Sunday, October 30, 2011

First ever #F1 Indian GP: Missed opportunities

So once again, Sebastian Vettel won this weekend. He's took pole, led every lap and pushed to get fastest lap in the first ever Indian Grand Prix. As I write this, the BBC also seemed to have failed the broadcast at just the right moment - it's gone silent. Still, I excepted red flags because of stray dogs and broken video feed all the way through, after seeing what was happening from Thursday on.

What does seem like the message to take away from the inaugural race is that it has been a pretty successful first time out. Especially at a track where the construction were only finished about a week ago. However, no matter how much the drivers are raving about the track, its undulating surfaces and roller coaster style racing, it all seem a bit like a missed opportunity.

Hermann Tilke designed the best track in his repertoire in years. It's wide and designed for overtaking, but also tight sections where you have to concentrate on shooting through the kinks. But, because the track was so dusty and dirty, nobody tried to do that. As Martin Brundle said, let's wait and see if something could be done for next year!

On track action once again saw Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa coming together, again. Initial replay saw Hamilton coming in deep on the inside and Massa turning in, apparently not seeing the McLaren there. At the end of the race, we saw another slow-mo angle showing Massa turning his head a few times to look in his mirrors before turning in and crashing into Hamilton. One can only assume that the stewards saw the same, resulting in a drive-through penalty for Massa this time.

When will those two stop crashing into each other... Hopefully they'll start enjoying themselves again soon instead of whacking each other on and off track.

So, in the end, three World Champions occupied the top three. Button and Alonso finished second and third behind the young Vettel. Interestingly, Schumi drove a very consistent and clean race to take 5th place right in front of team mate Rosberg.

The pundits keep talking about how Vettel has broken a record leading more laps in a season than the previous record set by Nigel Mansell back in 1992. Well, I don't think this is such an amazing record on balance. We have more races this year and, of course, there will always be more laps in that case, right? Hmm...

Update: Here's how McLaren guest, Rowan Atkinson (a.k.a. Mr Bean or Blackadder) reacted during the Hamilton-Massa crash. It's really funny!

Image source: BBC Formula 1 and Formula One World Championships Limited

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