Thursday, November 29, 2012


I can't believe sometimes that the season is over. Some days it feels very long with 20 races. Some days I'm surprised it is over, the last race was done and dusted just last week. What a season it has been with many different race winners, teams moving up and down the grid, accidents, dramas, unexpected news and the title battle being dragged to the final race.

2012 would be remembered as a watershed year for F1 as Sebastian Vettel won his 3rd drivers title in a row, not only going into the record books as the youngest 3 time world champion but also the only other driver besides Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio to have won 3 titles in a row, a hatrick.

The Red Bull RB8 is a strong car and fast. It was strong and fast since 2010, even better in 2011 as Vettel swept the title with ease then. But this year has been different. The RB8 started not as strong, that's why there were 7 different winners in the first part of the season.

But as the season progressed, Red Bull got on top of their issues and from Singapore onwards, they were dominant again. The car is also very strong, even with accidents during the race it would not break down or even lose pace. That is an incredible car to be winning in. I have noticed in several races where Vettel has been hit or has hit something on the track, the car refuses to break down or even slow down.

What is it with that car? Mark Webber breaks down or slows down, does that mean that Vettel is the better driver as he can drive a wounded car better? Of course he has had his share of break downs but I'm referring to damage to the car that would usually slow it down or even make it stop. Like in Brazil when he was hit by Senna and we could see his exhaust was exposed with the floor area broken or shredded. And still the car goes fast.

If I were to say it would be easy to win with a car like that, Vettel fans would get angry and say that the driver is good, that's why he can still drive it with that kind of performance. But what if it was the car? No matter how you try to break it, it is just fast. Consider that.

Jaime Alguersuari in his column on the BBC Sport website said:
When I saw Vettel get a bad start and slip down into the lower positions after the first corner, I thought the race was going to be very difficult for him, and then when he got hit by Bruno Senna's Williams I thought that was his race over.
He was very, very lucky that was not the case - and after that he did a great job.
Very, very lucky? What kind of luck did he have? A car that is fast and refuses to breakdown? What if he didn't have this car? Hmmm....

Alright, alright, settle's only 3!
As for the last race, what can I say? It was good to have the title battle dragged to the last race as it should. Nobody wants to have a repeat of 2011 where Vettel won the title with 4 races or so to spare. And what better place to have it than Interlagos, which always guarantees mixed weather to spice things up.

As it went, the race was fantastic to watch. It was tense from the beginning and continued to be so until the second safety car on lap 70 killed the climax. It was great to watch both title protagonist battling it out for position as their race ending positions would determine who would be world champion.

Massa covered Alonso and Webber helped Vettel, although we knew that Webber would not help much as he did. He was not really in a position to help anyway, so that helps in clearing his conscience as he said he would just concentrate on his own race. it also looked like the Torro Rossos were also helping Vettel a bit as he manages to pass them without much trouble.

But the most intriguing and I'm sure the one incident that really makes Vettel fans happy and other fans hot under the collar was when Michael Schumacher helped Vettel by giving up his 6th place so that Vettel moved from 7th to 6th. Not that Vettel needed it as he was already safe to win the championship but Schumacher made sure of it by doing so.
Thanks for early Christmas present dad..

It was a parting gift to his successor which was very obvious as even before Vettel completed the move on Schumacher, the race commentators were already making the assumption. At that point of the race, it was clear who was going to be world champion. Alonso had no chance whatsoever. I question the skills of a top driver with a very fast and unbreakable car needing that kind of helping hand.

At the end, it was a great season. It was great not just because of all the scrapping for positions during the races but more importantly because Red Bull did not dominate like in 2011. Hopefully they do not dominate again in 2013, I don't think I can take another few years of the same driver and team winning all the time as Mario Theissen would like.

Now on to 2013 and 2014, these should be exciting years as the rules changes drastically in 2014 and the teams all have to prepare for that during 2013. Lewis Hamilton has moved to Mercedes, lets hope he can mould that car to his liking and charge up the 2014 season.

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