Kimi Räikkönen & Sebastian Vettel

Kimi Räikkönen & Sebastian Vettel

sunnuntai 30. lokakuuta 2011

Indian GP: The statistics tell more than a thousand words...!

There was absolutely no doubt about Sebastian Vettel´s superiority today! I don´t even have to think up any new words that would describe the young German´s dominant performance today. The statistics tell more than a thousand words: pole position (the 13th of the season), all laps lead from start to finish, the fastest lap of the race and the race win (11th of the season) for Super Sebastian... The man is getting so amazing that I should invent whole new words for his performance...!

Back to the start. Vettel took another superb start and was able to maintain his lead. Button´s performance has been phenomenal in the last few races and he had the perfect opening lap: he was able to pass both Webber and Alonso and he managed to keep up with Vettel´s pace. However I have to say that the race was a bit boring! Don´t get me wrong, I enjoyed every moment of the race with Vettel in the lead but there wasn´t as much overtaking as I had predicted because there were two separate DRS zones at the Buddh International Circuit.

Like many other times before during this season there was McLaren´s Lewis Hamilton in the limelight with Ferrari´s Felipe Massa -again! The incident happened on lap 24 when Hamilton tried to overtake Massa from the inside. Massa ended up crashing to Hamilton but both of them were able to continue the race. Hamilton had to pit to get a new front wing and the stewards gave Massa a drive-through penalty which was the right call in my opinion! Massa left no room for Hamilton although he must have seen Hamilton alongside him... And not even Hamilton can be at fault every time a collision takes place on track! Hamilton´s race, however, was ruined after the extra pit stop and he finally finished 7th. Massa had to retire some laps later after his front-left suspension got loose. I have to admit I was a bit gleeful just for Hamilton ;)

The inaugural Indian GP was lacking some thrilling wheel-to-wheel battle. Vettel lead all laps and Button was able to maintain the 2nd place just about 3-5 seconds behind him. Webber was third until the second pit stops when Alonso managed to overtake him and he finished the race 3rd leaving Webber 4th. At least there was no need for any team orders by Red Bull! Schumi performed extremely well and finished 5th right ahead of his team-mate Nico Rosberg.

It feels absolutely right that Vettel, Button and Alonso wanted to dedicate their achievements to Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli who got killed recently in the fatal accidents. Like Vettel said at the press conference after the race, it´s kind of mixed emotions. On one hand this is extremely sad time in the world of motor sports but on the other hand I would say that we´re experiencing something utterly amazing at the moment. Record after record gets broken when Vettel gets loose! And what is best about this triumph is that regardless of unbelievable and utterly staggering permormance on track and ultimate success the young man has been able to keep his feet firmly on the ground! I have said this also before but I can´t help underlining how much I admire and appreciate the young Red Bull driver because of his attitude! Attitude like this cannot be taken for granted.

lauantai 29. lokakuuta 2011

Indian GP / Qualifying: the 24-year-old world champion is continuosly getting better and better...!

Did I have any personal predictions before the inaugural Indian GP? Of course I had one: Super Sebastian was the one I wanted to be on pole! This time I got what I was hoping for: 13th pole of the season for Super Seb! Absolutely impressive and brilliant work! But of course, what else would you have expected from a back-to-back world champion...?

This was the very first qualifying at the brand new Buddh International Circuit which seemed to be very enjoyable and a lot of fun to drive at! A bit dusty and tricky indeed but it was nice to see that all the drivers enjoyed the new challenges. The qualifying itself held no real surprises. A tiny surprise was that it was Sauber´s Kobayashi who didn´t make his way through Q2 instead of either of the Williams drivers. Toro Rosso showed very competitive pace today and both Alguersuari and Buemi were able to reach Q3.

The new venue seemed to suit Mercedes GP on the basis what we saw in free practices so it was slightly disappointing to see Schumi not qualifying in the top 10! And as I predicted before Q3 there were once again three drivers who didn´t set any time during the final session of the qualifying: Sutil in his Force India and both Toro Rosso drivers.

There was no stopping Sebastian Vettel in his RB7! After the first attempts he topped the standings but the margin to Hamilton who was 2nd was subtle indeed. At the end of Q3 Massa broke the front-right suspension in his car and ended up to the barriers which caused yellow flags. That ruined everyone else´s second run except Vettel´s who was able to improve his lap time by a few tenths of a second! So there´s Super Sebastian on pole (he´s definitely close to break Mansell´s record of pole positions during one season...), Hamilton 2nd, Webber 3rd and Alonso 4th followed by Button and Massa. Hamilton, however, will be dropped to 5th place due to ignoring yellow flags during the free practice on Friday.

There has been a lot of talk about Red Bull using team orders at the race tomorrow. Due to Hamilton´s penalty Webber will start to the race from the 2nd spot right behind his team-mate Vettel. Red Bull´s team principal Horner has stated that the team will do everything that Webber would secure the 2nd place in the championship standings, even by making Vettel the number two driver inside the team for the rest of the season... Webber, however, has said that he doesn´t want Vettel to give away positions in order to help him secure the second place. But for sure it´s utterly interesting to see what happens at tomorrow´s race... If Vettel is leading the race on the closing laps and Webber is behind him, will the team ask Vettel to give the lead to his team-mate? It wouldn´t feel right and I´m sure it wouldn´t feel right to Webber either. It would be like a false victory... And very artificial... I mean if you think how superior Vettel has been compared to his team-mate this season a decision like that would be hard to accept. So I hope we´ll see an intense fight and a true victory tomorrow!

sunnuntai 23. lokakuuta 2011

What a devastating week for motorsport... :´(

I feel I have an urgent need to write down a few words. At the moment it feels irrelevant that Loeb won the rally in Spain and is leading the standings with 8 points when there´s only one round to go. There are other thoughts that are going through my mind at the moment... I can hardly believe that two talented racing drivers have lost their lives within just a week! First Dan Wheldon got killed at an IndyCar race and today the MotoGP driver Marco Simoncelli succumbed to his injuries in Malaysia. Of course you are aware that motorsports involve certain risks and you can´t eliminate them all but nevertheless... Two young men losing their live due to motorsport accidents within a week is still too much to cope with! My thoughts are with the loved ones of both skillful drivers whose light has gone out far too soon.

Events like these make me more and more worried about the safety of F1 drivers aswell. There have been some very nasty-looking accidents in Formula 1, like what happened to Mark Webber at Valencia last year. But luckily, no matter how dangerous the incident has appeared to be the driver has never been seriously hurt and has been able to get out of his car with his own feet. And this has created a sort of false sense of Formula 1 being safe. Which is partly true because the cars and all kinds of safety regulations have developped a great deal for example from the year 1994 when Senna got killed at Imola...

I´m absolutely overwhelmed with sorrow thinking that Simoncelli was only 24 years old when he died! He had an absolutely promising MotoGP career awaiting... Nobody should die in the age of 24 if I´m asked! I can´t even imagine what kind of feelings Rossi and Edwards are going through right now knowing that they were involved in the accident that lead to Simoncelli´s death... The accident showed how a life of a human being is like a thin line drawn into water... Within a blink of an eye it can be taken away from you...

An accident like Wheldon´s or Simoncelli´s should absolutely never happen to anybody ! And being a passionate Formula 1 fan I´m very afraid of a fatal accident taking place in some of the F1 races... These two fatal accidents have caused extremely strong emotions in me and I can´t even imagine how I would react if it was Vettel who got seriously injured or even killed in a race (and even writing this down feels extremely bad...)! That would definitely turn my world upside down like the death of Ayrton Senna did over 10 years ago. The first Formula 1 race I ever watched was the Imola GP in 1994 and what a GP I picked to watch!

sunnuntai 16. lokakuuta 2011

Korean GP: Red Bull sealed the constructors´ title!

I´ve had quite an exceptional race weekend because unfortunately I didn´t have time to write a blog post on the qualifying yesterday! I did watch it in the morning but after that I was off to take my three sons to their grandparents and I headed to a hotel with my husband to celebrate my birthday! I was definitely in the mood to have fun regardless of the fact that it was Hamilton in his McLaren who snatched pole in Korea leaving Vettel 2nd and Button 3rd.

The race was entertaining in many ways. I had no suspicions of Sebastian´s performance though he had sealed the drivers´championship already last weekend in Japan. And what a staggering first lap! Hamilton managed to maintain his lead at the start but soon after that Vettel was able to pass him and he didn´t need DRS to do it! Just the perfect start to the race that I wanted to see!

Sebastian wasn´t able to open a huge gap to Hamilton in the first stint but he was able to pull away just enough not to let Hamilton use the DRS! Tyre degradation seemed to play much smaller role than the drivers expected before the race. After the first pit stop Vettel was still leading the race. Just as Vettel had a small gap to Hamilton, the safety car came out due to a collision between Schumacher and Petrov which destroyed the race for both of them. Luckily Sebastian took an impressive re-start and managed to stay in the lead...

Hamilton in the 2nd place and Webber in 3rd put up an entertaining fight for the last 20 laps of the race! It was absolutely thrilling to watch how Webber was constantly allowed to use the DRS lap after lap and how he managed to get ahead of his McLaren competitor twice but Hamilton managed to take his position back... And it was gratifying to see how both of the men were gentlemen on the track and neither of them tried anything stupid. At the end of the race there were also Button and Alonso joining them and they all were within the DRS distance of each other but the winner of the race was over 10 seconds ahead of them! Sebastian took a sweeping victory today -the 10th win of the season! With Vettel 1st and Webber 3rd it was clear that Red Bull Racing sealed the constructors´ championship today! Congratulations to Red Bull, they have been absolutely dominant during this season!

Such a shame that Petrov destroyed Schumi´s race by crashing to him. Mercedes GP showed some promising race pace today. Rosberg lost his 7th position to Toro Rosso´s Alguersuari on the final lap but good race for them both anyway. The Finnish "fireman" Heikki Kovalainen had a very decent race, too as he finished 14th ahead of both Sauber drivers.

sunnuntai 9. lokakuuta 2011

Japanese GP: Woohoo, Vettel is double world champion!!!

Yesterday evening I was like a little girl waiting impatiently for Christmas Eve! On one hand I wanted to stay up as late as possible so I could enjoy all the thrilling anticipation of the upcoming race. I knew it was going to be all over so quickly - just like Christmas Eve goes by all too quickly. On the other hand I wanted to go to bed very early so that the race day would come sooner. I felt kind of restless when I went to bed and didn´t sleep too well but... For what a day I waked up to!

My heart was pounding when the lights went off. I was kind of surprised to see how aggressive Vettel was at the start forcing Button partly to the grass but luckily there was no further action due to the incident. Vettel was able to maintain the lead until the second pit stop. He was among the first ones to pit because Red Bull seemed to suffer harder from the tyre degradation than the Ferraris or the McLarens. And that was the Achilles heel for Red Bull today!

Button was able to snatch the lead from Vettel after the second  pit stop. Ferrari seemed to have very decent race pace aswell. Massa and Hamilton had a collision on lap 22 which caused safety car to come out because there was debris on the track. Also Alonso managed to pass Vettel during the third pit stop! At the end of the race Vettel was only less than 2 seconds behind Alonso but he didn´t want to take any risks and try to overtake him. Button has clearly found more pace and confidence in the second half of the season and the Briton totally deserved to win today. I also have to mention Nico Rosberg, who made his way from the 23rd spot up to 10th and managed to score one point. However, the race result seems kind of irrelevant today...

Sebastian Vettel´s task today was to score one point. In spite of that he scored 15 points and  became the youngest-ever double world champion! I´m absolutely overwhelmed with strong emotions at the moment! I was utterly touched by Sebastian´s kind words of his trainer Tommi Pärmäkoski at the press conference after the race. Vettel had an absolutely perfect start to the season. It would have been more than easy to let the huge success remove his feet from the ground and make him float in the air... Which didn´t happen for Sebastian thanks to the expertise of his Finnish trainer! I guess not many pepople even realise what a huge role Tommi has behind Vettel´s unbelievable success. Tommi is an exceptional guy - not only he does his job perfectly but he is also a very warm-hearted person.

I have an emotional storm inside my head at the moment! There are many reasons why I admire the young German so much. First of all, I admire his determination. He knows what he wants to achieve and he works extremely hard for his goals. I admire him because of his attitude. He always keeps his feet firmly on the ground and doesn´t take success for granted. I admire him because of his self-confidence. I´ve always had difficulties to believe in myself so I admire Vettel who is always confident despite setbacks, disappointments and difficulties. And I love his sense of humour. Though he takes his job very seriously he always has twinkle in his eye!

lauantai 8. lokakuuta 2011

Japanese GP / Qualifying: Button lost pole by 9 thousandths of a second!

The qualifying for the Japanese GP was absolutely staggering and eventful indeed. Before the qualifying McLaren had looked quickest but regardless of that it was Sebastian Vettel who snatched pole at the end of Q3 by only 9 thousandths of a second leaving Button 2nd. Hamilton qualified 3rd setting a time 0.1 seconds slower than Vettel.

Some surprises emerged during the qualifying today. Unfortunately Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes was unable to set a time in Q1 due to a hydraulics problem so he´ll face a tough race tomorrow. Otherwise no surprises in Q1. In Q2 we saw some really impressive driving by Sauber´s Kobayashi in front of his home crowd. He managed to set a competitive lap time and made his way to Q3 unlike his team-mate Perez who also suffered from a hydraulics issue. The Renault drivers were back in top ten after Singapore´s disaster as both Petrov and Senna were able to make it through to Q1.

Q3 was absolutely thrilling. After the first runs there was Hamilton in P1, followed by Button and Vettel. For a very short while I was worried that McLaren was going to conquer the front row at Suzuka! But then Vettel came out and made a perfect lap! He was followed by Button who was only 0.009 seconds slower! I´m pretty convinced that Hamilton would have been able to challenge those two for pole but he crossed the line a few seconds after the chequered flag fell so he missed the second run and seemed very disappointed after the qualifying.