I thought I’d make a list of the races, starting now, because they get so easily forgotten (the details).
Even by the next race I can hardly remember what happened one or certainly two races ago, as Formula 1 is so ‘in the now’ – it doesn’t matter what happened but the urge is to press on, develop and improve.
So I’m going to very succinctly round them up by skill and luck.
No matter that F1 is about supreme skill, luck is a huge factor in any racing. Of course some people desperate to look cool can say that people make their own luck blah blah, but a mechanical failure, weather, tyre issues, being smacked into for no reason by another driver… luck plays a big part. I’ll only go into Championship contenders – mainly – for reason of being succinct.
So who was skillful, who was lucky or unlucky? So far?:
Skill: Button. After a little bit of luck that Hamilton’s clutch stuck and there was a thick painted white line off Pole, Button make this count by clearly being the fastest driver. Before the safety car he was 10 seconds clear.
Good luck: Vettel was very lucky that (1) Schumacher had a problem JUST as he was approaching him, and very, very, very luckily, the safety car at the EXACT right time mean that Hamilton couldn’t get round quickly after pitting, so Vettel just came out in front.
Bad luck: Hamilton has bad luck that a safety car just after his pit meant he lost a place for that simple reason
Skill: Hamilton blasted Pole and was untouchable on one lap pace. But in the race, Perez and the Sauber team did something magical to the car. No doubt it was a great drive from Perez, but the Sauber team must have set the car up perfectly for wet conditions and tyre management.
Good luck: Alonso was very skillful to manage a very sub-par Ferrari to win. Yet, Hamilton’s pit issues lost him over 10 seconds, and, while Perez was literally 1 second a lap faster than Alonso, Perez made one vital ‘rookie’ error with about 5 laps to go as he was JUST closing in on Alonso. Those two big pieces of luck helped give the race victory.
Bad luck: Button – broke his front wing for no good reason other than a slip on a wet track and mis-judgement from him and the driver in front. Vettel – was lucky right at the start as Schumacher was hit and Grosjean went out for no good reason – then bad luck in exactly the same way as Button; a very slight mis-judgement and his tyre punctured, race over.
Note: a solid performer in both these races was Webber. He was slightly unlucky to have a fast car in front of him for both two races. This meant that he was getting very close, but turbulent air and the pace of Hamilton and then Raikkonen in Australia and Malaysia respectively meant that he couldn’t get close enough to his team-mate – who he was faster than in both races – to attempt a pass.
Next race China: Lewis’ track.
2007: he was far ahead but a puncture stopped the race
2009: the famous dog McLaren car but still finished well
2010: he pitted FOUR times, Button pitted TWICE, and Hamilton finished only 4 or 5 seconds behind Button in 2nd
My prediction: finally, a race win from pole for Hamilton – weather permitting!