Sunday, September 12, 2010

Is the 2010 F1 title the one no one wants to win?

Well, the European part of the season is over and the teams pack up and head to Singapore for the next round in a fortnight. As most predicted, Monza saw the Red Bull's struggle (though nowhere near as badly as 2009) but the rest of the cards fell off the table I think.

After having the car to beat at both Montreal and Spa, this should have been a slamdunk for McLaren...well, either they didn't get that memo or it lost something in translation as Ferrari delivered an uppercut to that idea. If Spa was brilliant for Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber, Monza was just as good for Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel as Lewis had a brainfade and wrecked on lap 1 while Webber was left frustrated having stared at the rear wing of Hulkenburg's Williams for pretty much the entire race and had to make do with sixth.

With those five guys now back to being within a race win of each other, it begs the question; who wants it more?

1 - Mark Webber, 187 points
2 - Lewis Hamilton, 182 points
3 - Fernando Alonso, 166 points
4 - Jenson Button, 165 points
5 - Sebastian Vettel, 163 points

Red Bull - with the best car and, arguably, the most talented driver in Vettel, the team went into the year as favourites. While the car is lightning fast, it has proven a little fragile (Sebastian's lost a bunch of points in Bahrain, Australia and Spain) but it's been Webber who has been 'the man'. Both guys are brilliant when out front but only Vettel seems to have that killer instinct when needing to work up through the field (as he showed at Silverstone) while Mark tends to struggle (Valencia anyone?). However, Vettel has also shown signs of cracking under pressure (as he showed at Silverstone, Germany and Spa) while Mark's been pretty solid.

McLaren - they have the last two world champs in their camp, the strongest engine and possibly the best overall group of guys at the factory. They started off a little slowly in Bahrain but whenever the track got wet, the Lewis-Jenson duo quickly showed exactly why they have won the last two titles (both of Button's wins came in the wet while Lewis was supreme at Spa). But when things go wrong, they tend to go wrong in a big way (Jenson retiring on lap 2 at Monaco as the team forgot to remove one of the blankets on the sidepod and it overheated the engine, Lewis losing a certain podium at Spain when his suspension failed on the last lap). The thing is though, while this is the best driver pairing, they have, possibly, only the third best car on the grid and that might prove to be their downfall in the end.

Ferrari - throwing all their weight behind the two time champion, the weight of expectation and a team fired up after a dismal 2009. They got off to the perfect start, going 1-2 at Bahrain, then appeared to slowly disappear from radar until Germany when they did it again. Alonso's only weakness comes from within; he's on his eighth and last engine and, with all due respect to Felipe Massa, doesn't have a teammate capable of pushing him all the way like Red Bull and McLaren do. I think the Ferrari is the second best car...but whether that's enough will have to wait to be seen.

Of the tracks remaining, you'd have to give the nod to Red Bull (of the four used last year, they won on three), but will infighting between Webber and Vettel allow the other three the advantage they need to pip them at the post?

The last time I recall five guys gunning for the title was in 1986 with Mansell, Piquet, Prost, Senna and Rosberg...and that year ended with Nigel's spectacular tyre blowout at Adelaide which ultimately led to Prost nabbing his second title.

Personally, I think it'll be either Jenson or Mark...they seem to be the most consistant of the bunch. Obviously, I shall be cheering on my fellow Aussie.


  1. Oh sure Hamilton or Button is a SHOE IN to win!!

    At least the title races this year, aside from NW, seem to be competitive and not a forgone conclusion...

  2. it should have been since they won Montreal (heavy on brakes) and Belgium (powwwwwwwwwwwwer), I was gobsmacked at the results....of course, my stunned look might have also been the horror at knowing I'd just ruined your trifecta and you might send my picture to SFO saying not to let me in :o

  3. tez...

    It's a hot potato! Nobody wants it!

    BTW, never doubt the power of factory recalled Ferraris! LOL

  4. I'm still shaking my head over Massa getting ordered to let Fernando pass, at the very track he almost sacrificed his life a year prior. Any way, I think it's Webber's if he can keep his composure at the level it's been. I don't think there'll be any more drama at Red Bull. No more wings taken from Mark, or team mates taking each other out. At least, one would think they've learned something? As for Hamilton and Button, well, that's another story, and I've already said too much! But Mclaren is a strong team. Did you hear they might return to Indy? Enjoyed your rundown tez!

  5. i am sure all the guys mentioned wants the 2010 title. Just depends on how much they want it.