As the dust settles on the Singapore Grand Prix, the Badgerometer looks back over the weekend and investigates the top 5 stories to come from Marina Bay
Lotus-Renault beats Lotus Renault
Tony Fernandes has been harping on about 2012 recently and how Team Lotus will need to perform well, but they managed to make another step forward on Sunday afternoon by beating an established team on raw pace alone.
Even better, it was the team that they wanted to beat more than anyone else – Lotus Renault GP. After all the court battles, the needling from either side and the threat of the green-and-gold team being renamed, it was a case of just desserts.
“Thank you for flying Air Schumacher”
After two of the best races he’s had since the start of his “second” career, Michael Schumacher came back to earth with a bump – quite literally!
Sergio Perez had just been retaken by the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and in quite a robust way as well, when Schumacher came up behind to overtake. The young Mexican, probably still smarting from the contact from Rosberg, moved right to defend the racing line and the German veteran’s front tyre rode up the rear of the Sauber, sending him airbourne for a few seconds. Thankfully, after coming to a stop in the crash barriers, Michael was OK.
The irony was that its the incident that could have happened in Monza had Michael not been told to move aside for Lewis Hamilton. And in Italy it’s faster and more open. We guess what goes around comes around after all.
Di Resta doesn’t tyre easily
When you’re a rookie and facing the toughest race of the season it’s all about getting to the end without any issues. Not only did Paul di Resta manage that, but he also beat his teammate and finished a career best 6th. Good job!
Force India were criticised on Saturday for not even trying to set a time during Q3 but, then again, given they had to use some Super Soft tyres to get into Q2 in the first place, we don’t blame them.
The novel strategy of running the harder tyre at the beginning of the race paid off for the Scot. At one point before he stopped he made it up to 3rd, getting the team (and grateful sponsors) some good exposure. Despite making the mature decision to letting Lewis Hamilton past into 5th the team still scored a decent handful of points.
Now let’s see if they can overhaul Renault in the Constructors’ Championship…
Vettel is just one point away
Another completely dominant performance from a driver who simply doesn’t have an equal at the moment. After only a handful of laps he was a massive 8.2 seconds ahead of second placed man Jenson Button. That pretty much sealed it and there was still a whole afternoon’s racing to go!
The result of all that hot night racing: Sebastian Vettel is 124 points ahead of Button with 125 to play for. That’s one point needed to secure a second consecutive World Title. So, barring five failures and five wins for the Brit, the title is firmly in his pocket. Game over for 2011.
It could happen though!
Felipe vs. Lewis
The biggest story (in our eyes at least) is the Lewis Hamilton-Felipe Massa clash. It really is a great talking point for so many reasons.
Let’s take Lewis. He’s been under pressure to get results all season and now has a teammate who’s not only hit a purple patch of form, but is also slowly getting the team around to him. The reasons for Hamilton’s failure to perform as well as he did in his first few years are many and varied; McLaren not building a fast car, no guidance after the split from his father, his relationship with Nicole, etc.
Let’s also have a look at Felipe Massa. The Brazilian has spent a few years in a team that was geared around him, only for Fernando Alonso to come in and take over. Also, he’s also spent the week keeping tabs on how well Sergio Perez did while testing for Ferrari. Coupled with being punted in Italy by Mark Webber, no wonder he was so frustrated.
And that’s what happened; two combustable drivers collided on track and, with so many other elements coming into play, it’s enough for all fans to have an opinion about it. What’s yours?