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Re: F1 2013 thread
Great race. Kind of confirms what I've always believed which is the current 'cream of the crop' are the 2 drivers who have been such since 2005. Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen. What makes them more dangerous now is even though they may not have the one lap pace of a Sebastian Vettel or Lewis Hamilton, they know how to race, as exhibited today. Raikkonen played that Grand Prix perfectly while Alonso knew what he had to do to get past Massa, Sutil and Vettel and he did so in one strategy call. Championship looks to be interesting. Here's what I reckon the pecking order is:
Red Bull: Fastest over a single lap but anything longer and they're quickly drawn in. Didn't help themselves by not doing many race simulations in testing.
Ferrari: Pretty good in qualifying and probably the fastest overall race package.
Lotus: Just like last year, they're probably 3rd or 4th in terms of qualifying but in the race they're comparable with Ferrari. On pure pace they're probably a tenth or two off but they're the easiest on the tyres which will be vital at points this season.
Mercedes: Like Red Bull, the car is a better qualifier than racer. Qualifying-wise they can mix it up with Ferrari and maybe Red Bull depending on circumstances. However, in the race, it's clear the car is fundamentally slower than Red Bull, Ferrari and Lotus.
McLaren: Oh dear. Made a bold move to go revolutionary with their design, feeling they'd reached the end of the development curve with their former car (which was actually pretty handy). 5th fastest car in qualifying but at least 6th and well and truly mid-pack in the race. I'm in the minority that support the decision to make the change. Like McLaren though I expected they'd at least be closer to the front, possibly on a par with Mercedes' race pace.
Force India: Fairplay. The car is handy. On a par with McLaren in qualifying trim and a beast on race day. They're definitely a step ahead of the other midfield runners now and for the time being, they've surpassed McLaren overall.
Sauber: Tough to say. Gutierrez was ok but behind both Toro Rossos in the race, something Sauber won't want. I do however fancy Hulkenberg would have made it into the points. I'd have pegged him for 7th-9th.
Toro Rosso: Not too brilliant in quali but their gamble for a wide set up range has paid off in race trim. Both Ricciardo and Vergne in particular were pacey in the race, getting in amongst McLaren. What a change from last year I suppose. It must be said though that Toro Rosso have started strong before then petered out.
Williams: Like McLaren they seem to have gone the wrong way. I have a feeling though that Williams' woes are what McLaren feared with their 2012 design later on in the season.
Marussia: They've jumped Caterham and in Jules Bianchi they appear to have a very handy driver. 10th place in the Constructors' Championship is very achievable with him at the wheel.
Caterham: They got rid of 2 drivers who should still be on the grid, Kovalainen in particular. And..they're paying for it. They seem to have bulit a garden shed that Pic to his credit is doing a half decent job with (though I wonder whether that's due to Chilton not being all that good).
Last edited by 1andOnlyDobz!; 03-17-2013 at 07:16 AM.