2010 Brazil Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: Let's take a different look at the criticism hailed upon Red Bull for not enacting team orders. If the top two places repeats next week on a track best suited for Red Bull, and Alonso finishes below fifth, then Vettel and Webber are tied for first place. And by Vettel winning the last race, he wins the tie-breaker with five wins to Webber's four. Ergo, Vettel has a very good chance of still winning the championship, even if it slightly diminishes the overall odds of any Red Bull driving taking the title (though they can still switch positions if need be to ensure Webber takes it if Vettel can not). From Red Bull's perspective, a driver's championship pays nothing to the team while the constructor's title pays tens of millions of dollars.
EVENT: To say Brazil loves their racing with enthusiastic fervor is an understatement. To say Brazil is crime ridden with rampant robberies, muggings, and kidnappings is an understatement. Just think, this country of machine gun toting criminals with VIPs needing armored cars driven by policemen is going to host the Summer Olympics in 2016.
QUALIFYING: The changing elements allowed Hulkenberg and Williams to shine and showed the paddock just how talented Nico might be.
RACE: A potentially slam bam finish thanks to the safety car spoiled by the asinine rules that govern the safety car.
TRACK: Always fun to watch race cars at Interlagos.
START: A wonderfully exciting first lap.
VETTEL: Sebastian is making it real tough for his team.
WEBBER: Mark is cracking under the pressure even before the race started.
RED BULL: The independent team is now top dog against the might of Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes, and Renault.
ALONSO: Fernando still has the advantage ... ever so slightly.
HAMILTON: Lewis is hanging on with his fingernails.
SCHUMACHER: Michael is still great at one thing -- qualifying in the wet. And give him credit for being a team player as he let Rosberg by after Nico's pit crew's Keystone Kops routine in order to maximize his teammate's position in the standings.
ROSBERG: However, when it came to a dry race, Nico once again outran Schumacher on the track if not in the pits.
MERCEDES: Yes, those round black things are called tires. And they are already mounted on wheels. Then, you take the whole assembly and put them on the car.
HULKENBERG: Once Nico was back on a dry track, the reality of the Williams chassis' deficiencies returned.
BUEMI: Sebastien got removed from many drivers' Christmas card list.
BARRICHELLO: So much for a home race boost.
MASSA: So much for a home race boost.
SENNA: So much for a home race boost.
DI GRASSI: So much for a home race boost.
KLIEN: At least he finally got into the race.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Pressure.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 7 -- The points difference between first and second which Red Bull refused to manipulate. Remember that number when the final point standings are added up. We'll see whether Red Bull was smart or dumb.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: The last time the Constructors' Cup was won by three different constructors three years in a row was 1997 (Williams-Renault), 1998 (McLaren-Mercedes), and 1999 (Ferrari).
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Asked whether he will give up his position to Webber next week if the team ordered it, Vettel said with a smile, "Sometimes I hated it when my parents teased me and wouldn't answer questions. You will have to wait until next week, and you will see then."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Bob Varsha after qualifying, "If this kid [Hulkenberg] isn't in Formula 1 next year, there is something terribly wrong."
SCHEDULE: Consider this scenario in the last race -- Vettel first, Webber second, Alonso fifth. They all end up with 256 points. Vettel and Alonso will have five wins while Webber has four. Both Vettel and Alonso have two runner up places. Both have three third place finishes. Vettel will take the title with three fourth place finishes while Alonso only has two. And all this will play out in Abu Dhabi, a country that probably never watches or follows Formula 1 until it shows up on their doorstep.
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