By Pete Vack
Photos courtesy and copyright Ferrari Media
After what must have been a frustrating weekend for many teams, Lewis Hamilton and company came up with the best handling chassis/tire combination; the pole, and the race was his.
It didn’t help that the weatherman promised a 100 percent chance of rain for Sunday and failed miserably in the prediction. It turned out to be warm, dry with clear blue skies. The majority of the field started on soft yellows, Webber being an exception. But apparently the chassis were set up for rain, but had to run on dry tires, making things a bit difficult for the drivers.
By far the most frustrated driver of the weekend was Schumacher, who after qualifying well down on row 9, didn’t start. For some reason the starting lights failed to work properly and instant mayhem was avoided by getting the cars to go around for another lap. All, that is, aside from Schumacher; the Mercedes was not running. (Rumors say he accidentally killed the engine). He was pushed into the pits, got a restart, and began the race from the pits. Two laps or so later he came into the pits for a tire change after a puncture and got a speeding ticket on the way out; another lap into the pits for the penalty. He retired the car on lap 60, ending a race he’d rather forget.
Pastro Maldonado slammed against Di Restas car; another race incident for the driver. Although it appeared that the shunt was intentional, it is more likely that Maldonado is not quite capable of handling the car under pressure.
Romain Grosjean had a good race for a change. He sat on row one and from that point on tucked in behind Hamilton where he stayed, often challenging Hamilton for the lead. On lap 30 Grosjean pitted for tires but stayed on the yellows, meaning he would have to make a second stop for the medium compound tires. Teammate Räikkönen then took second and retained that position for the rest of the race.
In fact Räikkönen might have one; with ten laps to go, Kimi was closing the gap on Hamilton, both drivers having to conserve their tires while maintaining positions. Räikkönennever got close enough to pass however, and Hamilton drove superbly to take the checkered flag.
As Hamilton more or less dominated the race (losing the lead once to Kimi during a pit stop) it was not a particularly memorable event. Lewis took his second win of the season and a huge sigh of relief was heard from Woking. Kimi and Grosjean, finishing second and third respectively, are both true contenders for a victory this year. Alonso and Massa did well but were no doubt hampered by the lack of speed. Vettel and Button struggled to keep the pace while Webber simply didn’t.
So we end round 11 of twenty and the winners so far are:
1. Australia…Jenson Button, McLaren
2. Malaysia…Alonso, Ferrari
3. China…Rosberg, Mercedes
4. Bahrain…Vettel, Red Bull Renault
5. Spain… Maldonado, Williams Renault
6. Monaco… Webber, Red Bull Renault
7. Canada…Hamilton, McLaren
8. Europe (Valencia)…Alonso, Ferrari
9. Great Britain…Webber, Red Bull Renault
10. Germany…Alonso, Ferrari
11. Hungary…Hamilton, McLaren
The circus takes a break for the month of August and returns with the Grand Prix of Belgium on September 2.
|11||HULKENBERG||Force India-Mercedes||+ 57.2s|
|12||DI RESTA||Force India-Mercedes||+ 62.8s|
|15||RICCIARDO||STR-Ferrari||+ 1 lap|
|16||VERGNE||STR-Ferrari||+ 1 lap|
|17||KOVALAINEN||Caterham-Renault||+ 1 lap|
|18||KOBAYASHI||Sauber-Ferrari||+ 2 laps|
|19||PETROV||Caterham-Renault||+ 2 laps|
|20||PIC||Marussia-Cosworth||+ 2 laps|
|21||GLOCK||Marussia-Cosworth||+ 3 laps|
|22||DE LA ROSA||HRT-Cosworth|| + 3 laps|
|23||KARTHIKEYAN||HRT-Cosworth||+ 9 laps, steering|
|24||SCHUMACHER||Mercedes||+ 11 laps, technical|
Driver’s Championship Standings
|13||DI RESTA||Force India-Mercedes||27 Points|
|16||HULKENBERG||Force India-Mercedes||19 Points|
Constructor’s Championship Standings
|8||FORCE INDIA-MERCEDES||46 Points|