Tuesday, July 12, 2011


So I suppose it would be inappropriate to let the first victory of 2011 pass unremarked. Alonso clearly had the car and the talent to get the job done on Sunday at Silverstone, romping away from the Red Bulls and the obviously disadvantaged McLaren in a manner that only Vettel had demonstrated thus far this year.

At this point I do not think this marks a revival of Ferrari fortunes for the year. I think that Ferrari benefited from the changing conditions through the weekend by managing to find the correct solution for their car at the right times. I also think that the radically changing exhaust rules through the weekend worked to their advantage, as the more-effective systems on the Red Bulls and McLarens were being affected by the rules changes that were happening between the sessions.

So this may very well be a one-off for the year; "normal" service may well resume at the next event.

The biggest effect on the track activity was the behavior of those mangling the technical rules during the event. When the rules are being adjusted between the sessions, one cannot plan effectively to put in a program to dial the car in to the track conditions. McLaren was the most visibly affected by this, although I personally put Red Bull's vulnerability down to the effects of the uncertainty.

To announce now that the rules changes will be changed again, throwing out the new interpretations of the rules in favor of bringing in more specific regulations for 2012 -- well frankly this should have been the strategy from the start. The FIA's technical regulators really dropped the ball on this one.

So we'll enjoy the result --even if we would have preferred Massa to put a proper pass on Hamilton on the last lap -- but be fully prepared for more frustration as the rest of the season progresses.