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Archive for August, 2010

Hamilton reclaims the lead

August 29th, 2010 No comments

Lewis Hamilton proved his mastery of slippery conditions by claiming his third win of the season at the Belgian Grand Prix.

From second on the grid, Hamilton took advantage of Mark Webber’s poor start to beat the Australian into the first corner. From there he was unstoppable and despite the rain led the rest of the race. Hamilton now leads the championship from Webber by just 3 points.

Robert Kubica demonstrated the effectiveness of Renault’s new f-duct by finishing third, only narrowly missing out on second thanks to an error entering his pits. Team boss Eric Boullier was happy:

Overall I think we can be very satisfied with this weekend, especially because we brought our latest updates, including the f-duct, and managed to get it working properly straight away.

Once again, Force India were strong at Spa with Adrian Sutil finishing fifth and Tonio Liuzzi fighting against Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher. Force India is now 17 points clear of Williams in the Constructors’ Championship.

While it is still a five-way battle for the Championship, Hamilton and Webber were able to pull away slightly from their rivals thanks to Vettel finishing out of the points and Alonso and Button not finishing at all.

Alonso suffered an early pitstop after being speared by an unstoppable Rubens Barrichello (on his 300th GP start) and Button fell victim to an erratic Sebastian Vettel who seemed to be doing his best to trade paintwork with everyone around him. Jenson was understandably disappointed:

All I felt was a really big bang in the sidepod and I lost drive immediately, I don’t know what he was playing at really. From the point of view of the championship, it’s a massive blow.

There is no doubt that Vettel is seriously fast, but he seems to make too many hot-headed mistakes.

Categories: 2010 Season Tags: ,

Webber back on top

August 3rd, 2010 No comments

Mark Webber lifted himself to the top of the Drivers’ Championship with a remarkable drive in the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Although the circuit is well liked by the drivers, the narrow, twisty Hungaroring has a reputation for producing somewhat processional races but Sunday’s race was anything but boring. Thanks to a safety car period and a drive-through penalty for Sebastian Vettel, Webber was able to leapfrog both his team mate and Fernando Alonso and seal a much needed  fourth victory.

Sebastian was clearly upset at missing out on what he thought would be a certain victory and for the second race in a row there were two team mates on the podium; one looking less than happy.

But while Webber now leads the Championship, Lewis Hamilton is only 4 points behind and Sebastian Vettel only 10 points. It is still very much a five-way battle between the Red Bulls, McLarens and Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari. Webber knows he can’t afford to relax:

It’s nice to have more points than anybody else, but we’re not getting ahead of ourselves as there are some big events coming up.

In the closing stages of the race a furious battle for 10th was taking place between old team mates Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello. Rubens had complained over the radio that Schumacher was closing the door on his passing attempts very late in the corners and on lap 68 Schumacher very nearly forced Barrichello into the wall. Barrichello managed to scrape through with centimetres to spare but it was clearly an extremely dangerous move by Schumacher.

Barrichello called for Schumacher to be shown a black flag and ex-F1 driver Derek Warwick (who was on the stewards panel) told BBC’s Radio 5 Live just how close Schumacher came to being disqualified:

Throwing a black flag would have shown a better example to our young drivers but by the time we got the video evidence we ran out of time and we had to do it retrospectively.

In the end the stewards handed Schumacher a 10 place grid penalty for Spa. With Schumacher’s current performance this virtually guarantees he won’t score any points in Belgium so it seems a fair penalty. After initially claiming innocence Schumacher eventually conceded his driving was dangerous:

Immediately after the race yesterday I was still in the heat of it all, but after I looked again at the situation with Rubens I have to say that the stewards were correct with their judgement.

What it does show is that Schumacher may have lost some of his old speed but he has lost none of his old ruthlessness.

Categories: 2010 Season Tags: , ,
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