Gutted for Webber. Gutted for Hamilton. Gutted for Vettel.
It would not surprise me if Vettel, should he be so lucky to receive an offer from another top team, scoots from Red Bull because of his car's unreliabilty issues. Vettel is an astonishing driver and whilst Button had a terrific light drive today, Vettel surely would have been close, if not top dog.
Hamilton's drive was so aggressive. I am always surprised that people notice he is hard or fast. He is a determined driver, always looking ahead. Lots of quipping at the commentary (more on that later), especially regarding Webber on Hamilton's behind and a note of Hamilton having to look in front and behind him: when does Hamilton look back? There was none of that today, and it is a terrible deal from the racing gods that he jumped Alonso and the two 'men of the race' were taken out in a fell swoop of fate.
Commentary on the BBC was atrocious today. JL needs to go, as he is consistently clueless, and interested in telling the public pointless pieces of misinformation, whilst MB has too many bad days to balance the good. And sometimes I wonder whether bitterness creeps in to his voice. Too many times today we were being told "he shouldn't do this/that/the other thing". The commentators are negative, always. Very rarely happy to give praise until it is overdue or heaped on pointlessly once the job has been done. Sometimes I imagine the race commentated by the three wonders that are JH, EJ, and DC. Even two of those three (pick the combo, all are beautiful). Especially JH who continues to shine with enthusiasm at every turn.
The obsession of 'teams' with the commentators is a constant turn-off. Team orders no longer exist, they have been banned: why should Massa let Alonso past? Massa held his own, whilst yes making several peculiar driving errors, and fought hard to maintain his position. And the commentators are surprised that he fends Alonso off? I fail to grasp their logic, and I fail to understand why they think Alonso would be happy with such a hollow victory? And somehow the importance of Hamilton vs. Button? There were cars between them, I really do not care how fast they are against each other. Both are intelligent and impressive drivers with entirely different skill sets, Hamilton and Button are not racing each other, they are racing the rest of the pack. Stop it, BBC commentators.
Also, please stop mentioning about Schumacher and his 7 world titles. We know. Please remember his last season in F1 before this, a mid-pack position was not an uncommon place for him.
An interesting observation, discussing Hamilton and Button: people seem to fail to notice the difference in drives between them. Button is a light driver, fast and swift with confidence, and less than impressive once he loses faith in himself. Whereas Hamilton is hard and heavy at every turn. Regardless of his performance, or the car, Hamilton's confidence rarely drops, he is an aggressive driver. Neither of them have faults with this, they are entirely competent drivers, with completely different internal psyches. So why are the commentators surprised that these men, whilst in the same team, could possibly have entirely different opinions on strategy? The team do not always have the final say, exactly as this race proved with both drivers taking risks (although Hamilton's decision at this point is very uncertain, he was a very unhappy man at whatever force drove him to return to the pit), and one of them paying off. If both had paid off, we could have seen a very pleasing Maclaren 1/2.
However, whilst all eyes seemed on Hamilton and Button, other men had fighting drives. Alonso, may my own naysaying prove me wrong, could possibly impress me this season. Forcing his way fluidly from the back of the pack (no mean feat), he certainly proved himself worthy of the Ferrari red. Kubica too, what a gem. Why were the commentators so afraid to praise him? Holding back not just one Ferrari but both red menaces in his wing mirrors. With what often seemed ease, certainly nearing the end of the race. Then Webber, pushed around, pushed out, before eventually crashing out with Hamilton. He fought hard, magnetically attracted to P1, so long at the rear of Hamilton but never disappearing. He fought those hard fast laps right up there to the Ferraris and he kept it going. These men all had amazing drives.
Kudos to Algersauri too, for holding out against Schumi. Unlike JL and MB, this does not surprise me. Somehow the younger drivers are meant to be daunted by Schumacher? Have you no sense of the arrogance that has to come with an F1 drive? You have the record-holding world champion of
Congratulations to Button though. His very lucky good call, possibly brought on by being overtaken by his teammate (not mentioned by the commentators, who are always comparing the two drivers), gave him the power and the confidence to take the race by storm. Let them eat dust, he says, and it was done.
This race was astonishing. I hope all the naysayers of Bahrain are biting off their own tongues at this moment. Maybe it was the track, maybe it was first-race shakes, or maybe it was just fate (because the back of the Bahrain pack certainly did not have a boring race), but for them it will be forgotten in the dust that was raised by Melbourne. And perhaps by me too, Melbourne was insanely evenful: race on!