News and views on motorsports

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Now That's A Result!

It seems like ages but finally the boys from Woking have managed a win and in some style as well scoring a 1-2 result thats long overdue. As Fernando himself said in the post race interview, if Filipe had got ahead at the start, it surely would have been more difficult. But too bad he shot himself in the foot.

Oh how the British press will have an even bigger field day now what with their young pup Hamilton performing like he did. Well, its no surprise really after a season in the overtaking rich GP2 series last year. Moves like that which he pulled against Raikkonen and Massa at the start are common place in the junior formulae. And maybe its even easier in grand prix racing since these cars have traction control and electronic diffs. Well, at least at the start of the race anyway.

But you gotta love the way he defended himself against Filipe. The Brazilian attempted two moves against the Briton into turn 4. In the first move, he got on the inside of Hamilton, locked up and ran wide. Hamilton does a switchback and retakes second spot. Filipe was not to learn his lesson however for a lap later the same thing happens. But this time, Hamilton stuck in the middle of the road taking Massa completely offline and quite possibly into the a dirty piece of tarmac for it seemed that under braking Filipe had no traction at all. Hamilton too locked up but I should think that was some premeditated intimidation tactics on his part. Reminds me of kart racing actually. Filipe (to my utter delight, I must confess) ran off the road and lost places to both Kimi and Heidfeld.

Fernando however, ran a majestic race in front. The McLarens are closer now but again here as in Australia, we won't really know how close they are until the faster of the two Ferraris, that of Filipe actually gets into a proper fighting position. But surely the McLarens have improved since Australia. May it carry on season long. Fernando is not one of those drivers that wastes opportunities and he took this one eyes closed. People may be tipping Massa for the title but I think Fernando is really the one to watch out for. It must be a relief for the Spaniard as well seeing how McLaren performed last year but he's landed in the team at just the right time.

For someone of Kimi's reputation I felt he was running a numbers game out there. Certainly he kept his head better than his teammate and if he ends up in the season ahead of Filipe or even wins the world championship then it definitely would be because of performances like today. I am however disappointed that he doesn't seem to be able to assert himself fully just yet. But also remember that there were quite a number of days when Filipe was quicker than Michael himself last season. And surely the Brazilian has improved even more now.

Lest we forget Hamilton was sublimely quick in his second stint setting a 1m 36.701s fastest lap and closing the gap on Alonso. Whats even more impressive was that after the second stops he basically left Kimi for dead. Even in clear air the Ferraris of Kimi and Filipe could not match the pace of the McLarens. Always they were a couple of tenths at least off the pace. And that has to be encouraging. The testing last week must have taught them a lot about the Bridgestones. And maybe the ban on flexi floors must have helped too. And just maybe not having Ross Brawn on the Ferrari pit wall and Michael in the car is hurting their main opposition. But whatever.

Niki, Alain, Ayrton, Mika and now Fernando continues a long line of great McLaren drivers ever since Ron Dennis took charge. Joined by promising young Hamilton no wonder both Ron Dennis and Norbert Haug look well pleased. Hopefully they won't let their drivers down as they did in the recent past. I'd like to see Woking take it this year frankly speaking.

1 comment:

Clive said...

Kimi was hampered in Malaysia by having to look after a suspect engine. He drove for points, which was the right thing to do in terms of the championship, and showed a new maturity in doing so. Forget Massa, Raikkonen can blow him away anytime he wants to - the fight this year is between Alonso and Raikkonen!