Monday, 8 October 2012

Das Finger strikes again as Alonso falters

Warning: the following blog was written by someone suffering from severe man-flu and about to celebrate an incredibly low-key birthday.


Ahhh Formula One 2012, what are we going to do with you ey?

You couldn't just be all boring and predictable, like Ed Miliband, snooker or Alan Shearer could you?

I am of course talking about the season as a whole, this weekend's race at Suzuka was more dull than a Kimi Raikkonen speech about geology. Am I the only one who thinks that? Suzuka normally provides great racing but, after the first corner, I was quite underwhelmed by the action.

Anyway, the sport is still set for it's most thrilling finale in...well...two years. This year, the glory looks set to go either to Fernando Alonso or Sebastian Vettel...or maybe Lewis Hamilton or maybe Kimi Raikkonen. In fact, I was tempted to name this post "two and a half men" on that basis, but then most people would avoid it on the grounds that the blog would involve Charlie Sheen hanging out with a ten-year-old boy.

Once again, I tried to avoid both qualifying and race results, but once again, my irrational addiction to BBC Sport meant that I gave away both before I could hang on for the highlights shows. Anyway, just like at the Bahrain Grand Prix earlier this year, I was given the terrifying feeling that I had been taken back in time to 2011, with Seb dominating a race and everyone being far too polite to put up a fuss. As a result, I won't spend too much time talking about how the German cruised to pole position, got to the first corner first and subsequently dominated the race, holding off the challenge of the brilliant Felipe Massa.

Behind him, there was more of a race, with Romain Grosjean again doing his best to annoy the whole paddock. Grosjean to me is like Donkey Kong in Mario Kart, he can be quick, but is incredibly clumsy. After a decent getaway, he collided with Mark Webber after what he said was an over-zealous attempt to not hit anyone. Say what? That's like saying "but love, I was trying so hard not to kiss her, I ended up shagging her"...isn't it? However, Romain wasn't the only Lotus causing trouble in the first corner; Raikkonen himself was caught up in his own incident, in his case with championship leader Alonso, causing him to spin out and as a result, making this year's title battle tighter than (note: come back to crap sex metaphor later).

Kamui Kobayashi drove a splendid race in front of his home fans to take the final podium position, despite a late push from Jenson Button who, sadly, wasn't able to apply more pressure than he did, which was about as much as a kitten in a vacuum. That said, Button drove a strong race in difficult circumstances at a track he often excels at. How he copes with the demands of being McLaren's apparent number one driver will be interesting with the talented Sergio Perez making life difficult. The young Mexican remains enigmatic to me; after three podium finishes this season, two of them in second place, you would have expected him to have amassed many points than he has. You want to know why? I'm going to tell you, gather round.

The reason he hasn't is his inconsistency, which surfaced again this weekend. After a stunning overtaking move on the unusually circumspect Hamilton, he attempted a similar manouvre later in the race, only to get it totally wrong, and in the manner of a drunk man falling over in a puddle, only at 100mph. Then again, the Sauber wouldn't be the first thing with a Chelsea logo stamped on it's body to do something reckless and stupid.

Are we done talking about the race now? Yes? Good, let's look ahead.

Four of the next five races were not on the calendar in 2008, when Lewis Hamilton took the world title. I was going to go somewhere with that statistic, but it actually doesn't really mean anything, so I may just leave you in awe of my knowledge.

I can't see past Vettel winning a third consecutive title, which would be something of a shame. I don't think Vettel has driven particularly well this year, while Alonso and - to a lesser extent - Hamilton have been excellent and consistent. Of course, my prediction means Vettel won't win the title, but the Red Bull looks so strong after a a raft of new upgrades. That said the next four circuits should in theory suit the McLaren, due to the huge straights at these tracks, tracks which follow the tried-and-tested formula from track designing extraordinaire Herman Tilke (long straight, hairpin, long straight, loads of twisty shit in the middle, with run-off about the size of New Zealand, then back to the long straight). To make the season interesting, one of Raikkonen or Hamilton has to win in Korea.

McLaren will of course say they will not use Button to help Hamilton, but failure to do so would be stupid, and McLaren are too well run and too strategically strong to...oh wait. Anyway, if Button fails to comply, Hamilton will do what he does best: get on Twitter and moan about it.

I do love back-to-back races, providing as they do a great opportunity to make sex jokes about Formula One on consecutive weekends. I hope you enjoyed my return to Formula One, if not, the link to that Felipe Massa piece will remind you of when I used to be funny.

I will report back to you in a week, when hopefully I will be able to leave my bed.


1 comment:

  1. Happy birthday & hope you're feeling better. Sigh, I also now think Seb will win. Unhappy bunny :( I have seen him overtake a couple of times this year, so he has gone up in my estimation a bit, but I still don't think we've seen a great battling drive up the grid to victory or probably even a podium yet. Plus it's just so fricking boring to see him gallop off at the front and never get challenged.