F1 – Spanish Grand Prix Race : Red Bull Establishes the Best Package
Overtaking in Spain is up there together with trying to cross a busy road with your eyes closed and not getting hammered.
Apparently, some people thought the Grand Prix was boring but then we knew that about Barcelona anyway. Barcelona never has been a race about overtaking, it’s a race to see who has established the best package of the season. There’s a well known sayings in the paddock, if you win Barcelona, you have the best package.
Once in a while, Mark Webber is a completely different man. In Spain, he ventured into a different territory. The territory of a legend. However, you can’t guess where he will be fast because there is no previous indication he will do just this. But when he is fast, he’s simply out of this world. Even his teammate has no response to his pace. The big question is, can he lead the team? Does he has material to dismantle Vettel from the leading role at Red Bull?
The last five laps Vettel only cruised to the flag because Alonso was gone and the cushion to Schumacher was sufficiently large. He did not brake a single time. Yup, you read it correctly. Drivers take risks all the time and sometimes you score while other times you don’t, however in this case he is lucky to be handed the 3rd place via Hamilton dramatic retirement. Maybe it’s in his style that he breaks the car consistently, but it just goes to show how hard he is pushing the car, as much as other people would blame him for the manner he handles his braking, I would say it’s Red Bull who should stepped up to the plate and produce a reliable car for Vettel.
Ferrari have nothing to complain with the 2nd place Alonso brought home. He too benefited from Hamilton’s retirement. There is not much to say about Ferrari’s pace in the race as it was ordinary. Recently, Ferrari announced that they will go aggressive with the new package. While going aggressive is a good strategy, history have shown reliability wise it will be risky. Understandably, with them playing catch up, there is not much choice either.
The result of the tyre failure analysis from Bridgestone suggests human error or debris related. It doesn’t matter at this stage how it happened, what is more perplexing is how in the world this always happens to Lewis. Based on previous grand prix, we know that Lewis tends to use his tyres quite hard compared to the rest of the guys on the grid. So much so that in Istanbul last time, he was ordered to do three pit stops instead of the usual two. Ideally I would think, tyre failure must occur gradually, I mean it must feel that it loses its character over time and if it fails without notice just like in Hamilton’s case, then there must be something wrong somewhere, probably construction defects for that specific piece.
First time this season, a Mercedes powered engine failed to get podium places. For McLaren, despite the disappointment in Spain, there is one positive from it. McLaren are now slightly behind Red Bull in terms of pace. They are faster than Ferrari and Mercedes.
For the first time Michael proves his critics wrong. Is this going to be a trend or just a one off stunt? In a few days time Monaco will answer the question.
Button finds the gearbox of Michael was not a pleasant sight at all. If not for the track, Button would have passed Michael and disappear into the distance. As for Mercedes, despite their radical package they were still lacking pace all weekend. Perhaps the car is new and there are few things that needs to be understood.
The pace of new teams in the race is worrying. The gap remains the same as before Spain despite positive signs in qualifying particularly from the Lotuses. It must have been the case where as the new teams improved so did the old teams.
To conclude, after Spain, the order for the top four teams are Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes.
Editorial : Mu’az Zakaria
Image Source : McLaren, Mercedes, Renault, Lotus, Red Bull, f1fanatic.co.uk