Posts Tagged ‘Safety Car. Sebastian Vettel’

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European GrandPrix – What to expect?

In Opinion on June 22, 2011 by shsmani Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

It has been a week since the Canadian Grand prix, which was one the most memorable races in F1 history. There is already a huge frenzy around the upcoming European Grand prix in Valencia. The foremost question in mind is what to expect? Well, Formula One this year has been anything but predictable and Valencia is going be no different. With ‘Fog’ as the forecast for the entire race weekend, it is going to be interesting to watch how the race pans out for Formula One cars do not have headlights and neither is the track prepared for lighting unlike Singapore.

After the race weekends of Monaco and Canada, one would like to believe that Mclaren, Ferrari and Mercedes probably have it in them to take the race to the red bulls. However, we have to remember if we move ahead of the last 2 races, the only other race a Red Bull has not won is the Chinese Grand Prix. That was also because of Hamilton had an extra set of ‘new’ options to switch to.

At the outset, I think it is clear we can rule out Ferrari and Mercedes from the equation because they have not been consistent enough. Michael Schumacher showed some of his class, but I still think Mercedes is still not at the top of its game. Ferrari have been on and off the pace and at Valencia they will have to bring all the aerodynamic package that they can put their hands on. With Fernando piloting the car, one cannot write them off, but it appears less probable now.

That said, the only strong contender to the Bulls seem to the Mclarens of Hamilton and Button. While Hamilton will be under a lot of pressure to finish the race, leave alone winning it will be interesting to watch his strategy. In the past, he has delivered when it mattered the most. The kind of talent he is and with the car that is only next to the Red Bull, he stand a very good chance to topple the Bulls. It is interesting to note that Hamilton finished just 0.6 seconds behind Vettel in the race.

The other McLaren of Jenson Button has been amazing the last two races, thanks to his totally different strategy of more tyre changes and faster lap times. It is interesting to note that, even though he has been adopting this strategy from the second race, he was successful only in Monaco and Canada, where there were a record number of Safety cars. Assuming, there are no safety cars, like we had in the first few races, his strategy might lead to being lapped by the race leader. Even in the Spanish Grand Prix, the leading pack was lapping Fernando Alonso who finished fifth. Such is the pace generated by the bulls.

While it appears that McLaren have closed in on the gap, the last 3 races were clearly not favorable to the red bulls, both in terms of the incidents in the race as well the circuit layout. Valencia is a known Red Bull strong hold and even this year, they seem to be ahead on the aerodynamic package. It will be a acid test for McLarens if they really have it in them to give Red Bull a run for their money, or if it is going to be game Red Bull.

My bet would be on Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel. Whom would you lay your bets on? Do drop your thoughts in the comments below.