Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Formula 1: Disappointing weekend

Disappointing weekend. Eagerly anticipating the Formula 1 Hungarian GP, I bought with me high expectations for a comeback fight between Brawn and Red Bull. Instead, fans were treated to a devastating crash from Felipe Mass’s Ferrari in the 3rd round of qualifying. A piece of debris that had fallen off from Ruben Barrichello’s car had struck Massa full in the face rendering the Brazilian unconscious in a 200-kph plough into the tire barriers. Disappointment #1.

This is in a wake of a freak accident when former F1 champion John Surtee’s son, 18-year old Henry Surtee, died just days before while racing in Formula 3.

Motor racing is never safe that is why I contend myself to just daydreaming my racing ambitions and not put it to the test.

Back to F1. Anticipating news of Massa’s crash, Fernando Alonso broke pole position, number 18 in his career, outpacing the Brawns, Red Bulls, McLarens and Ferraris in Q3. But my elation was short-lived. On his first pit stop in lap 12 in race day, mechanics failed to properly secure Alonso’s right front wheel and after a few turns, the Bridgestone super soft tires can be seen careening into the grass. What a sad ending for the Spaniard who had hoped to score his maiden win this season. Interestingly, the Hungaroring track can be likened much to Singapore with its slow corners where last year I stood watch amidst the deafening squeal of Alonso's R28 scoring his first win for 2008. Disappointment #2.

Confident for McLaren's new set-up was one British uptight driver Lewis Hamilton. Storming through 2nd place coming into turn 1 in his KERS-powered Mecedes after starting on P4, Hamilton took the lead after Fernando Alonso made his tragic pit stop and when Renault finally decided to retire Alonso’s car, the proud Hamilton was virtually unstoppable in the 4.7-km track, as he extended his lead over Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen in 2nd place and Mark Webber of Red Bull Renault in 3rd place. Disappointment #3.

With a few races to go, it seems Brawn’s lead in the Driver’s and Constructor’s title is on a shaky hold what with the recent updates and upgrades from Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren and Renault now coming into fruition.

Speaking of disappointment #4, the FIA has suspended Renault for the Hungarian GP accident (as a result of one of its wheels coming off thereby endangering racing). This means Spanish driver Fernando Alonso won’t be driving in his hometown in the upcoming European Grand Prix in Valencia, Spain come August 21st. Personally, I think this is a mistake. Imagine the reaction of the Spanish fans learning of an Alonso suspension in their own home soil.

Commentator Steve Slater of ESPNStar couldn’t have suggested it any better. If Felipe Massa won’t be driving for Ferrari in the coming weeks yet, let Alonso take his place. After all, Fernando has been eyeing on a Ferrari drive for the longest time.

If only lawyers could agree.