During the boring parts today you can expect to hear lots of commentary about driver changes. I’ve never been much of a believer in the ‘great man’ theory of history and I think most drivers with a Super License can be said to be reasonably competent while but a bare handful have any positive impact over and above the hardware they pilot and the management teams that support them.
There really is only one Alonso and he’s a perfect fit in Maranello where they can’t be bothered to produce a quick car because they’re so busy polishing their turds (Mythbusters have proven you can actually do this).
Hamilton is a good example of the other kind of driver, fearless and skilled, able to make fast hardware fast and not so fast hardware work at all, constantly thwarted and frustrated by decisions over which they have little control.
There has been a lot of talk about Hamilton changing teams that I’ve felt has been totally misguided. Where would he go? There are only 3 teams besides McLaren in the last 14 years that have produced a champion.
Scuderia Marlboro UPC might be interested in a Massa upgrade, but not necessarily in Hamilton. Alonso doesn’t care much who he races with as long as they stay in the mirror which Hamilton would not. Without Alonso, Maranello would have a tough time getting to Q3. Why would Hamilton trade down hardware and put himself in an impossible situation?
Red Bull stands pat. Why wouldn’t they? Management and hardware is usually superior (not so much this year) and Vettel and Webber are good enough to win.
That leaves Lotus (Renault). If Hamilton moves Grosjean is in his seat.
But it’s all mere speculation, Hamilton signed a 1 year extension yesterday. Sinagapore also signed a 5 year extension of their race contract for a little more than $25 million a year. While Bernie is being coy there is no doubt it’s a substantial discount compared to the $40 million charged Bahrain for the privilege.
And it has nothing at all to do with listing the now indefinitely postponed IPO on the Singapore exchange. Nothing.
What about this race?
Twisty, bumpy, narrow, hard to pass… breakdowns, crashes, and tires otherwise they finish the way they start. Fortunately for the entertainment value these are all likely to factor. de la Rosa has already taken a gearbox penalty (to no effect since he was starting last anyway). Vettel is complaining (with many others) about the curbing in the Turn 10 chicane launching cars and close wall encounters have been common. Mercedes is taking a gamble with Softs (the harder of the 2 compounds this week) at the start instead of the 1 second a lap faster Super Softs.
Odds are it will be a soporific dronefest though not nearly as much as the Sunday Talking Heads. It is the potential for excitement, change, and news that make it superior.
- Formula One Official Site
- Formula One Marina Bay
- Marina Bay
- Singapore Grand Prix
- Speed Racecast
- Guardian Interactive Circuit Guide
- Marina Bay Qualifying
Pretty tables below.
|3||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||01:46.9||14|
|6||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||01:47.2||18|
|7||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||01:47.5||17|
|11||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||01:48.0||12|
|24||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||01:53.4||7|
|4||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||140|
|5||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||132|
|13||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||32|
|14||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||31|