Every race weekend gives a new twist, this weekend being twisted towards Webber. Webber has a very good record at Silverstone.
Does this mean that it was a flash in the pan? Or has he mastered the RB8s control and new upgrades better than Vettel?
We don’t know, and won’t know until the next race – but that’s the good thing.
Logically, this should be Alonso’s year – even with some bad luck, he wins, sometimes good luck means he wins, and sometimes race pace gives him a good finishing points position.
McLaren are done – they have been totally and completely unable to upgrade their car or improve any part of it – it’s slow on slow circuits and fast ones, and has neither qualifying nor race pace.
Red Bull, Ferrari, Renault and even Williams are now quicker than the McLaren.
How long should Whitmarsh and the current band of technical / engineering heads be there for? They have been unable to make a car that is at the front of pace since 2008, generally being third, behind Red Bull and Ferrari – for four years. Ferrari had their blip but then improved this year’s car hugely.
That said, they have some things on their side which may mean that they are not fully humiliated this year. The overly sensitive and strange behaviour of the tyres and their window of manageability means that the other teams may still not get their set ups completely right at every race.
This means that the points are still not that bad – Hamilton is 37 points behind Alonso, but with about 250 points left to play for, this can be turned around.
In theory (only), the law of diminishing returns could mean that Red Bull and Ferrari have less pace to ‘find’ in their cars, while McLaren still have two races and a summer break before the final 8 races from September onwards to the end of the season.
They apparently have a Germany upgrade, so the next two races are either going to set up the 2nd half of the season or simply allow Alonso, Webber and Vettel to get further away and mean that Hamilton and Button have to wait again to see if there is any flukey way that the McLaren engineers can finally design something which is as quick as a Red Bull or a Ferrari.