Winner: Sebastian Vettel
Team: Red Bull Racing
The couple that tied the knot mid-race: Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton.
The Bigger Picture:
Hmm, maybe I could bring him down the Monica Seles way…
We shall now stop talking about the new double World Champion, Sebastian Vettel. All I shall say is that Schumacher’s record of 13 victories in a season may now be threatened. A superb professional drive that saw Vettel look like a man much beyond his 23 years- the rest of the field looked much like the scrambling Indian cricket team in England desperate to win a match- dead rubber or not. On the brighter side, they did not lose the penultimate ODI, much like the remaining four ‘mortals’ in the 2011 season (Alonso, Hamilton, Button and Massa) have a cute little internal battle going on between them. Counting Massa as one of the ‘best of the rest’ might not make much sense anymore, simply because after all these years, inspite of being in different teams and cars- he still finds himself trailing Michael Schumacher in an action-packed race. This time, I don’t think it was on purpose, though.
A full 112 points ahead of Alonso in the standings, the fight is now on for the remaining two podium positions. Red Bull were supposed to be the weaker team this weekend at the straight-obsessed Monza track, but even Felipe Massa admitted to looking befuddled after Saturday qualifying- ‘it is difficult to understand’, he said- about Vettel blowing everyone away inspite of making a few minor ‘errors’. That pretty much sums up the season- where Red Bull have now finished Pole on every single qualifying session in 2011. I doubt that has ever been done before, and as predicted, Webber is now starting to live upto his ‘number two driver’ reputation. The better drivers are steaming through, with Button tied with him on third position, and a suicidal Hamilton only a few points behind.
The Smaller Picture:
Hamilton proved that he has it in him to finish a race without a shockingly life-threatening incident, but quickly found out that Schumacher is hell-bent on finding a drive for next season. He may have signed on for one more year for his Brawn GP team, but he needs to have the credentials to back them. Nico Rosberg is only making him look better- but to be fair, the luck of Indian Cricket seemed to have travelled to Italy today and generously sprinkled itself onto Rosberg and a few other drivers- who were victims of a Liuzzi brainfreeze at the beginning of the race. Anyway, Hamilton struggled to get past the racing legend on more than two occasions, and true *facepalm* happened when Button quickly and neatly passed by Schumacher to stand on the podium for the fourth time in four races. A strong finish to the season, very UnBrit like, of course- but what is so British about Hamilton either? (other than the fact that he may NEVER win a championship title again and moan about it forever)
The League of ExtraOrdinary Gentlemen
Vettel closed out the race as soon as he took Alonso once the DRS came into play after the third lap- and if lady luck and reckless youth had combined in one deadly seductive cocktail to almost ruin Vettel’s fairytale win last season, 2011 has been a dry year for him. No lady, no recklessness. He is now an old man. Webber is trying his best to sign up for the pension fund next year- and by consistently falling behind in the last few races of every season, he is now proving to be the Andy Murray of Formula One.
Atleast the disillusioned Italian fans got a glimpse of their darling team standing on the podium in the form of the only driver that can ever challenge Vettel’s supremacy over the next few years- Fernando Alonso. He deserved better, but Button is fast turning into a come-from-behind specialist. If only he doesn’t start behind anymore now.
The Real Picture:
Vettel in F1 is Djokovic in Tennis (irrespective of whoever wins this US Open) is England in Cricket is Barcelona in football, in 2011. There is no stopping any of them, atleast for a year more, and we are lucky to be witnessing dominance as dominant as Federer, Sampras, Australia and, er, Barcelona once again, in a couple of years. The field may look open in all these sports, but certain individuals have reached their peak- and are enjoying the most dominant eras in the history of World Sport.
Think it can’t get any better? Well, still a few races to go. RBR are all but World Champions, unless Webber gains negative points for crumbling under pressure repeatedly. They have records to break, and so does the new blue-eyed boy of Formula One. His idol is sitting pretty too, shining through in an inferior car over the last few races- truly proving that a Champion cannot have won 5 consecutive World Championships without actually being a good driver, ruthless at that- mechanics be damned.
Hamilton, before the Italian GP, was convinced that McLaren would pull of their first one-two of this season. Well…
Onto the ultimate spectacle in World Racing now- the Night race- The Singapore Grand Prix. It has been worth the wait, of course, and we have just a month and a half to go until I call another race the ‘ultimate spectacle in World Racing’.
Our next post will get you up to speed on the top teams slated to make an appearance at the Buddh International Circuit on Oct 28-Oct 30th. As of now, there is only one team. But we’re trying our best to include the others and make it sound convincing enough.