Kimi Räikkönen & Sebastian Vettel

Kimi Räikkönen & Sebastian Vettel

sunnuntai 22. syyskuuta 2013

Singapore GP: It wasn´t about Sebastian cruising to the victory but to a very dominant victory!

My emotions are so difficult to describe at the moment. I´m lacking words sooo badly! The race today was so incredible, epic, fantastic, phenomenal in many ways! In terms of my two favourites, Sebastian and Kimi, the dark night of Singapore was fulfilled with magical performances.

Emotions aside, let´s go back to the moment when the lights went out. Rosberg in his Mercedes got a slightly better start than Vettel on pole and by the turn 1 Nico got ahead of Sebastian. Luckily Sebastian got a better line for the next turn and the German managed to snatch back the lead. Once again Alonso in his Ferrari took a magical start from P7 and by the turn 1 the Spaniard had already jumped 3rd. But there was absolutely no ambiguity about Sebastian´s superiority in the black night of Singapore: the Red Bull ace immediately opened the gap over his rivals.

On lap 11 Kimi pitted for a fresh set of supersoft tyres. His rivals pitted a few laps later and Sebastian not until on lap 17. The Red Bull driver had built a crushing 36-second gap over his closest rival Rosberg! There has never been a Singapore Grand Prix without a safety car episode and today´s race was no exception. Toro Rosso´s Ricciardo crashed to the barrier on lap 25 and the safety car was deployed. This also ruined Sebastian´s impressive gap over his rivals. All other top drivers chose to pit except the four in the lead: Vettel, Rosberg, Webber and Hamilton. This call turned out to be a strategical mistake for the Mercedes team.

Six laps later the safety car came in and the race was on. Immediately after the restart Sebastian showed who was in control of the race: the Red Bull driver instantly pulled away from everyone else. No one could touch this guy today, he was utterly unstoppable! Grosejan at the wheel of his E21 was fighting for a podium finish until technical issues hit the Frenchman: he had an engine problem and had to retire from the race.

When there were about 20 laps to go, both Rosberg and Hamilton had to pit for the second time. That cost the Mercedes drivers dearly. With 15 laps to go, Sebastian had vanished into the horizon, Alonso was 2nd, Button 3rd and Kimi 4th. Kimi´s back had been anaesthetised before the race and it must have been very challenging to complete the race! It was shown on TV how Kimi´s E21 was put down very cautiously during his pit stop which must have been because of the back problems. But there the Iceman was, driving in P4 right behind Button fighting for a podium finish! That was way more than anybody could ever have expected! Kimi is an utterly exceptional driver, there isn´t an obstacle which would make the Iceman give up! Hats off for Kimi, he´s absolutely amazing.

With 10 more laps to go I had to hurry up for a burlesque class. I was so anxious! I knew Sebastian would take a dominant victory but I was so worried about Kimi. Kimi was putting pressure to Button lap after lap and when there were 8 laps remaining the Iceman made a stunning overtaking move on the Briton and managed to get past him! Only a few laps before the chequered flag Webber faced a gearbox problem, which ruined the race for the Australian. Sebastian crossed the finish line with a 32-second margin over Alonso who came 2nd! Kimi took the impressive 3rd place. The Mercedes duo Rosberg and Hamilton were 4th and 5th. Massa finished 6th and Button 7th. Webber finally finished in P15, which must have been a huge disappointment for him.

Webber had to stop his car on the track due to the gearbox failure. Alonso gave a lift to the Australian and drove him to the pits, which turned out to be a wrong call. Both drivers were handed reprimands by the stewards and this was the 3rd one for Webber already, which automatically means that the Red Bull driver will face a 10-place grid penalty for Korea! I find this punishment pretty unreasonable! Alonso just wanted to do Webber a favour and help him but this friendly action turned out to have serious consequences... Very unfair in my opinion!

Once again the crowd was booing when Sebastian stood on the top step of the podium. It feels quite odd that no matter where the F1 circus goes, there always seems to be people booing for Vettel. I don´t know, maybe it´s his absolute dominance and superiority to the others that irritates people. I can´t do anything but admire this guy from the bottom of my heart. There´re no words to write, which would do justice to the way this young man drives an F1 car! I´m totally stunned. Sebastian has just made it a hat trick at Singapore: three wins in a row! He´s definitely the king of the dark night of Singapore.

Kimi was absolutely incredibly amazing today as well. To perform that well with all the problems he´s faced during the weekend... Not everybody can do that. Can´t help wondering what the Iceman would have been capable of if he hadn´t been suffering from the back problems! From 13th on the grid to the podium, that´s a dream come true. Very very unique, exceptional and phenomenal driving!

Sebastian is leading the championship now with a 60-point gap over Alonso. In the constructors´ championship Red Bull has over a 100-point gap over the closest rival, which is Ferrari. Those numbers tell everything necessary. Now I just want to enjoy this unbelievable feeling! I feel like floating somewhere among the clouds and my feet are so so so far away from the ground! I love Formula 1, I love these feelings that it creates, I love writing about them! Today my world is perfect :)

lauantai 21. syyskuuta 2013

Singapore GP / Qualifying: Sebastian took his 41st career pole!

This has been an absolutely perfect Saturday. After going for an 8-kilometre walk in the forest in the morning I could just sit on the coach and enjoy the Formula 1 entertainment: an hour of the last free practice and then the qualifying. The Marina Bay street circuit is an incredible and mesmerizing venue. When the night falls and the artificial lights light up the venue almost looks like a fantasy world. The shiny F1 cars make the scenery just perfect!

I expected Kimi to have a challenging qualifying as the Iceman hadn´t seemed very competitive in the last practice session. Grosjean was right there in the very top but Kimi´s car seemed unstable and it was sliding in the corners. Right before the qualifying got underway I heard the Finnish ex F1 driver Mika Salo say on TV that Kimi had some back problems in addition to the issues with the car. I knew it was going to be a massively difficult afternoon for the Finn!

Hamilton in his Mercedes set the fastest lap time in Q1. The other Finn, Valtteri Bottas, drove impressively well considering the fact that it was the very first time for him at the Marina Bay circuit. Bottas was 6 tenths of a second faster than his team-mate Maldonado and he was the last man to get into Q2. Di Resta in his Force India was the first one to be knocked out of Q2 followed by Bottas´s team-mate Maldonado. Grosjean and Vettel used the harder tyres in the first session whilst all others set their fastest laps on the supersofts.

Q2 was all about fighting for the place among the top ten. Kimi bravely took part in Q2 as well though every lap must have been very painful for the Iceman. The Marina Bay Circuit with all the bumps must be a killer to drive in back pain! Kimi did his best but he had no chance to make it in to the Q3. Hulkenberg in his Sauber was the first man to be knocked out of the final session, followed by Vergne in P12 and Kimi in P13. Surprisingly Gutierrez managed to beat his team-mate Hulkenberg today and the Mexican made his way through to the top ten! This was the very first time that Gutierrez qualified higher than his team-mate! I was so disappointed for Kimi as Grosjean´s excellent driving (P5 in Q2) clearly showed that there was huge potential in the E21!

In the last session there was almost a fight for the pole! I put it like this because Sebastian was among the first drivers to go out in Q3 and he claimed the initial pole after his first run. When there were two minutes left in the clock Sebastian chose to stay in the garage instead of a second run. And finally Rosberg managed to get very very close being only 91 thousandths of a second slower than Sebastian! Grosjean at the wheel of his E21 made it as high as P3 today, which made me feel even more gutted for Kimi. Webber qualified 4th, Hamilton 5th, Massa 6th, Alonso 7th, Button 8th, Ricciardo 9th and Gutierrez 10th (he didn´t set a lap time in Q3). So Sebastian made it on pole for the 41st time in his career! Only the sky seems to be the limit as far as Sebastian´s success is concerned...! What a performance once again!

On the basis of what we´ve seen during the weekend, Red Bull´s pace has been crushing. If anyone else than Sebastian wins the race tomorrow, I´ll be genuinely surprised! Of course Marina Bay is a circuit where unexpected things can happen and where safety car is often needed. I´m absolutely delighted for Sebastian but worried about Kimi. Just before writing this blog post I read that Kimi´s back pain was caused by a loose seat in his E21 on Friday! I can´t help asking, how this kind of a thing can happen on this level of racing! Recently it was announced that Kimi will move back to Ferrari next season. The silly season is always full of rumours, but when things like this happen, you don´t wonder how all kinds of "conspiracy theories" get started! With wild imagination it would be easy to imagine that somebody not happy with Kimi´s decision to leave Lotus would harm Kimi´s driving on purpose... Which most probably isn´t the case. But a loose seat in a Formula 1 car sounds kind of dangerous and a mistake that shouldn´t happen in any circumstances.

I wish all the very best for Kimi for tomorrow´s race! It´s so admirable that Kimi wants to drive and race even in situations where it would be so much easier to just give up. So hat off for Kimi and no matter what the result will be tomorrow, I´ll always support him. Making your very best in spite of all the set backs and obstacles is what counts. 13 might be the lucky number, who knows :)

maanantai 9. syyskuuta 2013

Italian GP: Sebastian´s triumph to victory!

It´s Monday evening and I´m sitting in my kitchen in the candlelight writing this blog post. Yesterday after the race I headed to the burlesque class where I turned out to be the only one attending the class! Well, the class started well but then the instructor started to talk like this: "Imagine there´s Vettel sitting in front of you so that you´re dancing to him..." My face turned red and my dancing became a mess after that! ;) Sometimes I wonder if I´m really acting like a woman in her thirties, hahaha! I do feel like a teenager from time to time ;)

The race was absolutely amazing. Before the lights went out, it was still uncertain if it was going to rain or not. The sky was dark and there were a few drops coming down from the sky. Everyone started to the race with the slicks on. Kimi, Hamilton and Gutierrez had the hard tyres on whilst all the others had medium tyres. The first lap was crucial for Kimi and not in any positive regard unfortunately. Kimi hit Perez´s rear and damaged his front wing so the Iceman had to pit for a new front wing. That made the Finn drop to the very back of the field which was very frustrating indeed! Kimi´s team-mate Grosjean got into a collision with Force India´s Di Resta on the opening lap and Di Resta´s race was over. Stewards considered Di Resta at fault in the collision.

Once again the Ferrari drivers took a marvellous start. Massa jumped 2nd and Alonso moved 3rd after making a stunning overtaking move on Red Bull´s Webber. And after that it was only a matter of time as Alonso moved past his team-mate (you can´t really talk about overtaking in this case! Everybody knows team orders at Ferrari...;) ). After the difficult start we saw incredible driving from the Iceman as the Finn set fastest lap time again and again and snatched position by position making his way nearer to the top ten. Same time in the lead Sebastian was building his gap over Alonso tenth by tenth. The only man on track matching Sebastian´s speed was Kimi Räikkönen in his Lotus!

After the first pit stops Sebastian was still leading the race. Alonso was 2nd, Webber 3rd, Massa 4th and Sauber´s Nico Hulkenberg was in the stunning P5. There was never a fight for the victory at Monza. There was simply nobody who could have challenged the super fast German in the Italian GP! Sebastian had an over 10-second gap over Alonso who got some pressure from Webber. Webber, however, suffered from gear box issues. Sebastian also had similar issues but they didn´t prevent him from winning the race in an impressively dominant way! Alonso drove to the chequered flag in P2 and Webber P3. Massa (P4), Hulkenberg (P5), Rosberg (P6), Ricciardo (P7), Grosjean (P8), Hamilton (P9) and Button (P10) completed the top ten. Kimi in spite of his impressive drive was the first driver not to score points by finishing 11th. In addition to the front wing damage the Finn also suffered from a KERS problem at the end of the race.

The Ferrari fans were booing when Sebastian celebrated his victory on the podium -something that can only happen in Italy. But Sebastian seemed to enjoy every second of it. There´re now 53 points separating Sebastian and Alonso in the championship standings. You can´t take the 4th championship for granted but on the other hand, Sebastian could just go on a holiday for two next races and he would still be leading the championship battle! Once again there´re no words that could describe how this young man drives an F1 car, I´m speechless! There´s something unique and extraordinary about this combination of Sebastian Vettel and the Red Bull car, I can´t put it any better...

Can´t wait for Singapore GP in a fortnight! I hope Kimi´s dry season will be over by Singapore and the Iceman will bounce back stronger than ever -no matter that the Finn is already 88 points off the championship leader. Meanwhile I´m impatiently waiting for contract news as far as Kimi is concerned... There´re sources saying that Kimi is about to make a deal with Ferrari, which would make things interesting. I have mixed feelings about Kimi returning to Ferrari but from the bottom of my heart I´d enjoy every second of seeing Kimi kicking Alonso´s ass! :D Though there´s an option that Kimi would return to Ferrari and Alonso would exit... You never know when we´re talking about Formula 1. Better not say anything but just patiently wait and see, haha!

lauantai 7. syyskuuta 2013

Italian GP / Qualifying: Vettel was unstoppable today!

This weekend it´s time for the last race in Europe this season. Monza being the fastest track of the calendar with very low downforce it wasn´t supposed to suit either Red Bull or Lotus very well. Nevertheless, Sebastian had shown excellent pace in all three free practices and Kimi had been up there in the 3rd place in the FP2 so I was confident in terms of the qualifying.

Sebastian was the fastest man on the track in Q1. Toro Rosso seemed very competitive under the Italian sun as well as Vergne was 4th fastest in the first session. Sauber´s Gutierrez was the first man to be eliminated from Q2. Unfortunately Bottas at the wheel of his FW35 didn´t make his way through in to the second session, either but qualified 18th. His team-mate Maldonado managed to finish his lap 3 tenths faster than the Finn and he was 12th in Q1. So not a very strong performance from Bottas today but I know he´ll do everything he can to fight for positions in tomorrow´s race!

Q2 was filled with surprises. Once again Sebastian was the fastest man on the track -there was no one who could have challenged the German! So in that regard everything was looking very promising. But in the second session it could clearly be seen that Lotus was struggling with their performance. The E21 simply wasn´t fast enough! Kimi was the first driver to be knocked out from Q3, which was quite shocking indeed! Only 18 thousandths of a second separated the Iceman from the top ten. Hamilton, who had snatched four pole positions in a row, was also knocked out from Q3 as the Briton was only 12th fastest! The British Mercedes driver got impeded by Force India´s Sutil in Q2 but Hamilton himself admitted after the qualifying that he had "driven like an idiot" and apologized to his team. Kimi´s team-mate Grosjean was only 13th fastest and also out of Q3! It was very worrying that both the Toro Rosso and McLaren drivers made it among the top ten but either one of the Lotus drivers didn´t!

Today there was nobody who could have been capable of putting up a fight for pole with Sebastian! Sebastian´s driving was simply epic and phenomenal and the German was completely unstoppable today. Webber at the wheel of his RB9 made it a front row lock-out for Red Bull. And this happened on the track that wasn´t supposed to suit Red Bull! So pretty amazing achievement indeed. Sauber´s Nico Hulkenberg made it in P3 -who could have predicted that! Hulkenberg´s performance was staggering considering that his team-mate Gutierrez didn´t even make his way through in to the Q2! Very well done from the young German! Ferrari tried to gain advantage from slip-streaming but the strategy didn´t work out as Massa was too far ahead of Alonso in the decisive moment. So Massa ended up being 4th fastest ahead of his team-mate Alonso who qualified 5th. We heard an angry message on the team radio by Alonso who called his team members idiots because the strategy failed. Rosberg qualified 6th, Ricciardo 7th, Perez 8th, Button 9th and Vergne 10th.

I´m expecting Sebastian to cruise to the victory tomorrow if there won´t be any technical worries. The weather might be a factor tomorrow as some showers are predicted to arrive in the area tomorrow afternoon. Alonso at the wheel of his Ferrari will have strong race pace for sure but I don´t think the Spaniard will be able to challenge Sebastian for the victory. Kimi will have loads of work to do tomorrow but Kimi if anyone is capable of fighting for good points. It´s so amazing how dominant Sebastian seems at Monza this weekend. It seems the German has the perfect car, the perfect skills, the perfect team and the perfect concentration to make his races victorious -even in venues which haven´t proven victorious before. It´s absolutely imposing to watch Sebastian in the pit garage with headphones on and eyes shut -there´s nothing that can break this man´s concentration. I believe he is on his way towards his fourth world title!