We’ve been all nostalgic here on Badger GP in recent weeks, looking back on a season that, even though Sebastian Vettel won everything in sight, still produced some races that we loved from first red light to chequered flag. But, we won’t lie – there has been some friction over which was the best race of 2011.
Thankfully, we have the Scrutineering Bay to help us with settling the dispute!
This week, we’ll be asking the very simple question of;
“What was the best race of 2011?”
There are many contenders, and here’s their arguments one-by-one.
Ah, the principality. So many amazing memories throughout the years, but not much in recent times (unless it rains cats and dogs Sunday morning). Again, Pirelli brought the excitement though, and credit to them.
With the laps ticking down, Sebastian Vettel led Fernando Alonso, who led Jenson Button. Vettel had made one stop and was making his tyres last the distance, but the wily Spaniard had fresher tyres and was closing fast, but Button had even fresher tyres and was closing even faster. We were set for a barnstorming finish, but alas it wasn’t to be, with a multi-car incident involving Adrian Sutil, Vitaly Petrov, Jaime Alguersuari and Lewis Hamilton brought out the red flag. During the break, all cars could change tyres, and the epic finish we craved evaporated.
Other noticeable incidents include Hamilton’s destruction derby, which eliminated both Felipe Massa and Pastor Maldonado and prompted this infamous interview;
What can be said about Canada that hasn’t been said already? An epic Grand Prix that lasted over 4 hours, with plenty of action on track. Jenson Button went from last on the road to first by overtaking Vettel on the very last lap, in a spectacle covered by Badger GP in our first live event of the year. Catch the footage when Button took the lead…
Of course, there were other honorable mentions in terms of highlights. Michael Schumacher rolled back the years to be in contention for a podium until the final few laps, Kamui Kobayashi spent the entire red flag period in second place, and held off Massa after the restart, while Martin Brundle and David Coulthard kept the nation entertained for twice as long as they usually do (half of it without any action on track at all!)
Bit of a patriotic vote here, as the race on home soil was exciting for many reasons inside the Sett, the main one being the fact that three Badgers attended live. We got to enjoy the thrills and spills up close – including the monsoon rain shower that drenched half the track 15 minutes before the start!
Ultimately it would be Ferrari and Fernando Alonso’s only taste of victory all season. The Spaniard took the lead after the second round of stops when Red Bull made an uncharacteristic error, causing young Seb to lose some time. Alonso held on to take the win, with the Red Bull’s squabbling over second place, and Mark Webber being unceremoniously told to “maintain the gap”.
Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa continued their rivalry, this time clashing on the final few corners for 4th place.
Hungary marked Jenson Button’s 200th Grand Prix start, and the British veteran was in high spirits ready for the big occasion;
When it got down to business, the conditions were wet and slippery, and based on Button’s form in similiar races, pitch perfect. Just like his maiden victory at the same track 5 years previously, Jenson claimed victory after some wheel to wheel action with Vettel and his teammate Hamilton.
Could you get anymore of a fairy tale ending than that?
This year’s event at Suzuka really boiled down to a straight fight between Sebastian and Jenson. Seb needed a solitary point to take his second consecutive title, while Button was the only man who could mathematically stop him with the season coming to a close. It got feisty before the very first corner, as the German put the Brit off the race track slightly and onto the grass before they even turned into Turn 1!
Jenson came out on top though, after passing Vettel in the first round of stops and managing his tyres better than both him and second placed man Fernando Alonso. It was a mature performance by Button, who was in the form of his career, taking a first dry weather win for McLaren and showing the world just what he’s still capable of when he’s 100% happy with the car.
That’s enough from us, whay not have your say below! What was your race of the season? Do you agree with the choices here? If not, let us know in the comments below!