Monday, June 25, 2012


Oh, man.  You had to like that, especially coming back from a disappointing qualifying -- although one that was a tactical error instead of a problem with the speed of the car.  Starting from 11th and making it to the front with really only one gift -- Vettel's alternator failure -- and then holding it.  Hamilton never really looked like getting on with the Ferrari once it had eased past.  Alonso put on a clinic for us on Sunday, and as a result, it is Ferrari Monday.

I've said before, you have to be near the front in order to capitalize on other people's misfortunes.

Quick notes from Sunday:

  • Was I the only one who noticed that the Valencia podium featured the three former Ferrari world champions -- Alonso, Raikkonen, and Schumacher?  And a guy from Ferrari?
  • Oh, and Schumacher's climb through the defenseless at the end of the race was great to watch -- and he was well placed to benefit from the bad luck of those up the road from him.
  • Nice comment from Saturday: "Can you seriously contend that Massa is now rubbish if he's merely 8 hundredths behind Alonso?"
  • The Renault alternator failures remind me of a story from the 80s, when the engines were much less reliable and failures were far more common.  After one session which featured an explosive on-track failure, a team put out a press release blaming the problem on an "electrical fault".  Deep background research confirmed that this was merely PR spin -- in that what had happened was that the crank shaft failed, jamming a cylinder through the engine block, knocking the alternator off.  Yeah, "electrical fault".
  • In my opinion Senna got jobbed for the collision with Kobayashi -- being realistic it was a racing incident; if one was eager to apportion blame, one could argue that Kobayashi stuck his nose into a hole it was never going to fit in when Senna positioned for the next turn.  A cut tire was punishment enough -- the drive-through was insult to injury.
  • In the same vein I don't think that the collision between Kobayashi and Massa was actionable, even though it put paid to Massa's afternoon.
  • I also think the Maldonado-Hamilton incident was, at worst a racing incident.  The only reason why you could argue Maldonaldo had left the track prior to t-boning Hamilton was because Hamilton had pushed Maldonaldo off it.  Hamilton's punishment of the instant retirement was fitting.  Maldonaldo being awarded a after-the-fact drive-through penalty was more of the same jobbing.  Frankly if you put these high-speed cars into the concrete-lined gerbil maze that is Valencia, some of them are going to run into each other.
  • I'm getting tired with the BBC blather pack -- after Alonso was in front, the commentary was all about how the Ferrari was going to eat its tires and have to stop again, leaving the way clear for Hamilton to take victory.  It was only after several laps of this that the commentators remembered that Alonso's tires were changed at the safety car -- the same point that Hamilton and Raikkonen's were -- and that the cars behind the leading three seemed unlikely to be able to catch up.  
  • Although that did turn out to be wrong, as Maldonaldo caught up to the McLaren and probably would have had sufficient time to pass the McLaren had he not banged into it first.