2012 Korea Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: After Japan, the inevitable has happened. The championship lead has swapped, and the Red Bull is looking like last year's car. The blown exhaust saga is now a distant memory.
EVENT: Everyone hates coming to this track, and it has fallen far short of their promises, so Bernie "rewards" them by giving them a discount to stay on the calendar. Say what?!
QUALIFYING: 2012 redux -- Red Bull domination.
RACE: With Vettel running away and Webber protecting him, not much was going to happen in front. However, the middle of the pack sure saw a lot of interesting racing and developments.
TRACK: It is challenging, but see above.
START: The so-called better lineup positions of the odd numbered starters got boned by the "outside" even number postions, Vettel tells Webber, "See ya!" and it's Kobayashi's turn to play pinball.
VETTEL: Three wins in a row, a strong, reliable car under him, and looking supremely confident. How is Ferrari going to break him?
WEBBER: His race was lost in the first few hundred yards, but at least Mark regained his mojo.
RED BULL: Who was foolish enought to doubt Adrian Newey wouldn't get this team back in front by the end of the year?
ALONSO: Needs a stronger stead under him in order to make a run at Vettel and not have to depend on bad luck striking the German.
MASSA: Not only was this Felipe's best race of the year, but he was clearly faster than Fernando in the race. He dutifully stayed behind. The question is, can he maintain this form for an enitre year in 2013?
FERRARI: They have been in this technical disadvantage earlier this year and came through with great improvements. Can they do it again with four races to go?
RAIKKONEN: Falling behind the other contenders, but Kimi will not give up the fight.
HULKENBERG: Nico's amazing pass of Hamilton and Grosjean in one corner ... on the outside no less ... overshadowed the fact his entire race was great.
DI RESTA: Paul's stock keeps dropping everytime his teammate beats him soundly.
PEREZ: Totally outclassed by Hulkenberg in a Force India all weekend. And, Sergio is the one going to McLaren...
GROSJEAN: Romain won the race ... as in he didn't bang into anyone...
VERGNE: Showed good pace in the Toro Rosso.
HAMILTON: We still believe Lewis is pulling a Jacques Villenueve move going to Mercedes, but this race was one key reason McLaren was unable to hold onto him.
SCHUMACHER: So, this is how Michael is going to drive off into the sunset -- with Toro Rossos, Force Indias, and Saubers passing him left and right.
ROSBERG: We thought it was impossible for Nico's luck to get any worse. He has completed a grand total of one lap in two races.
KOBAYASHI: Kamui is the perfect example of how quickly one can go from hero to goat in sports.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Déjà vu.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 0 -- The number of laps anyone other than Vettel has led in the past two races.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Before the F1 race, the biggest race in South Korea was the Korean Super Prix held on the streets of Changwon between 1999 and 2003 for Formula 3 cars. Darren Manning won the first event, followed in subsequent years by Narain Kathikeyan, Jonathan Cochet, Olivier Pia, and American Richard Antinucci. It was going to be revived in 2010 on the newly built F1 track, but was cancelled at the last minute.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Journalist Kevin Eason on the dreaded Korean stop, "Ecclestone is often described as the sport's ringmaster, yet he seems to be filling his circus with white elephants."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Jenson Button, the lastest to lash out at the latest first lap goat, "It is pretty poor driving standards considering this is the pinnacle of motorsport and it is such a long race."
SCHEDULE: From one unwanted stop to another. The teams head off to India, where at least the event atmosphere is a bit more uplifting.
Copyright © 2012 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.