2011 China Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: Is McLaren catching up or was it all strategy and tires? Or both? Either way, if this continues, it will be exciting for the rest of the season.
EVENT: Supposedly, tickets were impossible to come by leading up to the race. Yet, there were visible swaths of empty seats and once again a whole chain of grandstands aren't used except for sponsorship banners.
QUALIFYING: One guess who got the pole... One guess which Mercedes driver did not make it out of Q2... One guess where the HRT drivers wound up...
RACE: That, folks, is what you call an open wheel race. Outstanding! Simply outstanding!
TRACK: The long straight certainly made for interesting battles, but a lot of passes were made elsewhere.
START: Vettel shows his first sign of weakness, Button puts the hammer down, and Rosberg refuses to go away.
HAMILTON: Still the best passer in Formula One, enabling Lewis to take full advantage of his team's strategy.
BUTTON: Jenson, your team was wearing the very light colored uniforms. The Red Bull team was wearing the very dark colored uniforms. Just how long were you planning on sitting in Red Bull's pit before you figured this out?
MCLAREN: Can't wait to find out if McLaren has indeed found the speed to compete regularly with Red Bull.
VETTEL: The wrong strategy, but Sebastian took the smart route by ensuring at least a second place finish. A sign of maturity he would not have shown last year.
WEBBER: Perhaps Mark's best drive of his career.
RED BULL: You now have three weeks to finally figure out how to get KERS to work.
ROSBERG: Nico was not allowed to get too racy at the end thanks to poor fuel consumption, but still looked very strong throughout the race.
SCHUMACHER: Michael is still as racy as ever. Too bad he's not as fast as his teammate...
MERCEDES: Face it, Rosberg is your number one driver. Deal with it and you will finally start improving.
MASSA: At times, a great drive and very aggressive, but was hopeless when his tires went away.
ALONSO: It must be getting pretty frustrating for Fernando.
FERRARI: Completely incapable of keeping up with the Red Bulls, McLarens, and even Mercedes.
PETROV: Vitaly doesn't back down to anyone.
HEIDFELD: Nick doesn't seem to be willing to give room when he should.
RENAULT: An off weekend for the French manufacturer.
KOBAYASHI: Never saw a pass he didn't like.
DI RESTA: Paul might be for real.
PEREZ: Sergio looked pretty good out there.
ALGUERSUARI: If not for a failed pit stop causing a wheel to come off, the entire field would have finished the race.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Passing.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 30 -- The number of seconds the McLaren team beat the deadline to get Lewis Hamilton out onto the grid.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: In the 2006 Bahrain GP, Kimi Raikkonen finished third after starting 22nd. The furthest back someone came from to win a grand prix was John Watson in the 1983 Long Beach GP where he started 22nd. In that same race, Niki Lauda finished second after starting 23rd. Both were on the McLaren team.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Sebastian Vettel on seeing Jenson Button stopped in his pit box while coming in for his own tire change, "We had something similar two years ago with the Toro Rosso. I don't know what attracts people to stop in our garage."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Mark Webber on overcoming his terrible qualifying, starting 18th, and still finishing on the podium, "Maybe that is the best way to do it all the time, not even take part in qualifying and just
go from there."
SCHEDULE: A nice break for the crews, then off to Turkey, where the only people who care about the race are the ones who are willing to pay the sanctioning fee, and it certainly isn't the fans.
Copyright © 2011 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.