The Bigger picture:
The English have had a wonderful weekend. Safe to say, one way or the other- Great Britain (to be technically correct, considering the nationalities in the Cricket team) are grinning.
The Hungarian Grand prix was Jenson Button’s 200th race start. That, in itself, is quite an achievement in this sport- where it is tremendously tough to stay in the playing field if not dominate for so long. Apart from having to watch Mr. Button (his father) incessantly shower all sorts of love on his girlfriend Jessica Michibata, it was as good a milestone race as it could get for Jenson. He cruised…well, not exactly…he drove to only his 11th GP win of his career- and it could be one of the sweetest. It was an action-packed race, with positions changing as quickly as the latest superstar in tinsel town does.
I grew this during the race. Seriously.
He may still not be back in the race for 2nd position in the Championship though- with Webber now in pole position for that spot, just a few points ahead of the mad duo of Hamilton and Alonso. I love how they sound like an inseparable couple now- but who can blame us?
Sebastian Vettel, on 216 points, is going to win it dirty. It is official. He refuses to really dominate any race. But he refuses to fade away either. His dry spell continues- as he finished ONLY runner-up in this race, and a couple of more podium positions could mean curtains for the excitement leading up to the inaugural Indian Grand Prix. Never mind, the chasing pack is making things very interesting, as was expected- and Red Bull finds only one driver on the podium nowadays. Not exactly panic buttons, but we will take what we get.
The Summer Break is here. The teams and drivers take a well-deserved breather till the end of August. Racing will resume at the Belgium Grand Prix 28 days from now. Things haven’t exactly heated up, but we will take what we get. Again.
The Smaller Picture:
A crackerjack of a Grand Prix later, we are still reeling from…well, the rotten luck of Lewis Hamilton. He seems to be the most exciting (read crazy) character on that track right now- and we can’t wait to hear him moan after this one. 5 pit stops, 1 drive-through penalty and several overtaking attempts including a fake chance of rain later- the suicidal Brit still finished 4th. Hell of a race, but whether it was his tyres or the image of the Button family cuddling up in the crew- nothing went right for Lewis. He led the race for a bit, got into a sparring battle with partner Button for a bit, then fought old pal Alonso for a bit, and finally got a wrong set of tyres after his 3rd pit stop. Phew.
The midfield cluster, at one point, consisted of every driver unnamable, with the least screen time over the season, began to resemble a huge line of screenwriters with ‘sequels’ outside Aamir Khan’s office after the release of Delhi Belly. Needless to say, nobody really came out a winner- with an ORGY of DRS induced opportunistic driving and some unimportant positions gained. Of course, Massa and Webber, after an initial burst that frightened the top 4- decided to play their role to perfection and make Budapest one happening circuit! Schumacher retired early with a gearbox failure, and after that, it was all left to the ‘other’ German Vettel to make a race out of this. He did not fail entirely, though, allowing himself to finish SECOND after starting on POLE- which is quite a shock in itself.
No guesses for who the team’s Number One is.
This was also one of the few races where 3 different cars finished on the podium, a rarity in a season where Red Bull have looked eons ahead of Mclaren, who, in turn have looked eons ahead of Ferrari. The British team have been having a good run off late, but it still may not be enough to relegate RBR-Renault or young Vettel to the worst end to a F1 season ever.
The Real Picture:
I miss destroying the field.
Inspite of one of the most error-strewn races in recent times, one can’t say that 2011 will be a season that will go down to the wire. Far from it. A few years ago, Button made things interesting after the Turkish Grand Prix by refusing to step onto the podium for the second half of the season- clinching it ONLY in the last race. Expecting the same from Red Bull might be a long shot- but they are showing signs of tiring. Ferrari are too inconsistent to pose a real threat- and inspite of all the hype that surrounded Massa’s first good qualifying session where he outdrove Alonso- he was back to his usual mid-table ways in the race. Mclaren, though, from the looks of it, have taken over the mantle of making every single race worth watching. We’re not complaining- and after watching Hamilton overtake Vettel, Button overtake Hamilton, Hamilton overtake Button, Button overtake Hamilton, Hamilton overtake Button, Vettel overtake Alonso (pointless) and Hamilton finally overtake himself- we are SURE of the fact that DRS in F1 holds a very different status from the DRS controversy erupting in Test Cricket.
And we’re thankful for that.
Have a good break, and see you in a seductive tub of chocolate on August 28th.