Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hope Springs Eternal (Well...For A Few Years...)

Much improved racecraft.  Could it be the aviator sunglasses?  ;-)

My boy Romain Grosjean had a pretty good season.  Unlike 2012, he no longer punted championship contenders off course to earn grid penalties and suspensions.  And he's finishing on the podium more often. He legitimately led some races.  He even outraced his Lotus #1 driver, Kimi Raikkonen, a couple of times.

With Kimi going to Ferrari, maybe Romain has a better shot at the championship in 2014 (surely he will be the #1 driver at Lotus).  That is, if a small-budget team like Lotus can develop a competitive car for the new 1.6 liter turbo formula.  This would be a considerable achievement against the likes of Red Bull, Ferrari, and Mercedes.  On the other hand, Renault wrote the book on high-output turbos 40 years ago.  Romain and the rest of the grid need to find that one-second-per-lap with which the Vettel/Red Bull combo is burying them.  That's a lot of if's.  But Grosjean is fast and now seems to have the computer between his ears de-bugged.  The aviator sunglasses mojo is workin', Romain!

Note: The dominance of the Vettel/Red Bull partnership 2010-2013 is undeniable: it's like Juan Fangio (four teams) or Jimmy Clark/Lotus or Michael Schumacher/Ferrari.  But I still say that Fernando Alonso is the best racer in Formula 1 today.  Nobody gets more out of his car on race day than Fernando.  So, of course, harking back to days of yore, Ferrari will probably fire him or make him so mad that he quits.

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