Yellow flags at Interlagos during the 2012 Brasil Formula One GP

They’ve been over the footage of the Vettel-Kobayasi pass under variable flagging.

First there is a yellow light next to a slippery surface flag.  Then there is a green light!  Then there is a yellow light again, Vettel passes, Kobayashi IMMEDIATELY goes into the pits.

Based on the complexity of the situation, multiple flags, extreme conditions, and Kobayashi immediate entry into the pits, you’ve got to call this a racing incident.

Even if Vettel were to (inappropriately) get the maximum penalty for this, he would only go back one position, and stil win the championship.

So why lay the penalty?

Vettel World Champion – 2012 Brasil Formula One GP Interlagos – Button 1st, Alonso 2nd, Massa 3rd

Vettel collects 6th; since Alonso got only 2nd, Vettel takes the championship!

Vettel recovers from a mugging on the first lap, by Bruno Senna, with a damaged car, steams through the field, makes a mistaken tire change, survives several additional intertwinings, gets a break from the marshals, in my opinion, for both a yellow flag pass, and squeezing another car with inadequate room left on the track, I think it was Kobayashi, for the pass, but in the end, he deserves the title, and there is no foreseeable end to the potential streak of victories for the Vettel-Red Bull package!

The race did in fact end up being the most exciting race of all time, including the Kimi 2007 win!

Incredible.

Perfect timing after picking up all of those American fans after the fantastic inaugural Circuit of the Americas American F1 Grand Prix.

Okay, here we go, last race of the best season ever in Formula One – Brasil 2012 F1 Grand Prix Sao Paulo – INTERLAGOS!

Mark Webber is cool; I’ve just seen the Martin Brundle Grid walk, and their conversation.

As predicted by the meteorologists, and reported by me, rain is almost certain, and is in fact technically falling now, during the Brundle grid walk.  Jensy, so square!

Please see some of my comments at James Allen’s place:  http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2012/11/hamilton-on-top-after-day-1-in-brazil-as-rain-threatens-for-sunday/#comment-683228

The Brundle interview with the Ferrari man was good, and I hope we have a race where both Filipe and Webber, just go; and that is the best thing that they can do; so they should do it.

“Anything can, and usually does happen”, Murray Walker knew what he was talking about when he said this; and I expect to see it, shortly.

Go Kobayashi, go!

Go Sauber, go!

Go Lewy, go!

Vettel doesn’t need any encouragement; he knows exactly what he is doing, and if he does it, he will win.

Vettel trying to go too conservative will back fire; as with many great champions of the past and present, backing off chokes the magic.

Drive YOUR race Vettel, and earn your just rewards.

Nothing else really matters, final race, 2012 Formula One Grand Prix calendar – Interlagos, Sao Paulo, BRAZIL

Friday November 23rd 2012

There are two title contenders left for the 2012 F1 Drivers’ Championship, neither one of them look to be the fastest so far, not that it may make much of a difference in the weekend.

Lewis continues to have an edge over Vettel as the fastest package with the McLaren, a quarter of a second ahead of Vettel, with nine more drivers within a second.

For the race, we can take only the broadest brush strokes; the main reason, variations in:

  1. hot and cold, and
  2. dry and wet

Currently, the weather predictions are 100% rain, and 15 degrees colder, yes, COLD!

First off, way to go Lewis!  Getting your fiftieth win at McLaren would be totally reflective of your career there, and an appropriate way to move on…

For the contenders:

Vettel-Red Bull:

It’s comparatively straight-forward at Red Bull.  Besides making what ever preparations they can for the expected cold, wet weather, they just need to get the best car they can ready and reliable for Vettel, then let him do his stuff.

Alonso-Ferrari:

It’s complicated at Ferrari; they have to gamble one way or another.  Even in a best case scenario, Vettel gets a DNF, Alonso still needs to be on the podium to win the championship.  Let’s face it, if Vettel finishes the race, then Alonso really almost must have a win.  It’s been a while.  But Ferrari will do everything they can to win; expect the unexpected this weekend, expect bizarre happenstance; if advantage can be gained behind the scenes, expect Ferrari to be making the most of it.  I think you can look on an Alonso victory in the championship to be the only thing that will keep Stefano Domenicali secure in his job for another season.

The changing weather conditions favour the bold, and whether deserved or not, Alonso has the reputation of making the most of all conditions.  One way or another, Ferrari are going to have to be ready for any track condition, maximized for any track condition.

Also, I expect radical manoeuvres to get Fernando further up the grid; off the top of my head, figuring out what I would do, for example: look for a light-fueled Massa to get the pole, then control the pace by very, very aggressively managing challengers, to enable the well-motivated and capable Alonso, possibly fueled to require a safety car deployment, ample opportunity to move up through the field, if he qualifies using a race-optimized set up, i.e. high-seven gear ratio for passing on straights, etc.

With the expected weather, the chance of there NOT being a safety car, is slim to none; for this race, I will go out on a limb and say that there SHALL be a safety car deployment, at least one.

The big disadvantage to my proposed strategy is the start amongst so many jacked-up mid-fielders, taking Alonso’s fate into a checkered crowd, no mater how good he is, in the mid-pack, into the first corner, his fate is in the hands of many; a huge gamble in the rain and cold.

Speakng of the rain and cold:

Just who knows how the tires will perform?

We’ve had cool and wet races this year, but quite a while ago by the measure of the development pace this year.

For example, didn’t Mercedes win one this year?

So it is going to be a bit of a lottery.

I’m still hoping for a Kamui Kobyashi victory this year, and this will be the best chance he is ever likely to get.

Go Kobyashi, go!

Also would be a good way for Lewis to finish off his McLaren career.

I’d enjoy seeing a second Kimi victory.

But I’m really putting the crystal ball away for this race.  With the cold and wet, and in particular, the cold and wet, following abruptly after hot and dry and/or hot and wet, means that most predictability is out the window, and down the sewer (where it belongs).

My recommendation:

Just enjoy the race; it could be good.

Okay, Lewis Wins F1 USA Grand Prix in Austin, Texas

Lewis Hamilton, fully deserving, chases down and takes victory, in the best race of the year, so far.

Way to go, Lewy!

The McLaren ha been good for a lot of the season; it just seems that one or another in the McLaren camp can’t get it right for the weekend.  They picked a good time to do it, before the biggest market in the world, with a world-class race.

Now we can wait and see about the economic potential for Formula One in the U.S. A.  because they don’t get much better than this inaugural race at the Circuit of the Americas.

About the Ferrari decision to ‘work on’ Filipe’s transmission; and it favoured Alonso; of course they would, with good reason.  Any team that wouldn’t do that, in similar circumstances doesn’t deserve to win.

Bravo to Filipe, who has never driven better!  Way to go Filipe; nobody on the grid is hotter than you, including your esteemed team mate.  It’s too bad you would almost certainly not be permitted to in at your home race, even if you deserved it.

Good job Vettel.

Though strategically foolish, chasing Lewis all of the way to the line; there are those like me, who can’t help but respect.

2012 F1 U.S.A. Grand Prix at the Circuit o the Americas – qualifying

Vettel stays focused and nails the P1.

What else did you suspect?

The Red Bull-Vettel package is in a class of their own!

Who else is getting tired of the crowd, incessantly making excuses and casting blame for his performance, all over the place; but never on him, of course.  Everyone is entitled to a bad day at the office; it is only human.

Yes, we all know the Red Bull machinery is the best, at the moment.

Yes, yes, yes.

But!

Massa HALF A SECOND faster than Alonso!

Whoa there Bessie!

Maybe Massa has been getting the shaft for most of the season.

Not complaining, well, not complaining about the machinery; he knows this is the best machinery he is ever going to get.

I am happy to see the resurgent Massa; way to go Fillipe!  I’d love to see you win the championship next year, and beat your team mate.

I’m not dissing Alonso, these things happen to all drivers; he’s fought long and hard, enduring, this season, in a car that was never a front runner over a single lap, though it did have a decent run as the race-pace leader or very close to race pace leader.

It is just the incessant chorus of Alonso apologizers, and their ilk.  Enough is too much already; can it!  At least you could go graciously; that’s the most championship display that can be made now.

Lewis did another great job, and I am definitely NOT convinced that can’t win the race tomorrow.  He’s got nothing to lose.  Then again, Vettel is another one of those pathological racers, that won’t stop, can’t stop; maybe that’s his weakness.  We’ll know if he gets banged up in an unnecessary crash in the second half of the race tomorrow, six position in front of Alonso.  And I think it’s a possibility.  Hamilton has little to lose by oing for it.  He has the most to gain by establishing a fan base in the States, where his ostentatious style is ripe for adoration.

I expect a full onslaught by Hamilton, and if his machinery doesn’t give out, an exciting race to the line.

Don’t miss the start, because I expect a lot of attrition and a safety car on the first lap, maybe crashes at more than one place.  You might suspect an aggressive team to start on the Hard and go immediately on a first lap safety car to the mediums and try to get through the race; I’m not mentioning any team, in particular, but if you are Japanese or in particular, Mexican, I think you might go for it, and see where that takes you.

Go Kobyashi, go!