Archive | May, 2011

Monaco GP driver rankings.

29 May

Sebastian Vettel 9/10

A good performance by Seb which deserved the victory. Many will say that he got the most luck, with his pit stop strategy being an accident and Petrov’s crash which let the team change his tyre – which would have cost him the race and he may have finished 3rd if it hadn’t happened. But it was still a good performance to come back from a messed up pit stop and Button getting a huge lead on him. He also put on a great performance at the Red Bull swimming pool dunking Eddie Jordan (numerous times) and David Coulthard.

Mark Webber 6/10

Finished 4th with the fastest lap, but seeing as the gap was closed when the race was red flagged and there were only 5 laps left the gap to the lead of 23 seconds was too big for a driver of his caliber. The Aussie put up a fight earlier, but had a problem from the start once Alonso overtook him and a awful pit stop where the team didn’t even have the tyres. A good overtaking maneuver on Kobayashi helped him gain an extra 2 points and to get back to the top 4 was not easy.

Lewis Hamilton 3/10

Awful. His strategy held him back in qualifying where he could have got pole if he’d gone out earlier and this cost him at the start especially when Schue hit his rear right and then did an amazing overtaking move on him at the hairpin. Things then went from bad to worse as he tried his own move on Massa at the hairpin which resulted in him getting a drive through for causing an avoidable collision, things then went to even lower when he forced Maldonado into a accident which gave Hamilton a 20 second penalty for another avoidable collision. Sadly Hamilton made an awful interview later saying that the stewards picked on him “Because he was black” and then went on to say that the drivers were no good and was shifting the blame for all his problems, mainly on Massa. Mark Brundell later said that Hamilton is going to have to change his mindset to a less “it’s not my fault approach” if he’s going to succeed again.

Jenson Button 9/10

A great race which was also ruined by a bad strategy as he was pitted too early for his second spot, but at least the pits went smoothly. He was driving very well at the end and may have got 2nd or 1st if it weren’t for Petrov’s crash which let the cars in front change tyres, a place where Button had an advantage. I am not Button’s biggest fan and I think he too often messes up, but when you see a drive like he had today you have to think that he is quite simply amazing.

Fernando Alonso 10/10

His strategy was spot on, and if it weren’t for the red flag I think he’d have gone on to win. His score is not just for him but also to the whole Ferrari team who have changed the car enough to start a comeback. Fernando had the best P2 and P3 time and I and many others were expecting him to dominate qualifying, but he didn’t and had to settle for 4th, not a great position to start at in Monaco, but yet again an amazing start let him overtake Vettel, and he may have got Button if it weren’t for the fact that Monaco is so narrow. Was consistent all the way through the race and attacked Vettel very well.

Felipe Massa 7/10

Yet again out shone by his team mate, but I’m starting to think this is Felipe’s come back after that horrendous accident 2 years ago. He was pushing for 4th/5th when Hamilton pretty much ruined his race by driving into him at the hairpin and Hamilton also has part of the blame for his retirement as he pushed him onto the marbles which sent him into the wall of the tunnel. Massa was on for qualifying 5th before Schue just beat him and if Massa can keep this up I can see him picking up his first win in two years this season.

Nico Rosberg 7/10

After a big crash in P3 his mechanics did a great job to fix the car up and let him out for qualifying and Rosberg -after missing most of P3- shone in qualifying and deserved to qualify higher than he actually did. There wasn’t much of him shown during the race as his fight was more with cars in the midfield rather than those at the top, and sadly finished 11th, a position he didn’t deserve.

Michael Schumacher 7/10

Yet again a great race in his come back tour. Schue provided us with a overtaking manouver that took away both of the BBC commentators breath and would have made him proud when he was in his hey day, as Schue overtook Hamilton on the first lap at the hairpin. Schue had another strong qualifying where he picked up 5th, a position he’s later lose at the start when the anti stall kicked in and he lost numerous places. Sadly for Schue today wasn’t his day and a problem occurred in his engine which forced him to retire in a very awkward stop, on the corner before the pit lane which hampered other drivers.

Vitaly Petrov 5/10

Not Vitaly’s best performance as he had a poor qualifying , picking up 11th before a race where he performed well for most of the race before piling into the wall and required an ambulance which cause the race to be red flagged. It’s been announced that Vitaly is coping well and almost certainly won’t miss Montreal.

Nick Heidfeld 6/10

4 more points made his record of most points in F1 without a win even harder to break, Nick qualified badly getting 16th on the grid, but came back in the race to finish 8th, which was helped by 5 of the drivers in front of him retiring.

Adrian Sutil 4/10

Picked up 6 points finishing 7th, but his eratic driving caused the pileup which cause Alguersuari and Petrov to crash. Adrian added to his bad qualifying by being beat by Paul Di Resta again, and managed to gain 8 places during the race. Adrian was called in front of the stewards post race but as of yet nothing has been said about it, this incident adds to Adrian’s recent problems with a charge of assault in a club a few weeks ago.

Paul Di Resta 5/10

His tendency to crash at the hairpin earned him the name Paul Di Crasha and let him use 3 frint wings for the whole race. But first the positives, it was Paul’s first visit to Monaco, and yet again he out qualified his team mate, not a easy thing, another positive is that Paul finished the race, something Force India reserve driver Nico Hulkenberg failed at last year crashing in the tunnel on the first lap. Sadly the negatives, he earned himself a drive through for and a new wing as he cut the cause an avoidable collision for trying to overtake Buemi at the hairpin, he then drove into the back of another driver later on at the same place, which required another front wing. Luckily for Paul Force India are making upgrades before Montreal so those wings wouldn’t have been needed anyway.

Rubens Barrichello 8/10

Put a smile to my face when finished in the points for Williams picking the team up 2 points. There were signs that the car was improving last time out at Turkey but had a problem in qualifying. This time thought there were no problems and Rubens started 12th, he kept this good performance on in the race with the car being competitive and he overtook his old team mate Michale Schumacher with a great move.

Pastor Maldonado 10/10

Amazing, outstanding, inspirational, do you need any more words. For the second time in a row Pastor got through to Q3, and this time he picked up 8th as Hamilton got punished for cutting  chicane and Perez didn’t set a time because of his crash. Pastor was driving well early on, although he was holding a few guys back, and before the red flag Pastor was 6th in his debut season at Monaco. Sadly his luck didn’t hold, Hamilton tried a risky overtake at the first corner and pushed Pastor into the wall forcing him to retire.

Kamui Kobayashi 9/10

5th. For a driver who’s only completed one complete season is pretty good. Had to start 13th but proved that Kamui can finish high up from starting anywhere, and he would have got 4th if he hadn’t been overtaken by Webber late on.

Sergio Perez 7/10

Sadly Sergio had a huge crash. but he’s ok and should be able to drive at Montreal. Before the crash though Sergio was great and you can see why Sergio is being followed by Ferrari and is in their young driver program. Perez not only out qualified hit team mate but he also got through to Q3, no easy achievement.

Sebastian Buemi 7/10

Another points finish for the Swiss, who’s asserting his dominance over the Toro Rosso seat and over Jaime Alguersuari, but this time he had to rely on lots of retirements to make it 10th. There isn’t much to say about Buemi as he kept out of trouble in the race and only really was shown by the BBC when Di Resta drove into him.

Jaime Algursuari 5/10

Not good. Not good one bit. Qualifying was his first problem as he picked up a disappointing 20th, and in the race only made headlines for the wrong things as it was he who knocked hamiltons rear wing out of place and then crashed into the wall making him partly responsible for the crash.

Heikki Kovalainen 7/10

First of all it was a great weekend for Team Lotus not only having both drivers finishing but also beating the other of the ‘new’ teams again. Heikki yet again beat Trulli in qualifying making it 6-0 to him and making him not only the only team mate of Trullis to out perform him in qualifying at Monaco but also to be the only one who’s done it twice. Sadly Heikki didn’t keep this up during the race as he finished behind Jarno.

Jarno Trulli 6/10

Losing his dominance at Monaco, but there is still life in him and by finishing ahead of Heikki he’s proving that qualifying isn’t the only time of improtance this year.

Timo Glock 6/10

Wasn’t doing badly before his suspension let him down at swimming pool. But it was good that he qualified ahead of Jerome, something that isn’t happening as much as it should. The same for Virgin as it was for Lotus, good performance by the team to have one car finishing, which is an improvement on  last year.

Jerome d’Ambrosio 6/10

A good drive by the young Belgian to complete the Monaco street circuit on his first attempt and even better didn’t crash or hit the barrier once. Nothing amazing though as he was only ever on the cameras when he was being lapped.

Vitantonio Liuzzi 5/10

The best thing that happened was that the stewards let him race after not taking part in Q1, apart from that only did good by being a good back marker when letting drivers through and by finishing the race. Sadly that’s about it with nothing bad either except his crash in P3 which meant the car had to be rebuilt.

Narain Karthikeyan 5/10

Basically the same as Liuzzi except he missed Q1 with a suspension problem, nothing good, nothing bad.


Should Nico Hulkenberg be the Force India reserve?

28 May

If you’ve watched the first practise sessions this year in Formula 1, you’d know that in 4 of the 6 sessions this year Force India have replaced one of their main drivers with their reserve driver Nico Hulkenberg, and despite Nico being the reserve driver he’s outperformed both of the driver at least once.

Twice he’s come up against Adrian Sutil, and although he didn’t beat him the first time – finishing 18th – the second time he smashed Adrian finishing 4th. As well as that he’s twice come up against Paul Di Resta, with both times Nico beating him with a 10th and a 13th, of his results 3 are one’s that Force India would be happy with, so the question is, “If he’s so much better, why isn’t he one of the main drivers? There is only one answer, money.

The reason he had to leave Williams to be replaced with Pastor Maldonado was because Pastor brought in a lot of money from a Venezuelan oil company, whilst in comparison Nico brought in almost nothing. Even Williams admitted that if money hadn’t been a problem that they’d keep Nico – who was the only driver not from Red Bull McLaren and Ferrari to get a pole last year, at Interlagos, Brazil.

But what is Nico’s future? As far as Nico is concerned, he just has to keep on  out performing his team mates in practise to make sure the bosses of Force India have a second thought about their line up, alternatively Nico can hope that Michael Schumacher can carry on with this season which hasn’t been particularly good in the hope that either he retires again at the end of the season, or that he quits midway through, as if that was to happen Nico would be one of the frontrunners to replace him as Nico fulfils Mercedes criteria, in that he’s a talented German driver.