Monday, July 28, 2014

WHAT A Season! (Formula 1)

I can't recall being this absorbed in a Formula 1 season since my days of rooting for Nigel Mansell 20-odd years ago.  Even last weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix was an edge-of-your-seater.  Hungary!  And my beloved Spa-Francorchamps, steeped in history, is next.  I'm already doing my rain dance.

It's true enough in 2014 that a Mercedes will likely win the Championship--but which--Rosberg or Hamilton?  Hamilton appears to have more outright pace, but he makes more mistakes.  And, with the banning of interactive suspension, Mercedes appears to be having even more trouble with their KERS and brakes.  Nobody else can compete on pace, but Mercedes's reliability remains a question.

Red Bull's Ricciardo has two wins while his 4-time World Champion teammate Vettel still hasn't found a handle on the new-spec car, or race strategy for that matter.  It's true enough that Red Bull is the only team other than Mercedes to win.  But, on consistent pace from race to race, the Williams and both of its drivers (Bottas and Massa) are faster.  I love rooting for underdogs, and keep hoping that Williams's race strategy will come up to the level of their car.  As it is, they are giving Ferrari--Ferrari!--a run for its money in the Manufacturer's Championship.

Speaking of Ferrari, Fernando Alonso remains the driver I love to watch on race day.  He turned in another staggering performance on worn tires at Hungary.  As I've posted several times before, nobody gets more out of a car on race day than Alonso.

Given the topsy-turvey world of manufacturers coming to grips with the new regulations and cars, and the "last shall be first" inversions of driver performances, it will not be a surprise if we see a lot of drivers changing teams for 2015.

Fernando Alonso: in my book, the best driver of the post-Schumacher era,
although he will never have the World Championships to show for it.

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