Well, for those among you who set the alarm for any time before 7.00am, you at least had that first lap. Holy Cow! That blew away cobwebs the coffee might have missed. Two Red Bulls side by side then, right behind a Mclaren and a Ferrari also side by side, and then… what was that? Another Ferrari and a Lotus. Four cars/one corner? We can only be grateful Romain Grosjean didn’t get the best of starts this weekend.
Wow! But then after that it was all a bit ‘Korean GP’ wasn’t it? Two Red Bulls leading home two Ferraris, not one of them remotely threatening another, was not the best prelude to a great finale to this season. We’re not even sure the ‘will it/won’t it explode’ drama on Vettel’s rear tyre in the last three laps wasn’t just ‘some plot’ mixed in by the producers to keep us awake.
And with empty grandstands, concrete bunkers and a landscaping somewhere between those sand pits near Heathrow, plus an unloved municipal golf course, it was hard not to recall how warm bed was this morning. Even with some good scraps all the way around what looks like a great track all the way through the race, it was a strangely enervating experience, as it usually is in Korea.
Still, no more early starts this season.
It’s going to take a miracle to stop Sebastian Vettel winnng his third world championship in a row now. We explained how we felt about that last week if you want to take a look. He could wrap it up before Brazil at this rate. Maybe in Austin, Texas? The Americans would like that; as far as we know he’s the only F1 driver to have appeared on US late night television in the last decade.
What else did we learn this morning? Well, right at the moment it needed to up its game, McLaren has once again lost the plot. Jenson Button was out on the first lap having managed to get hit by both Saubers. Not his fault, but what was he doing starting in the middle of the pack, where it can get messy? Paying the penalty for a bodged strategy in qualifying, basically. And, if the BBC is to believed, Lewis Hamilton started the race with the possibility of a one-stop strategy, and ended up stopping three times and finishing tenth. He started third, can we remind you…
Neither JB nor Lewis have a cat in hell’s now. How did that happen, when McLaren have had consistently the fastest car all season?
Ferrari looks like it sorted its second driver problem with Felipe Massa once again showing he has still got it. Well most of ‘it’ anyhow. Fast, but never a challenge to Fernando Alonso. That’s what Ferrari wants. We guess that means both Force India drivers will be staying put, although that didn’t stop Nico Hulkenberg putting in a mighty weekend. Careful there Paul…
The empty seats now look to be at Sauber, with Perez having already signed for McLaren and Kobayashi having blown away any residual goodwill he might have generated with that podium in Japan. He’s messy, but we’ll miss him. Sauber also need to be careful though; under the direction of its ex-engineering director James Key, Toro Rosso looks to be on the move. Two cars in the top ten. Both ahead of McLaren.
Top ten; Vettel, Webber, Alonso, Massa, Raikkonen, Hulkenberg, Grosjean. Vergne, Ricciardo and Lewis Hamilton, who ended the race with a messy lump of greengrocers table cloth attached to the side of his car. That said it all really.
The title race? Vettel leads. That’s all you need to know really…