Formula 1 – Spanish GP Race Review

The qualifying results and the grid positions did not help much to make this race predictable. McLarens are still behind Ferrari on the race distance, but they can match them pretty closely on one lap pace. Both Alonso and Hamilton are pretty good starters. So we had 4 very closely matched cars close together on the grid and the order after 1st corner could have been any combination Ferraris and McLarens.

Massa still has the Sepang start fresh in his memory and good for him. Alonso probably knew his only on track overtaking chance will come in the first corner and he went for it.

Massa this time did a perfect job and relegated Alonso to 4th place. From this moment on Massa’s only competition for race win was his own car and his mechanics. They tried to fire him same as they did to Schumi not that long ago, but he did not even notice and went on to win the race, clocking the fastest lap in process. Kimi was not that lucky, his car broke down early in the race. Sometime that time it began obvious, that bar some disaster, Hamilton will become the championship leader at the end of the race …Alonso’s result was clearly compromised by the loss of track position after the Massa incident, but it looked like he did not even have the pace of Hamilton during the race. Who knows, maybe he knew he will have no chance to overtake Hamilton, so there was no point pushing and risking. But this was his home race, and 2 quick BMWs were behind him. I do not think he knew that Heidfeld will loose time with an extra pit stop and eventually retire later on … For me this was another race from Alonso, where he lost interest once he realized he can’t win. His car twisting celebration when crossing the finish line in P3 looked like a joke. He is a world champion, in a competitive car, racing in front his home crowd … where is the passion? This guy needs to wake up, he has one very competent guy as a team mate … Hamilton is no Fisichella …

Heidfeld had unlucky race, but Kubica did good and so 4th time this year BMW came home in 4th place. There race pace is not that far from McLaren. But both Red Bull and Renault seem to have made big leap in performance. Renault messed up this race. Their pit strategy was horrible, they always managed to have their drivers on track right behind some slower car and the faulty refueling rig had nothing to do with that. Yes, they had to come back for extra pit stop. But they wasted much more time having their drivers bottled up in traffic.

Red Bull need to do something with their reliability. As one internet portal mentioned, Newey’s cars usually come with the free gift of unreliability and that seems to be case. Webber’s car had problems on Saturday, same problems retired him on Sunday. Coulthard also almost did not make it to the finish, after his gearbox deprived him of several gears.

Super Aguri are the heroes of the day. One year and 4 races from their entry and they have first point. Yes, 8 cars retiring is helpful, but Sato fought very closely with both Renaults and deserves the point. Seeing how competitive SA car is, I have to wonder, why the Honda team proper does not revert to their last year car for the time being. Watching both Hondas and SAs on TV yesterday, one can see the huge difference between handling of SA and Honda …

To be fair to Honda, they seem to have made some improvement. But if they want to score points anytime soon, they need to make sure their 2 drivers stay clear from each other.

Last point to make – Sutil again outperformed Albers in Spyker and this is becoming a pattern now…

Monaco is next and as always the race there brings out some opportunity for the unusual suspects to shine. Can’t wait …

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  1. [...] exactly a year later, May 13, 2007, the new boys, Super Aguri, scored their first ever championship point after only 1 season and 4 races in Formula 1. Few months later, in August 2007, the news came out that the team’s title sponsor, SS [...]

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