Sunday, 29 March 2009

Australia 2009 - Driver Performance

Well wasn't today even better than you thought it would be?

I have been waiting all winter for this day to happen with huge amounts of anticipation and excitement. All I wanted to see was a race happening, and boy, this was a race. This, in fact, was an incident packed thrill ride of a start to the season. If the season continues as it has started, I am certainly going to be glued to my TV every weekend, not even going into the kitchen to put the kettle on!

I would like to mention that the stewards have been brilliant today as well. Although I don't agree with their decision against Vettel, I don't disagree with them either. As, in my opinion, the incident was 50/50, Vettel not yielding and Kubica not giving him enough room, they should have either both been penalised or effectively "cancelled" each others bad moves out and it just be deemed a racing incident. Vettel did enter the corner a fraction behind Kubica so should have yielded, however Kubica should have not assumed Vettel would give him the position simply by out braking him. There was plenty of room for Kubica to go around the outside of the corner leaving more room for Vettel and Kubica would have had the line going into the next corner with a car that, at that moment in time, was much faster. Maybe then the race would have been different. It was wrong of Vettel to admit liability for this, and I am sure that when he watches it back he will see that he didn't really do much wrong, but neither did Kubica really. I'm sure Kubica is also a little embarrassed about it!

Well lets start from the back today.

For me the disappointment of the day today was Heikki Kovalainen. Nothing much to say about his race other than he caused the first corner accident and then became a victim of it. I spent the whole of the winter hoping he would improve significantly this season. Although he isn't a terrible driver, I think there are drivers more worthy of a seat at McLaren. He really needs to start pegging Lewis Hamilton.

Kazuki Nakajima was a tough one today. I don't think he did much wrong, but in formula 1 a little mistake is enough to put you out of the race and this showed today. Nobody expects much of him at the moment anyway, but I do think he is a driver to watch in the future. He just needs to iron out these little mistakes he keeps making.

Nelson Piquet Jnr was a little unlucky today, half a mistake and half a problem with the car. But still a mistake. As much as keeping your position is important, you have to finish a race before you can score any points. He was in no position to try and out brake Rosberg as he knew his brakes were cold, he should have accepted this and attempted to chase him down once he got everything back up to temperature.

Felipe Massa actually drove a good race today. I didn't see much of him apart from his start, which was brilliant and well planned. Just a bad day at the office for Ferrari today. Unlucky FM.

Kimi Raikkonen had a good start and drove a good race for some of the race today. His performance seemed to drop after he got hit by Barrichello. I really wish we could have the old Kimi back! He isn't exciting anymore!

Robert Kubica drove an absolutely fantastic race today. He was on fire, defending his position brilliantly when he needed to any seemingly getting faster as the race went on. Silly mistake cost him a possible win.

Sebastian Vettel had a brilliant race today and drove brilliantly up until he and Kubica had their little "incident". I think he will take a lesson away from here today, and not make this mistake again.

Mark Webber continues to suffer bad fortune, but at least he finished. I think he did the best he could do today after the first corner incident. Stop walking under ladders Mark!

Jarno Trulli drove well today, and it seems to be the topic of the day that a silly little mistake has cost a lot of drivers their race! After driving consistently for the whole race he took himself off behind the safety car and lost a place, OK maybe that mistake couldn't be helped due to cold tyres but he could have at least finished 4th had he cared to read the rule book before he started the race!

The Force India of Fisi isn't a car I saw much of today. But he finished and beat some "better" cars so he must be happy today.

After being involved in the first corner tussle, Nick Heidfeld has drove brilliantly today to almost make it into the points!

Another car I didn't see much of today was Sutil. Beat his team mate and just missed the points! Sutil is another driver showing some promise.

Sebastien Bourdais was yet another driver we didn't see much of today, although he was beaten by his rookie teammate I think he has driven well to score a point today.

Mr Buemi interests me, I always wondered why he was picked over drivers that have performed better than him in GP2. I have to say though for a debut with a lot of action in the race, he was fantastic. Sabastien Buemi kept his nose out of trouble today. The only negative thing I can say about him is he needs to improve his defending skills, but this may just be nerves. All in all a brilliant debut, and a well deserved 2 points! Toro Rosso beating Red Bull again!

Nico Rosberg was brilliant today. He drove the car as hard as he could and he got the most out of it! He must have been so disappointed losing those positions when his tyres dropped off, but he pressed on and got some quality points for Williams.

OK, I have to confess that I am not a fan of Fernando Alonso. However, recent events have warmed me to him and I can't believe that I am actually starting to like the guy. He had a quiet race today and drove a stellar race. I expect him to start getting nearer the front as the season progresses.

Well done to Timo Glock, starting from the back of the grid 4th place is absolutely fantastic. If the Toyota proves this fast all season he will be in the top 4 drivers I am sure! Brilliant race for him today!

If somebody had said to me last night Lewis Hamilton will finish 3rd in the race I would have laughed at them! Lewis used his KERS brilliantly today and pulled off some brilliant overtaking moves to get where he was. The biggest surprise of the day was a stewards decision going in his favour! Brilliant drive from Lewis, he drove the skin off that car. It actually seems faster in race trim.

After a very shakey start, for which I completely forgive him for, Rubens Barrichello had a brilliant race! He has not had much time in the car, so he did brilliantly to claw himself back to 2nd, albeit with the help of RK and SV.

And win number 2 for Jenson Button. Always had the potential to win with the right car underneath him. If Lewis is going to lose his title to anybody, this is one place where I will be happy for it to go! He drove brilliantly from lights to flag!

What a race that was, and just to throw something in, KERS - brilliant feature in the race, terrible feature in qualifying! Loads of overtaking today, and loads of action. The new rules, as much as I doubted them before, are FANTASTIC!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

2008 Season Review of Drivers

Well here it is... my first blog!

Now some facts before I start! I am a huge fan of formula 1, I never miss a race live, always have to be in the know about everything in the sport and yes I am a Lewis Hamilton fan. I also have huge respect for a lot of the drivers and I try not to have a biased opinion!

2008 in formula 1 was the most exciting season that I have ever watched! It was amazing! The racing was the closest I have seen in years, there were 5 wet races, and loads of controversy! Whether good or bad controversy still brings attention to this amazing pinnacle of motorsport!

2008 saw several things, Lewis' championship aside. Felipe Massa matured massively throughout this season after his terrible start in Australia. He did have more than his unfair share of bad luck but that comes with the nature of the sport but karma came along and put some stewards decisions his way! Kimi Raikkonen spend 75% of the season asleep! Robert Kubica finally got some machinery to prove his worth, well for some of the season anyway! Fernando Alonso, after his terribly (for him) season at McLaren in 2007 showed that he is a great driver at least, although i disliked his comments on how he would help FM win if he could, either that or he was try to get himself a Ferrari drive! Nick Heidfeld had a rather disappointing season, he was rather average, not managing to qualify himself very well very often and seemingly making very little effort to overtake in races.

I get to a tough one to call now, Heikki Kovalainen, who somehow managed to finish 7th in a championship winning car? Now this guy is fast, he proved this several times with his qualifying laps and his race win. However, he seems to lack consistency in race trim and has his fair share of bad luck also. Something he needs to work on over winter testing is this consistency problem and hopefully he can push Lewis Hamilton from behind next season. I've also felt a good driver needs a good teammate to push him. You only have to look at Alain Prost and Aryton Senna! Heikki lacks a killer instinct and he needs to show some in 2009 if he is to have a drive at McLaren in 2010 in my opinion.

Onto Sebastian Vettel. He had a very promising season this year! I hope this is a showing of things to come, His cool head in Monza was the highlight, but quite honestly he has outperformed his car this season, albeit after a bit of a dire start with several retirements. If he had the car he had at the end of the season at the start I quite honestly believe he could have been challenging for the WDC. He is definitely one to look out for!

Jarno Trulli, although scoring at more than 50% of races had quite a disappointing season. He seemed spin his car quite alot. And I think the equipment was better than the driver in this example! He did have an extraordinary race this season in getting his podium at France. But in a season where Toyota seem to have had their best car ever, he should have done better.

Timo Glock, although scoring less than his team mate had a much better season. This is of course after his shaky start. But what more can you expect from somebody in their first full season in a midfield car? You're not going to see much of him next season, as I don't think Toyota will have a good car, but I think he will outperform his teammate, look out for Timo.

Mark Webber showed signs of what he could do with a better car this season and outperformed this terrible car (which was much better in STR trim!). Hopefully with Sebastian Vettel to kick his bottom and without his hordes of bad luck Red Bull could have a surprise package in 2009. There is no doubt he is a good driver, red bull need to put a good car under him next season or Sebastian Vettel could end up with a very similar career path! Mark Webber has always outscored his teammate in F1, give him a better car for the love of god!

Nelson Piquet Jnr. (Nelsinho) had a really jittery first season in F1, after his brilliance in GP2 this was very disappointing. He managed to save his place at Renault with improved performance towards the end of the season, but had far too many incidents in my opinion. He needs to show consistency and speed next season to stay in formula 1 and he needs to forget about his season, apart from the lessons he has learned!

Nico Rosberg will hopefully follow in the footsteps of his father. He is a brilliant driver who works hard and deserves a much better car. Started the season well and just faded, with Williams performance, over the rest of the season. He fought for every point and did very well to finish 13th!

Rubens Barrichello still has it! He deserves to have a drive next year. He fought a hard battle all season and came out on top of his teammate and put his terrible car on the podium, albeit in the wet.

Kazuki Nakajima was quite consistent this season. He had a few rough races and was outperformed by his teammate. All in all, I feel he had an OK start to his F1 career.

David Coulthard lost the plot in his final season. He has been an excellent asset to the sport but I feel left his retirement a season too late. Great Driver over the years but this year, quite frankly, he was shocking.

Sebastien Bourdais has had huge difficulty adjusting himself to F1. Having watched some of his races in Champ cars I can see the enormous talent he is. He needs to convert this next season, if he has a drive!

Jenson Button showed no interest this season whatsoever. He had a terrible attitude and should have still pushed as hard as he could and tried to outperform the terrible car he was given to drive. Time is slipping away for him to clinch a WDC, and with Lewis Hamilton around nowadays, I don't think he ever will.

Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil both worked their socks off for Force India in their first season and have both put the car somewhere great this season, albeit with terrible misfortune, most noticeably when Kimi Raikkonen shoved his car into the back of Mr Sutil in Monaco. Good luck next season guys! Hopefully Force India will have a better car next season with their "Technical Partnership" with McLaren.

Now I had to save the best until last! Lewis Hamilton had a very mixed season. Even though he finally managed to claim the WDC after giving it away last season. He threw that McLaren with huge accuracy for most of the season, had terrible stewards decisions go against him on several occasions and almost threw it away in Japan where another controversial decision helped his arch-nemesis! And then killed everybody in China! I think the season finale, although he did the job... just, was a very disappointing drive albeit on the part of his teams fuel strategy. He also didn't have his usual killer instinct! All in all though a great season from the current greatest driver in F1!