Kimi Räikkönen & Sebastian Vettel

Kimi Räikkönen & Sebastian Vettel

sunnuntai 17. huhtikuuta 2011

Chinese GP: Vettel got beaten by Hamilton!

It was only yesterday when I wrote that I know there´s going to be the day when Sebastian Vettel DOESN´T win a grand prix. I just didn´t expect the day come this soon! But I do reckon that Hamilton deserved to win today after very impressive drive and excellent 3-stop strategy. Vettel on the other hand had a race full of various hiccups: not so perfect start where both McLaren drivers passed him, KERS issues after the first stint and problems with the team radio! So considering all those difficulties it´s very reasonable to be satisfied with the 2nd place he achieved! If I have to look for something positive about Vettel not winning the race today it might be the fact that it´s a bit easier for me to write this blog post when I don´t have to think up more new superlatives to describe his driving... ;) I mean after the Malaysian GP I wrote that Vettel left me speechless and that´s quite a strong expression. What could I possibly have said today if Vettel had grabbed another win??

It was only yesterday when I couldn´t help wondering what had happened to the other Red Bull driver during this season... Now I have to take back all my suspicious words! Mark Webber showed us what he´s capable of by making his way through from the 18th place to 3rd and getting on the podium! That was utterly astonishing drive from him indeed! After the race Webber sort of revealed his true thoughts by saying at the press conference that he was happy that somebody finally beat Seb... I mean he tried to put it a little better by saying that it´s good for the sport that Seb won´t be too far away from the others in the championship table. But no wonder he´s relieved because Seb has obviously had a lot better pace in the beginning of the season. It would be unnatural if he didn´t worry about it at all. And Webber being honest is actually quite respectable =)

Then there was the incident with Button trying to stop at the Red Bull pitbox at the first pitstop! Making mistakes is something that makes us humans and actually it was quite funny but it could have been a dangerous situation if the Red Bull pit crew hadn´t been so aware of what was happening! Luckily Button didn´t actually stop his car at the wrong pitbox but continued his way to his own pit crew. Like Vettel joked after the race, maybe there really is something special about the Red Bull pitbox because it seems to attract other drivers, too... :D What was best about the incident was that Vettel could pass Button thanks to his funny mistake!

Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes could have had a fantastic race today and maybe even reached the podium... without the problem with the fuel! If he hadn´t needed to save fuel he would have been able to fight aggressively against his rivals and possibly not lost so many positions... Such a shame, it would have been nice to see him on the podium! Mercedes GP needs to find and solve the problem before going to Turkey.

lauantai 16. huhtikuuta 2011

Chinese GP: Qualifying

Three poles in a row for Sebastian Vettel this season! Is there anybody who can halt the German´s winning streak? If I´m asked there isn´t! Although there are many people saying that Vettel clinching the pole by 7-tenths of a second makes F1 racing boring I have to say I disagree! Of course I´m watching the F1 world through my "Red Bull glasses", I mean being a passionate Vettel fan may effect my opinion quite a bit, haha =) But it certainly seems there´re two different F1 series at the moment: one for Sebastian Vettel (how may records he can break, how he can challenge himself to make even better laptimes...) and one for all the other drivers! But I don´t complain, oh no! I´m enjoying every second of Seb´s victorious moments!

After Malaysian GP I was wondering what had happened to Vettel´s team-mate after last season. Now I can´t help wondering about it even a bit more! Of course it´s very unfortunate for Webber that it has repeatedly been his car hitting problems with the KERS system while Seb has had much less technical issues. Webber being unable to use KERS in qualifying wasn´t a good thing but the fact that the Australian couldn´t get through Q1 made his weekend disasterous indeed. The team decided to send him out on hard tyres instead of getting a run on the softs. What was the team thinking?? On the other hand Vettel managed to set a decent laptime on the hard tyres. This all makes me think... Is Mark Webber only the most unfortunate F1 driver of all times or is Vettel truly superior to his team-mate? Technical issues like lacking KERS certainly have an effect on your performance but do they explain the whole phenomenon? And how brilliant a driver is Vettel in addition to the fact that he has undoubtedly the most competitive car?

Both Toro Rossos managed to get through to Q3 which was unpredictable. It´s always nice to see new contenders among the top 10! Also Rosberg putting himself ahead of the Ferrari drivers was a bit surprising. But will the McLaren drivers have any chance to really challenge the German Red Bull ace or will Vettel disappear in the horizon soon after the start? If he´s got the KERS system at the start I´m sure he will. And Kinky Kylie has to be reliable!

Jordan Rally: the right man won!

Jordan Rally culminated on the closing stage Latvala having 0.5 second margin to his closest rival Ogier who was second. The battle couldn´t have been any tighter! Ogier had made a tactical gamble on the last stage of the first day and gone flat out which made him run out first on the road on day two. The morning of day two looked very promising for Latvala in his Ford when he was able to decrease Ogier´s lead stage by stage. But after the tightest battle ever, Ogier finally won the rally with only a margin of 0.2 seconds! In my opinion the right man won! Ogier winning the rally without any tactical decisions to slow down and influence on the driving position that way is excellent for the sport and underlines that driving flat out brings you the victory in the end! Though both top teams resort to tactics every now and then I still don´t consider it fair play. What Ogier did in Jordan is pure fair play and true sportsmanship, no question about it whatsoever!!!

Loeb´s dominance seems to have faded away piece by piece which is also good for the sport. Ogier challenges his team-mate for real now and the Ford drivers seem to have excellent pace, too. It´s thrilling to watch the fight for the championship because at the moment there´re 4 drivers within just 8 points so anything can happen as the season goes on... Loeb is still excellent but it´s refreshing to see real battle between him and the other drivers!

Kimi´s performance in Jordan makes me delighted indeed, although the very unfortunate puncture on SS19 dropped him from 5th place to 6th. Kimi has decreased the gap to the top drivers rally by rally and on some stages his pace has been outstanding! And I´m sure there´s more to come! I certainly hope we´re going to see him among the three fastest drivers on some power stage, it´s just a matter of time!

sunnuntai 10. huhtikuuta 2011

Malaysian GP: Vettel leaving me speechless!

Outstanding, awesome, superior, brilliant, in the class of his own, astonishing, superb.... I guess I´ve used every superlative I know in English when writing about Sebastian Vettel so far...! Two rounds done and 17 (or 18...) to go and the German Red Bull driver has a 24-point margin over Button who is 2nd in the championship table. Vettel has the maximum 50 points so he couldn´t have done any better! And he took a sweeping victory in Malaysia today in spite of problems with the KERS system, which makes me feel even more proud of him. What a start to the season, two wins in a row :D

As a huge Formula 1 fan I was absolutely delighted to watch so much overtaking and close wheel-to-wheel battle on the track so it seems that the new rules with the KERS and the moveable rear wing are actually working and  making F1 even more entertaining! And as far as the tyres are concerned, we saw a totally different show with the tyres and pitstops from what we saw in Australia. There has been a lot of talking about "saving your tyres" but Button put it pretty well at the post-race press conference saying that it actually isn´t very obvious how this is done, meaning that you can´t drive too aggressively but not too cautiously (slowly) either...!

The Lotus Renault team has made a huge step forward and joined the battle for podium places which I find very refreshing. Heidfeld did an impressive job by taking a superb start and driving an outstanding race finishing 3rd! No wonder Vettel was wondering what was that black car in his mirrors in Turn one, I guess nobody expected such a start from Heidfeld! The other Lotus Renault driver Petrov would have done a great job, too without going wide at the end of the race and taking that huge leap into retirement, which was such a shame. But on the basis of what we have seen both in Australia and today in Malaysia the Lotus Renault is definitely going to challenge if not Red Bull but surely McLaren and Ferrari in the constructors´championship!

What has happened to Vettel´s team-mate Mark Webber? There wasn´t found any significant failure in his car after his tame performance in Australia and today I´d say he also was like a ghost of what we saw last season. Of course it was obvious that Webber had the KERS problem right from the start which cost him dearly especially at the start but still... Vettel´s pace seems so clearly better than his team-mate´s. It´s interesting to see if it continues like this in China next weekend.

I can hardly wait to hear the comments that Vettel gave in Finnish after the race! The Finnish F1 TV crew wrote on Facebook today that Vettel summed up his feelings "in an interesting way" after the race but they aren´t sure if they can actually show the footage on TV...! I can hardly get any sleep tonight because I can´t help imagining what the German F1 ace has possibly blurted... Has he used some swearing words (why would he want to swear after a perfect victory...?) or said something rude or what is it what he said? And the other question on my mind: who has he learnt the words from, his physio Tommi Pärmäkoski or his good friend Kimi Räikkönen?

keskiviikko 6. huhtikuuta 2011

Kimi´s NASCAR move divides opinions

Last week it has been confirmed that the 31-year-old former F1 champion Kimi Räikkönen has signed with Kyle Busch to debut in the Truck Series race in Charlotte USA on May 20. His contract with Busch is reportedly from three to five races but the others haven´t been confirmed yet... Kimi tested Busch´s black Toyota Tundra this week at the Gresham half-mile oval and rumours tell that the Finnish Iceman set some very impressive laptimes... So new challenges await Kimi when he steps up into the NASCAR world! It´s only Kimi´s second season in WRC and he still has a lot of things to learn in rallying but he seems to be eager to try new challenges in addition to rallying...

If I´m asked I think this is absolutely fantastic news! But as I have followed the discussion about the news on Facebook I´ve noticed how Kimi´s move to NASCAR seems to strongly divide people´s opinions. There seems to be a lot of people who think going to NASCAR is just waste of time for Kimi. Obviously many Americans value NASCAR but people in Europe seem to think that NASCAR requires less talent or driving skills than F1 or WRC due to races driven at oval circuits. I have to admit that I know absolutely nothing about NASCAR but, however, it will be hugely interesting to see how Kimi will succeed in his maiden race! Whether driving at an oval circuit requires less talent or not, one thing is for sure: the truck that Kimi will be driving at Charlotte differs both from a F1 car and a WRC car! So a new challenge for Kimi anyway...

Of course I don´t know Kimi but I would say that he definitely isn´t going to NASCAR because of money! Kimi is a multimillionaire who doesn´t need to do absolutely anything because of money! So there has to be another factor which motivates him in this move. And one thing is for sure: Kimi enjoys driving anything that goes fast :D And having fun plays an essential role in his life: he doesn´t attend motorsports events that he doesn´t find fun. Being extremely rich and having such a huge talent in motorsports gives Kimi the privilege to do what he enjoys and loves from the bottom of his heart: racing in various series! No wonder Kimi´s first comment on the NASCAR test was :"It was a lot of fun!"

What I really respect is Kimi´s attitude towards NASCAR. He starts with the Truck Series instead of going directly into the Nationwide or Sprint Cup and that certainly gives a layman like me the impression of a humble attitude. He knows that he has a lot of things to learn and going into a whole new series isn´t a piece of cake irrespective of the amount of talent that NASCAR requires!I find it absolutely thrilling that Kimi wants to continuously challenge himself. You can´t take this for granted no matter how talented a driver you are. And once again I just have to repeat what I have said already before: it´s highly admirable that Kimi does whatever he wants to no matter what other people think of it! His self-confidence makes the man sooo sexy ;)