Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Good Couple Of Races

Kimi Raikkonen has had himself a good couple of races.

On the podium both in Hungary and Valencia, he's keeping Ferrari in the thick of things. It shows that when it comes to these point-and-squirt type tracks, the KERS-equipped Ferrari is well suited. It also reaffirms that he is motivated, something which doesn't hurt in these days of driver indecision at Ferrari.

The result in Valencia is probably more legitimate than that in Hungary, as the Brawn cars obviously started their summer break a bit early. But Barrichello had the Brawn wound up properly today, and was in the perfect position to take advantage of McLaren's mis-step at the last round of pit stops. A third today is well done indeed.

That said, the issue of the reserve driver is one which has to be addressed. It is almost criminal that drivers are placed in Formula 1 cars in a race situation without any testing ahead of time. Badoer just couldn't get it together today. The other relative rookies are definitely coming from more recent competition than Badoer is, and that certainly helps.

Having one's debut at Valencia, too, makes things excessively difficult -- the nature of the circuit means that if you get one corner wrong those errors will tend to compound and get carried forward much more.

If you ask me, Micheal Schumacher probably would have done better, but I personally wouldn't have put any money on him scoring any points.

So given that a new, inexperienced driver is unlikely to contribute much to the points tally, Ferrari should have picked someone likely to grow into the organization longer term. This would be an unpopular decision in the press, but is more likely to assist the organization in a long-term way than the Badoer decision.

I hope Badoer does better at Spa, but again I'm not putting money on his chances for points. The sharp end of the grid is too tightly packed, and reliability too good, for someone to squeeze in.