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F1 European Grand Prix: No Surprises Here

Posted in Formula 1, Racing Coverage by Kurt Ernst | June 27th, 2011 | 4 Responses |

Can anyone stop Sebastian Vettel in 2011? Image: Morio

The 2011 F1 season isn’t even at the halfway point, but I’m ready to throw in the towel. This weekend’s European Grand Prix, from Valencia, Spain, was a repeat of Monaco, Turkey, Malaysia or Australia, at least in terms of the polesitter and the race winner. Let’s be honest: no team has a chance of catching Red Bull renault, and not even RBR driver Mark Webber stands a chance of catching his teammate, Sebastian Vettel. Vettel’s poles and victories this year have seemed effortless, and the young German driver is operating on an entirely different plane than the rest of the F1 teams and drivers.

If there was any drama at all in Sunday’s European Grand Prix, it was behind P1. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso thrilled his home crowd by taking second place away from Red Bull Renault’s Mark Webber early in the race. Pit strategy caused Webber and Alonso to trade the second spot repeatedly, but when the checkered flag flew it was Vettel in first, followed by Alonso in second and Webber in third. McLaren Mercedes was never in contention for the lead despite qualifying in fifth and sixth place, and Hamilton’s fourth place showing was surprising given how much he struggled with the car throughout the race.

The next race, at Britain’s Silverstone circuit on July 10, marks the first event where under-car exhaust diffusers will be banned. It’s anyone’s guess at to whether or not this will make a difference, but I’ll go out on a limb and say that it won’t. Closing in on halfway through the season. only Ferrari is showing signs of real improvement, while McLaren Mercedes seems to be moving in the wrong direction. Not that it matters much, since the driver and constructor championships are already decided; the only question remaining is which team (and driver) will take second.

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4 Responses

  1. ds440 says:

    Valencia = zzzzzz… I wish they would ditch this track altogether. Regardless of the circuit, Vettel is gone. He will have to park the car for the next 8 races (!!!) before any one can touch him. The rule changes are desperate attempt to hold on to viewers through the Fall. With so many races still left – and the potential for Vettel to wrap up the championship by late August – I’m sure organizers and tv rights holders are nervous at the thought of loss of interest come the end of the season.

    • Kurt Ernst says:

      Worse, the next race (Silverstone) is televised on Fox as well. One more to DVR and watch at 2x speed…

  2. Unknown says:

    I don’t understand, is F1 becoming NASCAR then? In terms of interest and future I mean.

    • Kurt Ernst says:

      Not yet, but it’s becoming almost as boring to watch. You know who’s going to win, so the only question is who’s going to finish in P2 down.