Race Nine: European Grand Prix

Mark Webber’s Reb Bull gained some wings and threw the whole race into disarray in the process. The European Grand Prix this past weekend will go down in my book as a complete hack job joke of a race, based mainly on the “rules and regulations” as well as the “penalties” that were handed out. At the start of the race, everything was going just fine. There was a ton of action in the first couple of laps with people changing position and cars flying all over the track as the racing has fast and frantic. All in all, it seemed like the Valencia circuit was going to provide a race for once. But that was all to change on lap 15. On the fast back straight, Mark Webber was chasing down Heikki Kovalainen’s Lotus, when he failed to brake in time, flew over the back of his car and flipped in the air. His car landed on its spine and eventually back onto the wheels before hurtling into the tires. I screamed, gasped and was wowed by the spectacle. Its not every day that a Formula One car takes flight, but it was appropriate that it happened to be a Red Bull that did it.

What came next is what makes me upset. First off, let me just say that I am a Ferrari Fan. However, in this instance I don’t think that anyone in the F1 community (besides diehard McLaren or Hamilton fans) will disagree with me when I say that Ferrari, and many others in the field, got screwed. Big time screwed. And it all had to do with Lewis Hamilton once again. A few years ago I gave him the nickname of Lucky Lewis, and it hasn’t failed to work for him. It fits him so well its obscene sometimes. This time, Lucky saw the safety car coming out of the pits, hesitated, then went right around them to get to the pits faster and get back out into the field in a better position. Being that both Ferrari’s were behind Lewis at this point, they did the right thing for once, and ended up having to do a slow in lap, causing them to fall very far down the order after their stops. I knew something was up when I saw Hamilton in the pits, during the safety car period, but no sign of either Ferrari. How did he get there so quick? Why is Alonso not on his tail? What’s going on here? Turns out that by skittering around the safety car, Lucky saved himself more than a minute of time and ended up regaining the track back where he started; in second place. But he had broken the rules and needed to be suitably punished right? In theory that’s what should have happened, however, because he was in second, and Kamui Kobayashi was in third at the time, he could pull out a generous lead on him and not have to worry about anything after the race stewards informed him of a drive-through penalty. What this meant is that he had to drive slowly through the pits at the designated speed limit, then re-enter the race. In practice, this should hamper a driver who has committed a penalty. In reality, it made no difference. Hamilton entered the pits in second, and came out in the same position. What this boils down to is that no penalty was served. If you break the rules on the track, there will be no consequences. This is what the FIA just laid out on Sunday. It’s fairly plain to see this in the way other penalties were handled after the race as well, because the FIA handed out five-second penalties to nine other drivers. FIVE SECONDS! Whoopty-freaking-doo. You know what this changed? One place. Alonso to eighth, Buemi to ninth. WOW! What a harsh penalty! Oh, wait, you’re right, that’s not a penalty at all. In fact, it seems that of the ten people who broke the rules in this race, no one was penalized. The team that was penalized was Ferrari, and THEY FOLLOWED EVERY RULE TO THE LETTER. Thanks FIA. Thanks Formula One. I never thought you could become as big of a joke as the World Cup and soccer, but you are really starting to become a farce.

Here is how the finishing order went. I’m not even going to compare these to my predictions because as far as I’m concerned, this was a totally lost race. Well done to Sebastian Vettel though, who drove a perfect race and was on fire all weekend. Well done must also be given to Kamui Kobayashi who drove over 50 laps on one set of tires, then passed both Alonso and Buemi in the closing laps to come home in seventh.

1. Sebastian Vettel

2. Lewis Hamilton

3. Jenson Button

4. Rubens Barrichello

5. Robert Kubica

6. Adrian Sutil

7. Kamui Kobayashi

8. Fernando Alonso

9. Sebastian Buemi

10. Nico Rosberg

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One response to “Race Nine: European Grand Prix

  1. Pingback: World Wide News Flash

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