Driver Performance Analysis: Korea
Published 17th October 2012 - Written by Craig Norman
Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne
The two Toro Rosso men broke Top Dog protocol by both being named our drivers of the weekend – read more here.
We’ve had an idea. The moment F1 sets foot in Asia, just give Sebastian Vettel maximum points and let the others try as hard as they can to take them off him, because he’s been absolutely brilliant on the continent for quite some time now.
Only beaten to pole by his team-mate, he then took the lead after a few corners and wasn’t challenged – thanks to Webber holding station, and keeping the Ferrari’s at bay – to nab his third win on the trot.
The worst thing that could happen would be Vettel-itis spreading to North and South America. Then we might as well give him the title in March and be done with it.
Spent the whole race at 70% speed while checking his mirrors every 2 seconds, sweating nervously and with the eyes of the world on him. Didn’t hit anyone, so that’s a win for the Frenchman, really.
Kept it upbeat despite the fact that Red Bull are clearly the favourites as the season rumbles on, the Spaniard could only really aim for 3rd and got it thanks to some dealings on the Ferrari pitwall.
But, now he’s firmly on the back foot, and the Ferrari has dropped back so far from the fizzy-drinks-brigade that it’s like taking a knife to a gun fight (or equivalent metaphor). Put simply, he’s slow, they’re fast.
Never has 6 points felt like a chasm.
So, the deal is sealed and Massa stays at Ferrari. Not surprising really, as he knows the team, has driven very well since the summer break.
Still, there was a case of what might have happened in Korea. Imagine; Felipe passes Fernando, chases down Webber and makes him chew up his tyres, and then catches Vettel and forces him to take risks on used rubber. That’s the best case scenario, but ultimately the outcome is simple – Felipe is back, and now safe.
Hero to zero in 7 days. Nothing more to add, really.
Now, here’s a curious one.
Has Nico been the victim of his own success in Korea? One double pass and all the critics are raving about him, talking him up into the vacant Sauber seat, and even saying that he should be the one sitting in a McLaren at the start of 2013. Yet, in the Sett, we’ve just got this feeling in the pit of our stomachs that if the race was any good, we’d not be going on as much.
Not to put a dampener on things of course, this was an ace result in a car that hasn’t really delivered on a regular basis, while the Hulk has. But, you can’t help but feel that it was achieved against a McLaren that was a wagon on three wheels, and a Lotus being driven by a man that would be instantly banned if he even looked at another car in the wrong way.