2012 Formula One British Grand Prix Review
The clouds parted and the sun shone through as the cars lined up on the oldest grid of them all and Alonso was wise to the threat from Webber right from the start. The both of them even had a small cutting across game right at the beginning! Both very mature drivers looking after their cars very well.
With the practice sessions giving the teams a chance to test the performance of all kinds of tires, you’d expect the teams to have gotten the better of the Pirellis, but as it turned out, no. The Red Bulls got their strategy bang on, but the Ferrari of Alonso lost out on this front costing him the race.
Silverstone wasn’t all about racing though. We saw Red Bull’s generous charity fund for spinal cord surgeries, saw the Lotuses sport Dark Knight logos on their side pods and there was also a lot of chatter about London hosting a street race in addition to the one in Silverstone. The circuit apparently hits all the major landmarks in the city and this thanks to the old man, Bernie! Respect. The old man’s still got something up his sleeve.
All said, it was a very busy race weekend at Britain. The race, Wimbledon final with their home boy and the run up to the London Olympics.
The race proved to us as to how important race strategy can actually be. One can say that Alonso drove a flawless race but Webber still got the better of him. Purely attributed to race strategy and ofcourse, some impeccable concentration by Webber throughout. His car looked like it was on auto pilot. The Red Bull were absolutely delighted with a 1-3 victory and Webber seems to have reasserted his authority in this critical mid season period. A lot of talk now about how this is going to affect the politics in the German speaking, Austrian owned team who always considered Seb to be their golden boy.
On the other hand, it was an absolutely dismal weekend for the Mercedes and the McLaren team. Button looked very rusty and hasn’t still gotten a hold of the car. He slowly is transforming into a “McLaren Massa” to say the least. Hamilton drove a decent race without any glitches but it was all too unspectacular from being 8th on the grid. The tyre wear issues of the Mercedes is something that has affected them right from the beginning of the season and both their drivers seemed more bothered about their tires than about overtaking. They need to seriously rethink this issue fundamentally. Ross Brawn needs to come up with the goods soon enough.
McLaren seems to have got their pit problems behind them with the angled jack helping them to change all four tires in a record 2.8 seconds but their car on track was far from its potential.
It was disappointment for home boy Di Resta who dint last more than a lap. Sad, considering there was a lot of hope that the Force India driver would do well this weekend after a decent qualifying performance.
And mercurial Maldonado was involved in another bad racing incident where he lost the rear of is car at a corner and went into Perez. An aggrieved Perez, who had also been hit by Maldonado during practice in Monaco, accused him of having “no respect” for his competitors.
The Lotus of Grosjean after having pitted for his front wing in the initial part of the race was flying for the rest of the race like a dark horse rising. From being last after the pitstop, he almost passed fifteen cars to come up to 8th place and he looks like a brilliant prospect for the future.
Also, it was heartening to see the “old” Massa back with us. He seems to have found his groove and his fourth place earned Ferrari some very valuable constructor points.
The race was a brilliant display of race strategy and on the edge driving. Though Webber could not undercut Alonso after his second pitstop, his tyre strategy helped him eventually pass Alonso who was struggling for traction. The man who lives just 50km from the track in Buckinghamshire and Britain being his second home, was delighted indeed. This was his 9th GP victory in 185 starts and Christian Horner finally smiled after what was a very difficult race weekend for all the teams.
On the podium, Jackie Stewart seemed to be the most excited, interviewing the drivers on the podium which was a first.
Though the sport has come a long way technologically, the safety aspect still seems to be a cause of concern with a Marussia test driver who lost her right eye in a pretty bad accident during practice. The deadline for safety regulations and a resource cap setting has been extended to give the teams and the drivers more of a say since the drivers are the ones putting their lives on the line.
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