2013 Feb. 08 – First test, first thoughts…

Red Bull, relentless.
In terms of pace, one need look no further than Webber’s long runs, and Vettel’s mid-1:18 on HARD tires! No major technical issues at Red Bull either; the bull looms ominously!
After the bull, the black team is looking very good! Two days topping the timesheet may not be too meaningful, but the reliability at the first test, consistent long run times; Lotus really seem like they have the momentum, and right now, look the strongest to challenge the bull.
Ferrari!?! a spark of nothing less than dominance on day 3, but just like Filipe said, it doesn’t mean too much. The reliability of the red car is typical of a first test, yet, I bet many had hoped for clearer sailing to set a tone of challenge; that was missing for me. Also, the communications coming out of everything red seemed… well, just too scripted and consistent; I’m wary of this level of message control; if a team is so strong, read ‘red BULL’, the message is there for everybody to see for themselves, and so potent!
McLaren?!? a question mark for me. Yes Button did have that run, and wasn’t it on mediums? But I didn’t see the same level of consistency as the red bulls or black and gold flowers. I read a bit about how the new McLaren is a significant redesign, uhm… it doesn’t seem any more changed than the other top teams.
Maybe I have it wrong.
Mercedes, whoa or woe? Inner turmoil?!? Fires and massive mileage make-up. I don’t want to touch it. If the discussion (in the ENglish-language dominated British press, and their pet topics) wasn’t so absurdly focused on Lewis, and ‘how he’s feeling…’, or something, I’d think there’d be a lot of discussion about (h)ow! they’re looking at the backside of Force India, for sure, and maybe another team.
Am I too harsh?
This is Formula One! They sell their products to the aerospace industry! Mercedes is one of the primary marquee automobile and industrial brands in the world!
They ARE in the weeds!
Too many chiefs… it looks like, to me.

The usual scraps behind, except one is missing.

I still like Sauber, and prefer to believe them to be biding their time, working spartan-like through their programs, maximizing their resources.
Did I mention I like the look of the 2013 Sauber?

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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!