Sunday, 22 May 2011

A Report from Spain!

I sit here straight after the Spanish Grand Prix with mega hat hair from my Red Bull team wear after making the decision to write an F1 weekend report!

Friday saw the start of the grand prix weekend with the traditional practice sessions. As usual, the staus quo remained with Mark Webber setting the pace in both sessions. To my immense joy, I got a mention on the practice!! The mention stemmed from my views on Michael Schumacher, which you can read on this blog. As ever, David Croft and Maurice Hamilton were talking in FP1 about Schumacher's performance, stating that this was his worst start in 17 seasons. The reasons for this were the usual that he was too old. Now, I've got fed up of hearing about this and sent messages to 5 Live F1, Crofty and Maurice Hamilton basically arguing to leave Schumi alone. David Croft sent me a message back asking whether they were too hard on Schumi and whether it was worth discussing. I responded by arguing that yes, it's worth discussing his performance but no, it's not worth it if all that is questioned is Schumi's age as Barichello isn't that much younger and has had a similarly dismal start. In FP2, this debate was brought up and the general consensus was that yes, Schumacher has had a bad start to this year, but no, it's not that disastrous and that age shouldn't really come into it. My Twitter username (MooEvilBoffin) was then read out - to my immense joy! As soon as the video is uploaded to Youtube it'll get posted here. You can also check out the practice session on the iPlayer.

Saturday's practice session saw Sebastian Vettel only completing six laps - only one of which was timed. However, did that stop Seb? Nope! Fastest on just one lap for another Red Bull result. Of course, the practice sessions don't count for all that much - we don't know fuel loads etc., so we can't judge what the real pace is until qualifying. The big news in qualifying was that Team Lotus managed to get through to quali two. When this happened, people questioned whether Heikki Kovalainen would bother to actually run in the second session, but rather save a set of tyres. This argument was put forth as it was unlikely that Heikki would get higher than 17th. Nevertheless, Lotus decided to have a go - and it paid off with Heikki qualifying 15th! As for the rest of the field, Mark Webber managed to break Sebastian Vettel's pole position streak and beat Seb by two-tenths. You have to wonder, however, how much faster Seb would be if his KERS had been working - yet again Red Bull have struggled with this power boost system.

Anyway, again there are no points to be won on a Saturday and race day is where it counts. The start of the race saw Fernando Alonso make a phenomenal start, coming from fourth to first! That pleased the home fans but I was pleased when Sebastian managed to get back up into second behind Alsonso. The race continued with much chasing by Red Bull, but the only real changes of order started during the pit stops. Vettel eventually got into the lead, with Lewis Hamilton coming up close behind. Despite a dismal start for Jenson Button, he eventually managed to get up to the top of the field. Mark Webber was stuck behind Alonso for most of the race - eventually leading to him losing out on a podium spot. Alonso himself lost out in the race, eventually finishing behind Mark Webber. The end of the race was perhaps the most tense ten minutes of my life. Lewis was chasing down Seb at an incredible pace. Given Seb's issues with KERS this was perhaps unsurprising. However, Sebastian managed to claw back a few tenths in the middle sector, leading to his fourth victory of the season. Another mention has to go to Nick Heidfeld, who managed to finish 8th after starting 24th on the grid following a fire in FP3 which prevented his qualifying - definitely one of my drivers of the day!

Now as it stands the result is Vettel, Hamilton, Button, Webber, Alonso, Schumacher, Rosberg. However, Lewis, Jenson, Mark and Jaime Alguersuari are under investigation by the stewards for not slowing under yellow flags when Heikki Kovalainen crashed. Whether they will incur a penalty remains to be seen, however I will update you as soon as I know. What a race! If you haven't seen it, I suggest you watch it on the BBC website - you won't regret it I assure you!