Monday, June 28, 2010

The European GP: Hamilton overtakes the safety car (and finishes 2nd)

"One who respects the rules is ninth, and one who does not respect them is second." Strong words from the double World Champion Ferrari pilot Fernando Alonso as reported on Yallaf1.

This in reference to second placer Lewis Hamilton of McLaren Mercedes who passed the Mercedes AMG Safety Car just seconds after Red Bull driver Mark Webber's horrific flying car crash against Heikki Kovaleinen's Lotus Cosworth on lap 15.

Hamilton explained not seeing the safety car and proceeded to tail eventual European Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel. By now, Alonso who started 4th but dashed to 3rd in a spectacular opening lap was relegated to the backmarkers, along with teammate Felipe Massa. The stewards eventually gave Hamilton a drive-through penalty late in the race but the damage was already done. Held up by Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi running in 3rd, Hamilton built a long gap against the rest of the field in a street tract most difficult to overtake, even making his penalty and joining the race with time to spare.

A sigh of disappointment could be heard escaping from the lips of Spanish fans as Ferrari looked to have a strong weekend, what with all the Red Bull-like exhaust and aerodynamic upgrades on the F10 midway through the season, if not for the Red Bull crash.

But it was a most impressive win for the young German claiming his second GP victory for the season-- Victory duplicated by Germany's win against England 4-1 in the FIFA World Cup in South Africa sending the "arrogant" English team packing, a day after their much controversial press conference in which the players only took questions from selected British media to the dismay of other reporters covering the event.

Round 10 moves to English soil in the technically-demanding fast-speed circuit that is Silverstone in the British Grand Prix in which Sebastian Vettel will look forward to replicating his 2009 win.