2013 Brazil Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: It certainly was a tale of two halves. Red Bull always tends to come on strong in the second half of a season, but it is interesting how much they dominated soon after Pirelli changed the tire compound. It is also interesting how much Red Bull bitched about the tires the first half of the season...
EVENT: It's the Brazilian Grand Prix. Do we need to state the obvious accolades?
QUALIFYING: Rain could have really shuffled Q3, but it didn't all that much.
RACE: Will it rain? I have to get rid of these tires! Will it rain? I have to get rid of these tires!
TRACK: After a bunch of Tilke tracks, we got back to an old fashioned track. We like that.
START: Singapore part deux (but with the lead change on the last turn instead of the first turn), Hamilton with a rocket start, Massa, too, and Webber finishes his career in usual style.
VETTEL: Sometimes, extraordinary records come seemingly so easy, people think they are easy. Don't ever fall into the trap that winning nine in a row and 13 in a season is easy. It's not. Sebastian should be commended for the feat.
RED BULL: As should Red Bull.
WEBBER: A career of honesty and integrity (though, let's me honest, at times with very hard nosed driving) ended appropriately. Mark had his opportunities. He can never regret that. His style will be perfect for endurance racing, where he already has experience. We fully expect him to win Le Mans one day.
ALONSO: Another brilliant race for Fernando in an underachieving car. But, forget this year. We're already talking about next year and whether Fernando's fragile psych will be exposed again.
MASSA: Ultimately, Felipe cost Ferrari second place in the constructors standing, and not just because of the particular indiscretion at Interlagos.
FERRARI: The racing season is over, so now we begin the annual Maranello whine season where Luca and staff go on and on about how an energy drink company has the gall to beat actual automotive and engine manufacturers. Never mind those type of comments makes Ferrari look even more impotent...
BUTTON: A great race for many reasons, but in the end he failed to prevent McLaren from...
MCLAREN: ...getting a podium for the first time in a year.
PEREZ: Sergio's best race at McLaren as he departs. However, give Martin Whitmarsh credit. He worked behind the scenes to ensure Perez stays in F1.
ROSBERG: Unlike past years when it was never in doubt Nico was the best driver on the team, he can't quite say that this year. Next season will be telling for Rosberg's career.
HAMILTON: A year ago, we all thought Lewis was crazy for going to Mercedes. Now, he may be poised to win a world championship with them.
MERCEDES: Brawn is apparently gone, and the Niki Lauda era of asinine moves is beginning.
GROSJEAN: A lousy way to end the season for the second best point scorer in the second half of the season up to that point.
KOVALAINEN: Ultimately, Heikki's comeback has to be listed as a failure because he did not score any points for desperate Lotus.
LOTUS: Let's face it, Quantum is just another way to spell S-C-A-M. They will be forced to settle for Maldonado and his money and though not a terrible loss, will still most likely prevent them from fighting for a high constructors spot.
HULKENBERG: Nico will stay in F1, and he will accomplish some amazing results, but we may never see whether he will ever be championship material.
SUTIL, DI RESTA: The question is whether these two stay in Formula 1.
BOTTAS: So much for all the great things we said about Valtteri last week. Far from a repeat performance.
CHILTON: The first driver to complete every race in his rookie season.
MARRUSSIA: They had a big celebration ... for not finishing last. Ooooookay.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Ole.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 9 -- and counting ... into next year.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Ironic that McLaren should complete the year without a podium in Brazil where they've won more grands prix than any other manufacturer -- 12, including last year with Jenson Button. Their first Brazilian victory was in 1974 with Emerson Fittipaldi, when both driver and constructor won world titles.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Mark Webber to his team before the start, "It's not easy getting in the car for the last time."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Rob Smedley on the grid before Massa's last race for Ferrari, "On Felipe's last day with Ferrari I want him to win. You know? I'm sick of not winning! I'm sick of f***ing coming in nowhere! I want to win!"
SCHEDULE: We now embark on one of the biggest regulation changes in F1 history and the return of turbos. Bring on 2014!
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