he was trying to do. Its a part of the old track that has been closed off. But you could use the escape route and reenter the track up ahead. Kimis luck would have it that there was a gate there – and it was closed. That incident lost him so much time that it led to him being lapped and thus finishing every single race lap this season. But one. Oh well.

Vettel is still playing it safe behind Kobayashi. Up ahead, Hulkenberg is doing a stellar job keeping the McLarens behind him. However, Hamilton now in 2nd is closing in. After a drying period, the rain is picking up again. And people are starting to spin here and there. Not helped by pretty worn tires all over. Sadly, Hulkenberg is one of them and Hamilton pounces and retakes the lead that he held earlier in the race. Was that the end of a potential fairy tale story?

Just as I had calmed my nerves a bit, Hulkenberg gets feisty and tries a move on Hamilton in turn 1. The slippery track catches him out and smacks him into the front wheel of the McLaren. Hamiltons car is done and Alonso moves into 3rd position and the championship lead as Vettel has to make an extra stop for intermediates! At this point I am ready to leave the room. But Alonso also has to pit and Vettel moves up through the field as others pit and suddenly he is the championship leader again. My poor nerves. Hulkenberg gets a drive-through for his clash with Hamilton. Very harsh in my opinion.

Less than 10 laps to go and Massa gives way for Alonso to take 2nd place. Massa has driven a fantastic race. A lot more pace than Alonso. He practically has to ease off to let Alonso catch up. Ferrari does the only thing they can and hopes for fate to step in and take care of the rest. Vettels stricken car could potentially fail at any moment. Not to mention that it is starting to get very wet. Worse than before. Vettel is 7th and that is good enough to win it all. With 1 point. If something happens to Button though, Alonso is back in the lead of the championship. The nailbiting is intense. At least for me.

Good guy Schumacher doesnt make it hard for Vettel and he slips into 6th position. The race laps dwindle down. Button is a lonely figure up ahead – 21 seconds ahead of Alonso. Kimi is in 11th and out of the points for the first time since China. But that changes on the second to last lap as Di Resta crashes heavily from 9th and Kimi moves into 10th. But more importantly at this stage, the race will finish under the safety car and I slowly realize that Vettel and Red Bull has done it again and snatched the title from Fernandos hands! Huge and well-deserved congratulations to him.


What is there to say. It was a wild race. And it has truly been an epic season. Kimis comeback has been a shattering success. I wont go too much into that now as I may do a season recap during the off-season. Just to pass the time a little 😉

I really think McLaren and Hamilton could have won this championship. But reliability issues mostly put a stop to that. I cannot remember the last time I saw such a fast and yet unreliable McLaren car. Oh wait. I can. 2005. Through the course of the season the silver car has been the fastest and yet flawed. Kimi knows all too well how that feels. And I cant help sympathize with Hamilton as he now goes to Mercedes. I highly doubt their car will evolve into a regular race winner next year. You never know of course. But 2014 could be another story.

But getting back to the race. I didnt mention it at first but Vettel made a mistake with Senna. He cut across in a sharper angle than normal and it could just as well have cost him the championship. Lady luck shined upon the Red Bull team as it did in 2010. And I suspect that in 2013, the RB9 will be another race winning car from the Milton Keynes based team. Anyway – Vettel did it. He became the youngest 3-time champion ever. And that is now forever out of reach for Alonso. 4th youngest too is out of reach. And 5th. And so on. But not for Vettel. Who can stop him? I like him. Personally, the only driver I would want to stop Vettel is Kimi. So Im obviously hoping for that next year.

Alonso has not been faster than Massa in the last two races. Is Massa really coming back into form? We know he can be seriously quick. The question is, will he be allowed to? If he is, then he has to from the very first race next season. I suspect that if Alonso gets ahead of him with just a single point, then its back to the waterboy role again. I am really starting to root for Massa. It would be a sunshine story if he could upset the inter-team balance of Ferrari by sheer performance. I fear it wont happen. Or rather – it wont be allowed to happen. But one can dream.


So – who was the last Ferrari champion? Oh right. That freakishly fast Finnish guy that was put to pasture for money and team politics. Well, at least it paid off for them. Or wait a second.. It didnt. Sure, they had some great wins and drives. But their trophy closet is still filled with those trophys from 07 and 08. The following years are filled with air. Luckily they have the legendary, best car developer in their stall. Going on 3-4 years now. But – shouldnt that have come into effect a long time ago? Especially considering that Massa is being used as a test mule for parts for Alonsos car? Hmm, thats odd? Well, best of luck to you. It may all change next year. As Alonso once said: “As long as the car is not red, I wish you the best!” No wait, that was.. Yea: As long as the car is not red, I wish you the best!”

Kimi and Lotus. He got them 4th place in the championship. He has brought them more publicity than they could ever dream of. He helped them land sponsors. Coca-Cola the latest huge name in the pot. That and the added money for the good WCC position will come in handy for developing the 2013 car. We can only hope that they will put them to good use. And hopefully be able to challenge for wins regularly. That would be great. Because if that is possible, then Kimi will challenge for the championship as well. And a unique natural talent like Kimi deserves an opportunity like that. Plus, he is a good guy.

Now, I will take a well-deserved break from blogging. Except for perhaps the odd post as I mentioned. I hope you have enjoyed my unabated bias through the 2012 season. Take care my dear readers and friends. Peace!


Images © Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, Andrew Ferraro, Red Bull/Paul Gilham, Getty Images/XPB Images, @PHOTO4,

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What a strange feeling I was left with after watching the Austin inaugural Grand Prix. It was by all accounts a great race. A fight for the win from start to finish. Garnished with great scraps and fights down the field. Who could ask for more? And yet, I could not enjoy it. That is my own fault of course. Because I am simply way too emotionally invested in this sport. I kinda knew that but it was crystal clear to me after the race. Why could I not enjoy it as much as I rightly should have? Several factors. Let me go through them as I also disect a race that in itself really was crackingly good.


Slip, slidin away. That is what the drivers faced on this virgin and very green track. And a conservative tyre choice from Pirelli meant that it took several laps to heat up the tires before being able to set a quick lap. Things were not looking good for Lotus. Pretty bad in fact. So much that Q3 seemed out of reach even. But having just scraped through to Q3, Kimi got finally got his tires in the right window to clock a 5th fastest time.

His teammate did one better in 4th. He did so with the advantage of a changed gearbox however, which eventually demoted him 5 places to 9th and Kimi to 4th. Just like in Abu Dhabi. Great stuff, right? Or was it? 4th is the dirty side and nowhere else is that more true than here in Austin. Experts expected at least 2 places lost at race start for the people on the dirty side. That meant both Ferrari cars also aquired starting spots on the dusty side. But more about that later.

What about the front? The RB8 looked mighty in the hands of Vettel all weekend. But come qualifying, Hamilton got really close and slotted in 2nd, just a tenth slower than the reigning champion. Lewis and Vettel are arguably two of the very best qualifiers at the moment. So the stage was set for a proper Texas showdown if you will.

Amusing moment when Schumachers grid car would not start and then hitched a ride in Kimis instead.


Before the race got underway, rumors begun to float around saying that Ferrari would fake a gearbox change on Massas car, so he would move down 5 places and thus put Alonso on the clean side. And sure enough, the seal on Massas gearbox was broken and presto, Alonso was starting from 7th all of a sudden.

Was it legal? Well, there is no rule against it. Is it sporting, fair or commendable? Not by a longshot. Yes, Ferrari are doing all they can to give Alonso the best chance at fighting Vettel. But it also meant that there were other drivers being punished by this questionable move by Ferrari and put to the dirty side. I doubt they were happy about that. Yes, penalties happen. But this was orchestrated. And it should absolutely not be allowed. But it was a loophole and it was exploited.

Listen to what Martin Whitmarsh had to say on this matter: “It worked, as it worked for Fernando, and unless we forget Fernando was with us – and it was not doing those things that meant that Fernando left us.
Here, Whitmarsh lifts the veil a little on 2007. Revealing that Alonso demanded that such questionable tactics should also be utilized in his favor back then. But McLaren would not accommodate them. And we also know that Alonso tried to blackmail Ron Dennis when he did not get the number 1 treatment over Hamilton that he felt he deserved, nay, was entitled to.
Link to Whitmarsh comments:

This was the first thing that clouded my enjoyment.


Anyway, moving on. Lights out, and its a mighty roar as 24 cars thunder up towards the very wide turn 1 while it narrows heavily after that. Everyone makes it through ok, but it is clear that the dirty side of the grid all lost places. Perhaps no one more than Kimi. After the first couple of turns he has slipped from 4th to 7th. Ferraris tactics have worked for Alonso and he is already up to 4th place. Hamilton did a good job by only losing one position to Mark Webber from the 2nd position.

Kimi goes for a late dive to pass Schumacher. Great move but it also meant a poor exit down the straight and he is therefore repassed by not only Schumacher but also his teammate. Oh dear. Down to 8th. Meanwhile, Hamilton already makes a move on the tardy Webber but goes wide. He gets it done on the next lap and can take up the hunt for Vettel ahead.

Lots of action further down as well. Schumacher must have made a mistake that I missed, because the timing screen shows him down in 9th and Kimi now has the other Lotus ahead of him. That wont last long though as Grosjeans hotheaded nature gets the best of him yet again. The tricky turn 19 who has caught many drivers out this weekend proved too difficult for the Frenchman in pursuit of 5th place. He spins and drops down to 10th. And down to 14th on the next couple of laps, most likely due to flatspotting his tires in the spin. Lotus calls him in on lap 9 for some new rubber.

Our Finnish protagonist is hot on the heels of Nico Hulkenberg. The poor straightline speed of the Lotus does him no favors down the straight, so he has to hatch another plan if he wants to pass the German. And he does. Lap 13 and we get to witness the overtaking move of the race. Kimi attacks into turn 1 making Hulkenberg go defensive. This gives Kimi a better exit and gets him alongside the Force India. Surely Kimi has to back off as there is really only one racing line through the turn 2-3 combination. Not likely! Its wheel to wheel and balls to the wall as Kimi makes it stick around Hulkenberg. Spectacular! Relive the moment:

Up ahead, Vettel is under heavy pressure. Hamilton has made it into DRS range but Vettels better exit into turn 11 onto the straight is just making him hold onto the lead. After a few laps, Vettel starts to pull away again while Hamiltons tires have taken a harder beating. We hear on the radio that Webber has lost KERS – again. Good news for Alonso in 4th. And there it is. Webber pulling to the side of the road with another alternator failure. That makes it 7 or 8 this season so far for Renault. So Alonso is up to 3rd, after having qualified 9th. Is there no end to his luck?

Pit stops are happening and all front runners are making their stops except Kimi and Massa (and Button who is on the harder tire). Lotus finally pits Kimi on lap 24. 2 laps too late if you ask me, judging from his dropping times. To top it off, Lotus makes a horrible pit stop. 3-4 seconds longer than normal. Apparently a clutch problem didnt make the rear tire stop spinning. This loss of time puts him exactly where he should be way ahead of – behind Fernando. And the Toro Rosso of Ricciardo also makes a pass on Raikkonen while he was struggling to warm up the new set of hards. This situation has been so frequent and symptomatic of Lotus this season and it needs some tending to. So much disadvantage that could have been avoided with a normal stop. Another notch on my disappointment stick for the weekend.

The new set of tires have not helped Sebastian Vettel in shaking off Hamilton. The McLaren has bit into its heels like a leech and its fascinating and nervewrecking to see the two drivers battle back and forth for a few tenths in every sector. And yet I cannot enjoy it to the fullest. I am a Vettel fan as well and my hopes for him winning, gets me so on edge that I am not even enjoying this battle. Perhaps its time for me to take a step back and try to see the bigger picture. Maybe contemplate on why I am doing this..
But you dont care about me going all introspective and shit. So lets get on with it.


Massa pits and gets out just ahead of Kimi. Just to underline, another disadvantage that could have been avoided. Kimi is feisty and passes Massa while he was getting his tires up to temperature. Up to 6th. However, the weather plays a cruel trick on Kimi. As he revealed after the race, the tires were working well until the skies got clouded. That alone made enough of a difference that the tires went out of their optimum working range and his sector times dropped significantly. The Ferrari not having the same problem, made an easy pass on the E20 in turn 1.

He continues to post abysmal laptimes and Grosjean has even closed up right behind him. When suddenly the sky clears a few laps from the end and almost immediately the tires get that little extra heat they need and Kimi is posting times that equal the leaders. In fact, his final lap was just one tenth off the fastest lap of the race. Now to me, it should not be like this. Tires should not be this fickle. A cloud goes in front of the sun and they stop working like they should? Are you kidding me?! That is insane! Second, I am sick to my stomach hearing about tire heating problems. Especially for Kimi. Got enough of that in 2008 you might say. No, this is not what racing should be about. Finding that elusive oh-so-narrow working space for the tires. Ridiculous. I hope Pirelli realises this for next year. Chalk off another point that spoiled the entertainment value on my part.

Interview with Raikkonen where he mentions that cloudy weather hurt his performance:


Vettel not only has to deal with fending off a seriously fast McLaren but also negate around backmarkers while keeping Hamilton from getting close. And the long section of S-curves and narrow turns makes it impossible to pass any backmarkers if they are not aware. And for a while it seems that every single time Vettel gets around turn 1 there is a backmarker in front of him. He is able to time it a couple of times so he gets DRS down the straight and thus keeping Lewis at bay. Other times he is just able to make a small gap after passing a slower car and getting a better exit onto the straight.

But this could not last. And here is the thing. Vettel would have kept the lead if not for one person. Namely Karthikeyan. Lewis was unable to get close enough to make a pass before our favorite Indian got in the way with his Sunday drive on lap 42. This got Lewis right up to the gearbox of the Red Bull and Lewis makes his move stick on the outside. Just want to mention though, that Lewis must have gotten about 5 centimeters or something from touching Vettels rearwheel with his frontwing. Why on earth he needed to get so close, I have no idea. What was a brilliant overtake for the lead could just as easily have ended in tears for one of them, even both. Just watch from 0:55 seconds. This is what Vettel complained about on the team radio after – and rightly so:

Okay, onto Karthikeyan. Replays from Vettels onboard shows him losing massive amounts of time while the HRT makes no attempt of getting out of the way. He had nowhere to go you say? Not true. Watch the race again if you can. I did. And I saw backmarkers making room for faster cars way before Karthikeyan did in this case. So a backmarker effectively decided the outcome of the race. It was very unattentive by the Indian and he should have been penalized. Well, its racing and stuff like that happens you say? True, but it was totally unnecessary and in my opinion, races should not be decided in such a random matter. I know they do every now and then, but it was hard to watch. This just put the nail in the coffin of me not being able to enjoy an otherwise awesome race.

To make matters worse, Kimis tire problems make him a relative easy target for Button on the fresher and faster mediums. Mind you, Kimi doesnt make it easy for him and we are lucky to witness some great racing from two very fair drivers. Kimi is defending brilliantly and Button doesnt make any rash moves. Lap 46 and we see how a pass should be made by Button as opposed to Hamilton a few laps earlier. They get wheel to wheel in turn 12 and Kimi doesnt back off. Button has the inside for the next turn though and takes the position. Great racing even if it did go in the opposite direction of what I prefer.


Hamilton takes the chequered flag and one has to say he had it coming after retiring from the lead twice in recent races. Vettel gains points on Alonso who comes third. But only 3 as opposed to 10 points if he had won. Alonsos “feeling” that he would take points from Vettel didnt come true though.

The majority of Formula 1 fans will be delighted to see the championship go down to the wire. I am not one of them. I probably should be, but Im not. I will now be nervous and tentative for a whole week until we see the chequered flag. And I will either be delighted or completely heartbroken. That cannot be good, can it?

Kimi takes 6th and is still able to take 3rd in the WDC with a good result in Brazil. He has now completed every single lap in every race this year. Only driver to do so. Very impressive. And a new record of most racedistance kilometres in a season. However, that also means that he has the most used engines and gearboxes of the lot. Significantly so at this late stage of the season. Lotus will put the freshest box and powerplant in his car for
Brazil. But they will still be disadvantaged to the rest. So it comes down to some Kimi magic again if he is to get a good result and keep 3rd place.

There are some rumors circulating that Lotus are not able to pay Kimi his bonus and salary due to losing a major sponsor. And some news agencies claim that he has even approched Force India just in case Lotus cannot pay him. At the moment, I dont think there is substance in these rumors. Which is why I am not linking to sources. What we do know is that his massive amount of points were not calculated for by Lotus and the performance bonus in his contract is proving costly for them. Even if it is costly, lets hope the cashflow problems are bogus and Kimi can build on his success with Lotus for next year. They are about to get a hefty bonus for finishing 4th in the WCC, so that is also reassuring. That reminds me, congrats to Red Bull for securing the constructors title in 2012!

Until nailbiting in Brazil, take lots of care!


Chopper, Y U NO leave me alone?!

Images © Lotus F1 Team, COTA, Andrew Ferraro, Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic, Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, Red Bull/Paul Gilham, Getty Images, Moy/XPB Images, @PHOTO4,, McLaren/Hoch Zwei
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The king of corners, the epitome of cool, the master of car control and the sultan of speed made everybody his bitch today! And he did that in a car, labeled Lotus. Last time a Lotus labeled car won a race was in 1987 with Ayrton Senna. This result only adds to the legend that is Kimi Raikkonen. A persona that is impossible to fit into any box. To the frustration of many an interviewer and F1 commenter. Stirling Moss once said:
Quite frankly, Kimi Raikkonen is the fastest driver in the world“. Well, guess what. He still is. He has just won a Formula 1 race in his comeback year, after being two years away from the sport. You dont just up and do that unless there is something very very special underneath.

And Kimi Raikkonen is special. No doubt about it. Feared by his competitors. Loathed by his detractors for not fitting into their mold of how one should be or behave. And loved, nay adored, by his vast multitude of fans. The no-nonsense down to earth, what-you-see-is-what-you-get is appealing to most people. And he truly is the very last of a kind. You get a real sense of the crazy 70’s with Kimi. He is pure rock’n roll. He does what he wants and does not give one thought about what others may say or think about it. He has often been compared with wild child James Hunt who won the WDC in ’76, and the comparison is not far off in many aspects. And in many others not, of course.

Nevertheless, the win in Abu Dhabi was overdue because we have already seen many stellar drives from Kimi this season. Close to winning but not quite. Today he was helped by the retirement of Lewis Hamilton but that is the way of Formula 1. And it does not take one ounce away from his accomplishment today. It really was a stellar drive. And I will delve into that of course. Bear with me.


The question on everyones mind was if Vettel would be on pole again. But judging from the practice sessions, McLaren have got some speed in their car. At least in the hands of Hamilton. And once Q1 and Q2 was done it was clear that it was no fluke. Only man to dip into the 1.40s was Lewis. Kimi had a great lap to comfortably send him through to the final round – although the time was more than half a second slower than the top McLaren.

Q3 is underway and Hamilton sets a blinder that was well enough for pole position. Red Bull did their best to beat the time with Webber the only other man to get below 1.41. Vettel only goes third quickest. His relief will be that Alonso clocked in the 7th best time. Even behind Kimi who qualified to 5th on the grid. Maldonado goes 4th from nowhere, which will send chills down the spine on those around him. Except Kimi. He is chilled


But what’s this? Vettel is told to stop the car on track on his in-lap. Oh-oh. Low fuel was my first thought. But Red Bull would not be so stupid. Right? It was only Barcelona where Lewis was sent to the back of the grid for running out of fuel. After a long wait and some frantic Twitter and website scouring, the verdict was in. Long story short, there was not the sufficient amount of fuel in Vettels car. He is disqualified from the results and sent to the back of the grid. I guess the boys in red were real happy about that one. A lot of speculation could be done here. Were Red Bull trying to pull a fast one? I dont see that. The Renault guys said that the fuel would be sufficient. Perhaps someone just made a serious error. Anyway, the stage is set for a fightback through the field from Vettel. And Alonso hoping to capitalize and close the gap in points. Bring on race day.


With everyone moved up one place except the top 2, Kimi is now on the second row. According to him, that is the minimum grid position you have to hold to be in with the fight for the win. But this is the dirty side. And there is a Red Bull and a seriously fast McLaren in front. Not to mention Mad dog Maldonado in 3rd. Well, a podium maybe.

Lights out and joy to the world! Mark makes one of his usual bad starts and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Kimi swoops on the inside well clear of Maldonado and takes second place behind the McLaren. Kimi, you beauty! You can really tell he is pushing all he can to stay with Hamilton. Hulkenberg bites the bullet in turn 1 and retires due to his teammate Di Resta getting to close and causing a chain reaction. Alonso dispenses of Button in the start and starts chasing down Mark Webber. He gets the job done on the second straight and is 4th behind Maldonado, Kimi and Lewis up ahead.

Vettel is a long way behind having started from the pitlane because his car was taken out of parc ferme. Smart move as Red Bull then had the possibility of changing his gear ratio and downforce level to give him better speed on the straights to make him able to pass people. I suspect they might have given him a fresher engine as well. He quickly gets to 20th position as there are plenty of incidents on the first lap. One of them being Grosjean making contact with Rosbergs front wing. Result: damaged front wing in need of a change and a puncture for Grosjean. Di Resta has a puncture as well.

Lap 2 and Hamilton outbrakes himself and Kimi is right up his gearbox! Can he get him down the straight? No, the DRS is not enabled yet but he is seriously close to making a move on the outside. I frantically bite my lip thinking this was the best chance in the race.
No time to dwell on that as we get a replay showing Vettel getting too close for comfort to Senna and chipping his front wing slightly. It doesnt seem to bother him particularly because he managed to pass Senna and a Marussia in one fell swoop down the first straight. Already up to 16th. Next lap, he takes a Caterham and another Marussia at the same time. 14th.


Meanwhile Hamilton inches away lap after lap which was to be expected. The good news is that Kimi is putting real distance between himself and the fighting bunch behind him. That all changed on Lap 9. Its an insane crash between Rosberg and our favorite Indian, Karthikeyan! Rosberg pratically pole vaults over the HRT and into the tire wall. Thank goodness that the Mercedes didnt hit Narain directly:
The safety car comes out and that is usually a real worry for the Lotus cars. The tires seem just that little colder after the restart and Kimi has lost places before due to this.

During the SC period, we hear Vettel screaming on the radio about the Toro Rosso in front of him. Replays then show him taking out a DRS board to avoid going into the back of Ricciardo. And ironically the other side of his front wing gets damaged and he now has to make a stop for a nose change. Lap 14 and new tires and frontwing for the championship leader. Better circumstances but at the back of the grid once again.

Safety car in and I breathe a sigh of relief as I see Kimi hooking right up to Hamilton and staying with him while keeping a gap to Maldonado. Instead it is Alonso who is struggling for grip and has to go defensive against Mark Webber. The superior top speed and grunt of the Ferrari saves him this time. Back to Vettel, who is now having to pass Grosjean if he wants to keep moving through the field. After 8 first lap incidents for Grosjean this year, I would suspect Vettel being a tad more cautious. Apparently not as he goes side by side in the chicane! He gets a good run down the second straight and makes a pass – but was he outside of the track when he made the pass? Oh dear, it looks that way. What now?

Well, Red Bull are taking no chances as we see Vettel passing Grosjean once again, obviously having given the place back in fear of a penalty like in Germany. Smart move. 17th now. Raikkonen is keeping up well with the McLaren considering the massive gap there was in qualifying, but still dropping back.

Lap 20 – I get the shock of seeing Hamilton limping to the side of the track! Does this mean.. Kimi is actually leading the race! By default but still very much in the lead. My wife gives me a worried look as I let out a roar of joy in the living room.
Totally worth it.

Alonso gets by Maldonado and goes on the hunt for the Lotus ahead. To my surprise, Kimi ups his pace and extends his lead, lap after lap. What a drive! The Lotus pitwall is anxious to help Kimi by giving him some updates on the gap to Alonso. Or rather Simon Rennie was. Kimis race engineer, Mark Slade had warned him not to disturb Kimi. And Kimis response is as priceless and classic as the man himself. “Leave me alone. I know what I’m doing.” Yea. Shut up bitch. Let the Iceman work his magic in peace 😀


Lap 23, Webber makes a hapless move on the outside of Maldonado. The Williams has nowhere to go and there is contact that spins the Red Bull around. No fault on Pastor this time. Once again I am left wondering why the Australian still has a Red Bull seat for next year. Button now makes the move on the Venezuelan instead and takes 3rd place. Lap 26 and Mark is at it again. This time with Massa. He tries the exact same move on the outside and surprise, surprise, they touch. Massa did carry way too much speed into the corner though, which is why they touched wheels. They get through the corner but Baby likes to slam his throttle while on the kerb and does his trademark spin as he lights up the tires to get the Ferrari pointing the right way again. Good call Ferrari.

Oh, but we are not done yet with old rubberface. Cars are starting to pit and that means Vettel is coming up behind Webber. For some weird, odd and peculiar reason, the Aussie Git doesnt make it easy for the charging Vettel. Lets recount: He is on a different strategy, he is out of the championship fight. No reason for such idiotic behaviour except to please his own small ego. An ego that has been squashed consistently 4 seasons in a row. He holds up Vettel for the better part of a lap. He is even pushing to keep his teammate behind – proven by a purple sector. He is finally told to pit by his team. Probably the only way to end his petty behaviour. Well done Webber. You really are a tosser.


Unbelievably, Vettel is an impressive 2nd after the front runners have pitted. 23 seconds behind Raikkonen. He has the possibility of going to the end on those tires. Which is why Lotus promptly decides to pit Kimi on lap 31 in fear of Vettel staying out. He emerges just ahead of the Red Bull, only 1,5 seconds to spare. Would the very quick RB8 get the better of Kimi? What do we say to the charging bull? Not today, as Kimi gets his tires working and starts pulling a small gap. Its almost as you can sense the steely determination inside that cockpit. Vettels tires starts to fade and the team realises that he needs another set. He pits on lap 37 and rejoins the race in 4th. Well behind the top 3. But not for long.

A scrap for 5th place has developed between Grosjean, Di Resta, Perez and Webber. After several laps Di Resta finally gets by Grosjean, but so does Perez! But as we have seen before, Perez gets greedy and tries to take Di Resta in the second chicane at turn 11 as well. He goes in way too fast and pushes both Di Resta and himself off the track. Mistake number one. From being way on the outside he just charges onto the track again but Grosjean has occupied that space and there is contact again. Mistake number 2 – with worse consequences.

Perez spins, Grosjean swerves hard to avoid the Sauber but there comes old clobberface in the other Redbull and smashes up the Lotus and his own car into retirement. Initial fault does lie with the Mexican however. Good luck next year McLaren. I would say clumsy driving on Grosjean and Webber too. And it brings out another safety car. Bye-bye to the 9 second lead that Kimi has established. And gone too is the 15 second gap between Button and Vettel.

During the safety car we get the second little gem from Kimi during the race. The pitwall is nervous once again and reminds Kimi to keep warming all 4 tires. Probably against Mark Slades recommendation. Kimi is not amused and replies with “Yes, yes, yes, yes. I’m doing all the time. You don’t have to remind every second.” Lol! How can anyone not love this guy? You must be a retarded baboon for not loving this no-nonsense, true to himself, one
of a kind character. I love this tweet from Marc Priestly: “Was glad to hear Kimi hasn’t changed on the car radio. Still shouting abuse back at his engineers! Legend.” What’s that you say? Kimi is rude? Go cry to yo momma or grow up. This is F1. Not a nursery.

Anyways – safety car in and Kimi has kept those tires well heated without the reminders and has a great restart considering the car he is in. He is taking no prisoners and his finger is on the trigger. 2 second gap produced after one lap. Comeback kid? Comeback king. Meanwhile, Vettel is getting feisty with Button. But its no easy task passing the McLaren. With 10 laps to go the excitement is still on in spades.

Lap 47 of 55 and the gap is 3,2 seconds between Alonso and the Iceman. All good for a Kimi fan. Could this really happen? I hardly dared to believe it before the final lap in Belgium 09. And now is no different. Lap 48 and I see the gap starting to get a tad smaller with Alonso setting the fastest lap. Kimi responds on lap 50 by setting a fastest lap himself although the gap is down to 2,2 seconds.


Lap 52 and we get the overtaking of the race as Vettel swoops past Button on the outside of turn 11, goes side by side through the chicane and makes it stick. Great pass and great driving from both to leave enough space for each other.
I have little time to enjoy the pass as I see the gap to Alonso is down to 1,5 seconds. With the race in India fresh in my mind, I get horrid flashbacks of the Ferrari zooming by the Lotus once within the DRS zone. Come on Kimi, for the love of God, you can do this! The sparks are flying below that Lotus and he is clearly on the limit in every braking zone and in every corner.

Lap 54 and the gap is down to 1 second. Oh no, is this it?! Apparently not, the wing is not open on the Ferrari! It is as if the universe itself is pushing the mighty crusader onwards in his quest for a righteous victory. On the final lap, Kimi has responded enough to keep Alonso away from even getting a chance to open his wing. Surely its in the bag now?!

Indeed it is. I can hardly believe it as I see the Lotus cross the finish line while Kimi raises his fists in triumph. Gliding past the pit wall to the cheers of his team. I am unable to shout or speak as I get surprisingly emotional. I can admit that I wiped a manly tear from the corner of my eye while just being thankful for having watched greatness unfold in front of me. Over the top maybe, but I dont care. I knew that young Finn was special from the first time I watched him blaze the track in a McLaren. His monosyllabic and monotone interviews just made him more interesting. 10 years later he is just as special.

Boullier: Erm, Kimi. I did predict that we wouldn’t win..
Kimi: I don’t care about your predictions.


This race adds to his list of impressive wins against the odds. From midfield or even the back of the grid. Or in an uncompetitive car. There are plenty of those. You dont do that unless you have that little extra. That special feel for the car and its limits. Even if he doesnt win another championship, I know that on raw speed alone – no one beats the phenomenon from Espoo, Finland. Congratulations Kimi. May there be many more like it.

Congratulations to Mr Vettel as well for a brilliant fightback from the pitlane and onto the podium. Some say that Vettel got lucky with 2 safety cars. Actually, he only got lucky with the second one. The first advantage was wiped out when he had to pit for the front wing. Another argument is that there was a lot of retirements as well. Yes, but half of them actually happened behind him. So, full credit for a fantastic drive to the disappointment of Ferrari who had hoped to gain more from this than 3 measly points.

Still, its not over yet. Austin is coming up. Anything can happen. And with Kimi finally out of the hunt, I hope for a return to the podium for Vettel. Not the top step though. That is for Kimi. One can dream, right? Because sometimes, dreams really do come true.

Lots of love,

Images © Lotus F1 Team, Andrew Ferraro/LAT Photographic, Red Bull/Paul Gilham, Getty Images,@PHOTO4,

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Gotta love it.

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