Monday, June 28, 2010

2010 European GP Review: Vettel wins controversial European GP

Sebastien Vettel won his 1st European GP on the streets of Valencia and this win will ensure that he is back on track for the World Championship hunt. Vettel has not won a race since Malaysia and after the crash at Turkey this win would do a lot of boost his confidence ahead of the British GP which should favour the Red Bulls. He is now only 12 points behind championship leader Hamilton and 12 points ahead of teammate Webber who failed to score any points. Webber should be happy that he was able to walk away from his car after a horrific shunt with Lotus’s Heikki Kovalainen. This was Webber’s fault as he misjudged the speed of the Lotus car which a few seconds slower than the Red Bull.

McLaren managed to get to the other 2 podium places but despite the good results there was a lot of controversy with Hamilton’s rule breaking performance which enabled him to retain 2nd even with a penalty. Hamilton was one who took the most advantage of the safety car that he even overtook it and got away with a drive through penalty as the race stewards were too late in making the call and he had enough time to go in and come back. The FIA should look at this as Ferrari’s Alonso who was just behind Hamilton got a real raw deal as he ended up finishing the race only 8th while Schumacher who was 3rd during the safety car period ended up with one of his worst finishes ever with a poor 15th place. Jenson Button who had a steady race and thanks to the safety car luck managed to finish 3rd and now he trails Hamilton by only 6 points.

Ferrari and Alonso had one of their worst weekends as despite having a very good car while it was backmarkers who cost Alonso the race in Canada but this time around the safety car and the weird rules of the FIA cost them a podium place. Even Massa was running good but due to the safety car he failed to even finish in points. Alonso and Ferrari needs to put this behind them and focus on the British GP where though it could be tough to match the speed of Red Bull but they definitely can match McLaren and even beat them.

Mercedes had another bad weekend and despite the criticism mounting on Schumacher, he still showed that he still has the race pace needed and the car is definitely not up to the mark as now they are well off the pace of Renault and even had the likes of Williams and Toro Rosso catching up with them over the weekend. Despite Brawn producing a dream car last year, the same team which was know has BAR and Honda has produced some disastrous cars in the past. Rosberg may have been consistent the whole season but he is not a world champion in the making and the team should focus on 2011 and ensure Schumacher is still with them.

Williams after being outpaced by Force India since the start of the season and also had Toro Rosso catch up with them during the last few races finally good things together with veteran Rubens Barrichello finishing a strong 4th. This was the best result for the team this year and the team should use this momentum to catch up with Force India and try to beat them by the end of the season. Rookie Nico Hulkenberg was set for points but then mechanical issues made him to retire from the race but nevertheless he still had a very strong race.

Force India’s qualifying went haywire but the safety car played into their hands and Sutil managed to finish 6th ahead of Alonso while teammate Liuzzi was unlucky and could only manage to finish 16th. The car should be strong during the British GP as the track should favour them as they can use it to their advantage and try to catch up with the likes of Mercedes and Renault.

Sauber and Kamui Kobayashi had a brilliant race and the gutsy move by Sauber to keep Kobayashi on the track for so long without changing tyres paid off in the end and some last minute overtaking moves on Alonso and Buemi ensure that Kobayashi finished 7th while teammate de la Rosa was on points but was moved down to 12th place after the steward’s penalty towards the end of the race.

Toro Rosso and Buemi had a good weekend and if Buemi continues to drive the same way he is all set for Red Bull for 2012 while Jaime Alguersuari needs to start performing well if he needs to maintain his seat for the coming year.

Lotus was hoping for a special weekend as this was to be their 500th race as the team still does maintain that it shares the heritage from the original Team Lotus but they had a very bad weekend as Trulli finished last while Heikki Kovalainen’s race was compromised by Webber’s crash.

Both Virgin and HRT managed to finish the race but then it is sad to see the fact that these cars make up only for numbers and actually could cost potential winners as it was found out at Canada that it can cost leaders even races. The good news is that the 107 rule is back and this means that these teams needs to get faster or else they may not make it to the starting grid.

It was a good European GP but Vettel was the driver of the race as after a small tiff with Hamilton during the 1st corner he had a spotless race and he managed to outpace everyone. This victory will also give him all the confidence going into future races and a few more wins will ensure that he is on track to win the World Title.

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