The Iceman returned to winning ways – and nabbed Top Dog in the process!
Is Sebastian becoming an unstoppable force? Not even a fuel sample problem resulting in a penalty to the back of the grid (which he team then opted to move even further back to the pitlane) could prevent him from getting on the podium. Red Bull managed to set the car up to the point where he could have started in Bahrain and still broke the top ten.
What Sunday does represent is a mighty right hook from Seb in the title fight. He walked away Abu Dhabi with a sackful of points from a race no-one thought he would – playing Fernando at his own game and winning.
And what of the Spaniard?
Well, he performed magnificently in the Ferrari that just isn’t a front running car. He started 6th and finished 2nd, which is the kind of on-track heroics that is the benchmark for his season. He was deft on the brakes to get past Mark Webber in the early laps – which was imperative – and swashbuckled his way past Pastor Maldonado the moment Lewis Hamilton parked his McLaren.
Only Seb finished just behind him, despite starting on nearly the other side of the marina. You just can’t help but feel that even the force of nature that is Alonso can’t win this one. But, you never know…
Repeat after us Mark; “I will never try to pass Pastor round the outside, I will never try to pass Pastor round the outside”. Lesson learnt.
Now, we love an underdog, and Sergio has pulled off some stunners this season. We’re also against rash, boisterous, unprofessional bouts of driving. And therein lies the Perez conundrum.
Since the McLaren announcement he’s done nothing but go backwards. It might be a coincidence that his dip in form coinsides with a top team snapping him up, but it doesn’t excuse the rookie mistake of coming back onto track after he’d out-braked himself and clattering into poor old Romain.
The track layout didn’t help either. No kerbs or gravel means people don’t get their wrist slapped until after an incident. Naughty Sergio.
Well, well, well. Look who’s maturing into a solid F1 driver. The only thing that stopped a podium was probably the KERS failure on his final stint, but we didn’t find that out until after the race. It flipped a mediocre race into a decent performance instantly. Bravo.
Want to keep an F1 drive? Then merely keep your nose clean and race from 15th to 6th. But, don’t do it during a race where everyone else makes it look easy.
Clean, precise, stayed out of trouble, yet still got eliminated through contact with two other cars. The baton of trouble-magnet has left Pastor and is firmly in the hands of the Frenchman it seems. Shame.