This time last year….the Spanish Grand Prix

Posted: May 17, 2011 by thevillainf1 in This Time Last Year.....revisiting the 2010 season

Welcome to a new segment on my blog! A little personal tradition I have going on is that during the week before a Grand Prix Weekend, I watch last year’s Grand Prix at the same venue again, just to refresh my memory, make sure i’m not jonesing too much for more F1  and so I would be perhaps able to draw comparisons. I did so last night rewatching the 2010 Spanish Grand Prix and by god what a snorefest that was, a classic F1 processional! Nobody knows how DRS, tires and KERS will play out on the track this year, but it’s a safe bet it will be a hell of a lot more exciting to watch than that sorry excuse for a grand prix we had last year.

I wasn’t at all surprised to hear Martin Brundle say that in the past 9 years at Catalunya, the pole sitter has walked away with the win (now 10 years, with Webbers flag to finish victory in ’10). If the races’ most exciting (or more accurately:  less nap-worthy) moments were the following, any DRS/KERS/Pirelli opponent will surely think again after watching the 2011 race.

Moment 1: The start…..nothing of note happens at front, everybody stays in position, Petrov and Kobayashi share a moment, De La Rosa comes together with Buemi.

Moment 2: First (and only) round of pitstops: Hamilton jumps Vettel in the pits for p2…yawn.

Moment 3: Button has a botched pitstop and gets stuck behind Schumacher…he will stay stuck for the remaining 40 odd laps of the GP…snore

Moment 4: (wakes up) ZOMG an on track pass for position!!! Rosberg dives down the inside of Hulkenberg for p 12 or something in turn 10…after having gotten stuck behind for about 10 laps  in a clearly faster car on fresh option tires after an unsheduled 2nd pitstop.

Moment 5: Vettel has brake troubles and has to make a pitstop so he falls behind Alonso and has to  cruise home very carefully.

Moment 6: Hamilton has a front left puncture in turn 3 and plows into the barrier with just 2 laps to go, ending his race and gifting Alonso 2nd and Vettel 3rd place.

I’m willing to bet good money we’ll have more than 6 noteworthy and much more exciting moments in the 2011 Spanish GP after 10 laps. I did not like how DRS worked out in Turkey as it made passing just too easy, but one just needs to take a good look back at last year’s mainly processional races to see why F1 badly needs the new tires and regulations, even if it is not always implemented as it should. Let’s face it, last year was exciting because the championship fight was tight, not because the races were so good. This year if Vettel manages to dominate it like he is doing now, we may get a boring chamionship (non) fight, but we’ll sure get hella more exiting races. Bring on the 2011 Spanish GP!

  1. Lee says:

    Agree with you on the DRS being too easy in Turkey, wasn’t great to watch, at least in the previous races you could defend against it even in Malaysia which theoretically should’ve been worse but I thought they got it about right there and in China too. Looking forward to finally a half-decent Spanish Grand Prix!

  2. nowonda says:

    I’m guessing Turkey was a lesson for FIA on terms of DRS, so from now on they might err on the side of caution and making the activation zone a tad shorter than longer. But I also think they had it that way in Turkey to test how drivers and cars would behave with DRS activated in a fast turn in a real race situation, looking for hints on what to do and expect at Monaco (tunnel carnage expected? :D), where it was unsure whether it would be allowed or not until less than 2 weeks ago. I very much like the DRS racing, even if at times it might feel artificial, cause I’d rather have a top runner “artificially” pass a mid-runner to get into the real fight for the first positions than seeing him get frustrated for 40 laps, doing an Alonso impression, just because the nature of the sport makes it close to impossible to overtake on certain tracks, even when a tier 1 and a tier 2 car are involved (not even discussiing two tier 1 cars).

    Thanks for the idea of watching last year’s GP, I might do that, but from the next season on, when I’ll be almost guaranteed to re-watch a race from ’11 season with more excitement than 2 mid-field on track overtakes and 3 pitstop “undercuts”.

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