Category Archives: Formula 1

Button Rules With His Head

Button wins in Australia

Its hard to imagine many people enthusiastically setting their alarms for the Grand Prix on Sunday morning. Those who did will not have been disappointed, Australia provided everything that was missing in Abu Dhabi. Conditions created the tactical battles the new regulations seem to have eliminated from the sport, splitting the grid and making for some really exiting racing.
Buttons call to come in for slicks was superbly timed and proved driver judgment is often as important as speed. The question many where asking prior to the season was how long it would take Button to get the better of Hamilton, the answer was 2 races. Hamiltons performance on Sunday was however probably the best of the day and he is justifiably upset with his 6th place finish. He deserved a podium finish at the very least. Their pairing at McClaren is one of the most intriguing I have seen in F1, Hamiltons aggression and raw pace are a complete contrast to Buttons smooth calculated style. With the exception of the Hamilton/Alonso pairing in 2008 there has been a disappointing lack of competitiveness within teams in recent years. It’s the best indication of just how fast a driver is.
Renault will be delighted with Kubica’s surprise second place, he is unlucky not to have secured a more competitive drive this season. Given the tools I’m sure he could challenge for the title. Alonso will feel he could have won despite having to fight from the back of the grid, he was quick all weekend until he found himself stuck behind teammate Massa. It remains to be seen if he is willing to accept equal status within Ferrari. His history at Renault and McClaren suggest not, but surely Ferrari are his last chance with a competitive team. As for Vettel you have to feel sorry for him as he should probably have 2 wins under his belt yet it seems Red Bull are still plagued by reliability problems. The Red Bull however appears some margin quicker than its rivals, a win cannot be far away.
At the other end of the grid the new teams are still well off the pace but Lotus have shown promise and Kovalainen completed a second race running. Hispania also managed to get a car to the finish, albeit 5 laps off the pace. Karun Chandhok had never driven the circuit and never been in an F1 car until qualifying for the first race. Some achievement amid the chaos happening around him at times. Its hard to see the Spanish team anywhere but the back of the field this season, but at least they have a big enough fuel tank. This leads us of course to Virgin Racing who announced this week that their cars cannot carry enough fuel to reach the end of a race. I must admit I found the idea of an F1 team based in Rotherham quite funny, they are in serious danger of becoming a laughing stock.
I would still have Vettel as favorite, closely followed by Alonso. The McClarens are not quick enough yet to regularly win races. Schumacher is not up to full speed, nor it seems is his Mercerdes, and I would be surprised if Renault finish as high as second again this year. Lets hope Melbourne proves to be a better indication of whats to come than Abu Dhabi. It would be a shame to waste such a talented and exiting grid.