Welcome back race fans to a post-GP edition of the Slipstream. I would like to commend and compliment everybody who engaged in a very lively and heated debate after my last article. The US GP effort will be one of the many things to watch in this post season. But we still have a long way to go until the final flag in November.
The stage was set for a pretty eventful race on the track I would like to call RINO ('Ring in Name Only). Out of all the races so far, this one might be an early contender for race of the year. The looming spectre of rain, the improvement of most of the old guard teams, and the growing potential of a real title fight. All of these things plus the chance to see another long time driver win his first race is always a special thing in Formula One.
The race build up was mainly focused on the potential of Webber winning, but some of the other minor story lines proved interesting to look into as well. For the first time since the season started, it seemed that even the Brawn drivers were starting to hold reservations about their world beating car. These concerns are very well placed. It does seem that development on the Brawn is not as fast or as effective as the work being done on the Red Bulls, McLarens or even Ferraris. The budget of the Brawn team might be a factor in this, along with game plan that team leader, Ross Brawn has in store for the second half of the year.
This day, still belongs to Mark Webber. A driver that this author predicted in his pre-season write up, would be fired. I must say that even though I stand by my views at the time, it is nice to be proven wrong once and a while. While he was always hyped up as this world champion in the waiting, just like soon to be champion, Jenson Button, Webber has always been at the wrong place at the wrong time. Even when it looked like he was on course for a victory with the Williams team at Monaco, those dreams went up in flames and a steering wheel, thrown into the cockpit in utter frustration.
Banging wheels with fellow grey man, Barrichello, it looked like his race was over before it really started. I am surprised that a Newey designed car was able to hold up to such an impact. In F1, rubbing isin't really racing, but when it does happen, it is exciting. Through the determination of his team, and the dominance of his car, Webber managed to bring home a victory that was well earned. The sanction imposed on him was justified but with most things, it seems Webber took it in stride and for the first time in his career, came out on the top step of the podium. In a strange twist of fate, it seems that Sutil managed to take away a potential podium for Raikkonen. Although not in the same dramatic fashion of their Monaco shunt last year, it does seem ironic that those two crossed paths again.
All in all, it was an exciting race and sets the stage for a serious challenge to the Brawn steam roller that has rolled over a good portion of the calendar. Can the killer Bs hold off Red Bull? Is a McLaren come back just a race away? Stay with the Slipstream for all of that and more. Congrats again go out to the Racer of Oz and his first win.
See you soon